Of course there’s no cookie cutter profile of a hetero or homosexual, so celebs are often cast into a role regardless of their real-life orientation. After all, it is called acting. Here we take a look at eight actors who have played gay characters but are really straight and vice versa. Check it out…
1. Tom Hanks in Philadelphia
In probably one of the most notable “straight playing gay” roles, Hanks expertly played Andrew Beckett in this Academy Award winning role. Tom even lost 30 pounds and thinned his hair out to portray the gay lawyer dying of AIDS who sues his firm for discrimination.
2. Cynthia Nixon in Sex and the City
With all the wild sex her character Miranda was having with men, it was sometimes easy to forget that Cynthia Nixon was in a long-term relationship with partner Christine Marinoni whom she married earlier this year.
3. Michael K. Williams in The Wire
Williams’s portrayal of stick-up man Omar Little got him accolades in 2008 from then U.S. Senator Barack Obama who cited the character and the show as his favorite. “That’s not an endorsement. He’s not my favorite person, but he’s a fascinating character…he’s the toughest, baddest guy on the show,” Obama has said.
4. Eric McCormack in Will & Grace
Though McCormack played gay lawyer Will Truman on the popular NBC sitcom for eight seasons, he’s been going home to his real-life wife Janet Holden for the last 15 years.
5. Ving Rhames in Holiday Heart
If you missed this gem of a movie, don’t worry, it’s probably playing next week on TV One. Watching Ving Rhames play tough as nails Mel in Baby Boy and then seeing him all dragged up in “Holiday Heart” is quite fascinating to say the least.
6. Sean Penn in Milk
Sean may have been married to Madonna and Robin Wright in his personal life, but on-screen he played the heck out of gay politician and activist Harvey Milk in the 2008 film.
7. Nelsan Ellis in True Blood
This award-winning TV actor and playwright is a straight man off screen but on HBO’s hit series, True Blood, Ellis plays flamboyant (very convincing) short order homosexual cook, Lafayette Reynolds.
8. Neil Patrick Harris in Harold & Kumar & How I Met Your Mother
While NPH was busy branding the bottoms of female escorts in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and hopping in the bed with women in his role as playboy Barney Stinson on the long-running CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, he confessed to People magazine in 2006 that he is indeed homosexual.
9. Jennifer Beals in The L Word
Bette Porter and girlfriend, Tina Kennard were The L Word’s perfect lesbian couple until Bette cheats on Tina and all hell breaks loose.
10. Wesley Snipes in To Wong Foo
He might have played gangster Nino Brown in “New Jack City,” but he was also pretty believable a few years later in 1995’s “Too Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything!” Julie Newmar as drag queen Noxeema.
11. John Leguizamo in To Wong Foo
John Leguizamo is one of those underrated actors everyone is always talking about, with a pretty diverse resume including his role in To Wong Foo as “Chi-Chi”—the cutest and most believable of the movie’s drag queens.
12. Eric Stonestreet in Modern Family
Straight actor Eric Stonestreet’s performance as one half of the “Modern Family” was so good it won him the 2010 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
13. Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain
The notion of a gay cowboy previously incited snickering before straight actor Jake Gyllenhaal’s very moving performance in Brokeback Mountain.
14. Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain
Heath Ledger was the other half of Brokeback Moutain‘s secretly gay cowboy couple, which helped earn the actor great recognition for his superb acting abilities.
15. Charlize Theron in Monster
Charlize Theron’s physical transformation into Aileen Wuornos was as awing as her portrayal of the prostitute turned serial killer, who was also homosexual.
Who did we miss, StyleBlazers? Who’s your favorite gay but really straight (or vice versa) actor?
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