Tom Hanks on the role in Philadelphia: It’s no longer quite possible as a gay man – and rightfully so

Tom Hanks on the role in Philadelphia: It's no longer quite possible as a gay man - and rightfully so

Actor Tom Hanks believes that a gay role should not be played by a live actor. The actor himself played a gay lawyer infected with HIV in the 1993 film Philadelphia

Although he thinks the movie might not have been a success at the time without a famous heterosexual actor like him in the lead role, that’s different now, he says in an interview with The New York Times Magazine. “Can a straight man do what I’m into Philadelphia is over? No – and rightly so.”

However, he argues, that was different nearly thirty years ago. “message Philadelphia is that people should not be afraid. One of the reasons people aren’t afraid of the movie is that I played a guy like me.”


He adds, “But we’re beyond that, and I don’t think people accept it now when a live actor plays a gay role. Because it’s not authentic.” According to Hanks, that’s not a bad development: “It’s not a crime or a whine to expect more from a movie in terms of originality.”

Hanks won his first Oscar in 1994 for his role as attorney Andrew Beckett Philadelphia† In the movie, Beckett sued his former employer after he contracted HIV and was fired.

Watch the trailer for the movie here:

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