Out actor-comedian Billy Eichner has
said that gay actors in Hollywood are “thrown a bone here and
Eichner, 41, will play Paul Lynde in
the upcoming biopic Man in the Box. While Lynde, best known as
a guest star on the long-running game show Hollywood Squares,
was outrageous and assumed to be gay, he remained closeted. He died
at age 55 in 1982.
Speaking with Deadline about the
project, Eichner said that Lynde's sexuality hurt his career and that
gay actors today face the same glass ceiling.
“There is no gay Tom Hanks in this
country,” Eichner said. “There is no gay Will Ferrell. There’s
no gay Steve Carell. There’s no gay Paul Rudd. There’s no gay
Kevin Hart. There’s no gay Will Smith.”
"The list goes on and on, and
that’s not a coincidence. After a hundred years of making films,
it’s not a coincidence. It’s not that they just haven’t been
able to find the right gay man, who has enough talent to have a
career like that,” he said.
Eichner is best known for his Billy
on the Street comedy series and appearances on Ryan Murphy's
American Horror Story.
Gay actors are “not even allowed to
play our own heroes,” he added, pointing to recent biopics on the
lives of Harvey Milk, Freddie Mercury, and Elton John.
“I can tell you right now, that a gay
actor, a gay person in general, understands the nuances, the
idiosyncrasies, and the emotional complexity of playing another gay
person, especially a famous gay person, playing another famous gay
person, than a straight person does,” he said.