Matt Bomer and Patrick Wilson in “Space Station 76″ – casting gay as straight and straight as gay
When it came time to cast the feature film Space Station 76, writer-director Jack Plotnick says he did not even think about real-life sexual orientation when casting straight Patrick Wilson as gay and gay Matt Bomer as straight.
‘I was just focused totally on my incredible respect and admiration for Patrick Wilson and Matt Bomer as actors,’ Plotnick told The Backlot in an interview posted Tuesday.
‘I think they’re both flawless and both so perfect for the roles they played. I never thought, "Well, that character’s gay so it better be played by a gay guy." But at the same time I have no issues whatsoever with casting a gay man in a straight role, I mean, that would be ludicrous.’
Although he is one of the most famous openly gay actors in television and films, Bomer has only played gay onscreen once and that was this year in The Normal Heart.
In Space Station 76, Bomer plays a spaceship mechanic named Ted who is unhappily married to a woman named Misty. He also has a robotic right hand and an ambition to leave the ship.
Wilson, who had previously played gay in the HBO miniseries Angels in America, plays the ship’s alcoholic captain. He is struggling with his homosexuality and being closeted led to his break up with Daniel (played by Glee’s Matthew Morrison).
‘It’s a surprising role for Patrick in that he doesn’t usually play that type, meaning the character is just less likable than Patrick usually plays,’ Plotnick says. ‘On top of that, it’s such a comedic role for him and I’m so excited for people to see how funny Patrick Wilson is because he is hysterical as a person, as a performer and in this role.
‘But what I love, too, is when I watch his performance, the incredible truth he brings to the role. He finds a way to find show this guy’s heartbreak that is so funny.’