Kristin Chenoweth just got all pissed off at Newsweek, and specifically writer Ramin Setoodeh, who wrote an article, “Straight Jacket,” that claims gay actors can’t completely, convincingly play straight characters. Setoodeh, who is gay, specifically pointed out gay Jonathan Groff, who plays straight Jesse St. James (quite possibly the gayest sounding name in television history). Setoodeh wrote that Groff, playing Rachel Berry’s love interest, seems “more like your average theater queen,” and “a better romantic match for Kurt than Rachel.”
Setoodeh’s generalization that gay actors can’t play straight was ridiculous. Howard Rollins (Ragtime, In The Heat of the Night) blew my 13-year-old mind when I found out he was gay. He played straight just as convincingly as any straight actor could and I had the biggest heartache of a crush on his character, that wronged, dark chocolate, piano playing Coalhouse Walker.
Setoodeh was right on the money, however, with Groff. That boy just acts, well… gay. He’s beyond not convincing. He’s damn queeny. Last week my own 13-year-old daughter said, “He’s got gay seeping out of him! He’s just… gay.” Ah, kids.
Chenoweth wrote an open letter saying, “I’d normally keep silent on such matters and write such small-minded viewpoints off as perhaps a blip in common sense, but the offense I take to this article, and your decision to publish it, is not really even related to my profession or my work with (Sean) Hayes or Jonathan Groff .”
That’s awesome that she’s taking a stand. But that boy is probably not the best flag for Chenoweth to be picking up and waving to make her point. Because, well… gay.