Cate Blanchett recently defended the right of straight actors to play LGBTQ characters on-screen, saying it's something she'll "fight to the death" for. The actress is a gay icon for her general fierceness as well as roles in films like Ocean's 8 (where she played an obvious lesbian but it was never confirmed) and Carol (in which she played an actual lesbian) and despite the growing feeling that queer characters should be played by queer actors, Blanchett doesn't agree, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The issue, Blanchett said, “speaks to something that I’m quite passionate about in storytelling generally, but in film specifically, which is that film can be quite a literal medium. And I will fight to the death for the right to suspend disbelief and play roles beyond my experience. I think reality television and all that that entails had an extraordinary impact, a profound impact on the way we view the creation of character."
“I think it provides a lot of opportunity, but the downside of it is that we now, particularly in America, I think, we expect and only expect people to make a profound connection to a character when it’s close to their experience.”
Straight actors are almost unanimously lauded for playing queer characters — 52 straight actors have been nominated for Oscars for playing LGBTQ characters — while openly queer actors find it hard to even be cast. The industry is changing, but there's still a long way to go before Hollywood gets representation right.