You may have heard that Harry Styles is playing queer in an upcoming movie, now we know more.
Intially announced last year with Styles' name flaoted as only a possibility, the project is titled My Policeman. Now confirmed, Styles will play play Tom, a policeman in the 1950's who falls in love with a man, but marries a woman, Marion. Marion will be played by Emma Corrin, the British actress who just scored SAG and Golden Globe nominations for playing Princess Diana in The Crown.
According to Deadline, the movie will start in the late 90’s, “when the arrival of elderly invalid Patrick into Marion and Tom’s home triggers the exploration of seismic events from 40 years previous: the passionate relationship between Tom and Patrick at a time when homosexuality was illegal.”
The film is being directed by Tony and Olivier Award winner Michael Grandage, and featuring a script from Oscar and Emmy nominee Ron Nyswaner, adapted from the celebrated novel of the same name by Bethan Roberts. The film is being produced by Greg Berlanti, Robbie Rogers and Sarah Schecter of Berlanti-Schechter Films. It will premiere on Amazon Prime.
Styles has famous declined to label his sexuality.. Many fans have taken his stylistic sensibilities, as well as other hints that the performer is queer. Case in point: they look to his ardent support of the community, a few lyrics that might be read into, as well as visuals like his "Lights Up" video in which he appears in a mass of nearly-naked bodies being nuzled by both genders. That said, he has only been publicly linked to women.
We love Styles, and are excited to see him in a new role, but would be remiss if we didn't mention the ongoing dialogue around who gets to play queer characters, something that’s become quite a hot topic in Hollywood.
“I think the fight, as it were, is not about having only gay people play the gay parts but to ensure that all parts are open to all actors,” Jim Parsons recently said, adding that it’s not just about the casting, it’s about the roles themselves. “It’s important that gay characters are portrayed as well-rounded and completely human individuals,” he said.
It’s a Sin creator Russell T. Davies took a firmer stance. “I’m not being woke about this, but I feel strongly that if I cast someone in a story, I am casting them to act as a lover, or an enemy, or someone on drugs or a criminal or a saint… they are not there to ‘act gay’ because ‘acting gay’ is a bunch of codes for a performance,” he said. “It’s about authenticity, the taste of 2020.” He added, “You wouldn’t cast someone able-bodied and put them in a wheelchair.”
Davies’ It’s a Sin star, Neil Patrick Harris, disagreed. “As an actor you certainly hope you can be a visible option for all kinds of different roles. I played a character [on How I Met Your Mother] for nine years who was nothing like me,” he said. Harris added that he thinks “there’s something sexy about casting a straight actor to play a gay role, if they’re willing to invest in it.”
It's an interesting conversation, particularly when you add to it that some stars may be queer but just haven't disclosed to the world yet.