Actor Viggo Mortensen, who is straight,
has defended his decision to play a gay role in his directorial film
The Falling premieres Monday in
In the film, Mortensen, who is best
known for his roles in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Green
Book, plays a man whose father is suffering from
dementia. The racist and homophobic father comes to live with his son
and husband, who is Chinese-Hawaiian, in Los Angeles.
Activists have criticized straight,
cisgender actors who play LGBT characters. Halle Berry recently
pulled out of a transgender film role over backlash that a
transgender person should be offered the role.
“I apologize to all the proctologists
for casting David Cronenberg,” Mortensen joked, referring to
Cronenberg playing a colorectal surgeon in the film.
“There are certain characters I'm not
going to play. I wouldn't play Eric, the Chinese-Hawaiian American,”
Mortensen, who is Danish-American, told
Mortensen, who also wrote and directed
the film, said that the decision to make his character gay was not “a
gimmick, anchor, or some trigger.”
“There's been so much injustice
toward under-represented groups, racially, sexual orientation [and in
terms of] sexual identity,” he said.