Out actor Russell Tovey has defended the Walt Disney Company's decision to cast Jack Whitehall, who is straight, to play a gay character in the upcoming film Jungle Cruise.

The decision to cast Whitehall, 30, has been controversial.

“If you're an actor, you're an actor,” Tovey, 36, told The Telegraph. “The whole thing with Jack playing a gay character … I'm like, just let him act.”

Tovey was an established actor before he took on his first gay role in the HBO dramedy Looking.

“It's like me saying I could never play a straight character because I am not going to know a straight person's thoughts. I've always been out, and happy with the range of characters I've been offered. I've had the most amazing opportunities,” he added.

(Related: After recent split, Russell Tovey says he's “a one-man guy.”)