Ben Whishaw is currently co-starring with Hugh Dancy in The Pride off-Broadway. He's so proud he essentially came out to Out magazine. Then why is he in New York magazine talking about being straight?
As both Out EIC Aaron Hicklin and Michael Musto pointed out, it's quite a discrepancy between the two reports. While the actor, who played one of the Bob Dylans in I'm Not There and starred as John Keats in the highly-regarded movie Bright Star earlier this year, doesn't exactly say, "Hey everyone, I am a giant homosexual," he makes it pretty easy to read between the lines. Like every gay actor trying to stay in the professional closet, he goes for the whole "I don't like labels" ploy, but inadvertently puts a label on himself while talking about his gay role in The Pride and another gay role he just finished in a London production subtly titled Cock.
It's intriguing to me that these parts come along. Of course the choices you make express something about you to the world, and of course the work I do is all about me, but rather than me standing up and making statements about myself and things, I'd prefer to let the work do the speaking.
And The Pride is not some sweet little Brokeback-style love affair. It's full of cheating husbands, bondage, simulated rape, Nazi fetishism, and the torture of sexual orientation. Well, since the work is all about confused gay men, does that mean Whishaw is one too? It would seem so, thanks to New York magazine. In Mike Vilensky's Q&A with Whishaw and costar Dancy (who as Mr. Claire Danes is as straight as the lines on mirrored coffee table), the first question isn't even about their sexual oritentaion, but a bold supposition that they are both in fact straight, "You're both straight. Did you have any hesitations about taking explicit gay roles?" Actually, you can only read that question in the print edition, since the first sentence has been edited out online (see evidence below).
God, trying to figure out whether Whishaw is gay or not is like trying to play peekaboo while high on poppers. To recap, Whishaw, who doesn't like to be labeled, tells Out that the gay roles he has been playing are really all about him. Then New York assumes that he's straight. He doesn't correct them (that we know of) but someone corrected them after it ran in the magazine so that future generations of internet readers won't think he's straight. God, why doesn't a guy have to do to definitively declare his queerness these days? Get up on stage and rape another man in front of an audience? Oh wait, never mind...