‘Will And Grace’ actor Eric McCormack has shared his opinion over the debate on whether straight actors should be able to play gay roles, calling it a “dumb conversation”.
As a continually increasing number of LGBT+ stories are being told in both film and television, many people have questioned whether it’s appropriate to have straight and cisgender actors playing characters who are gay, bisexual or transgender.
Eric – a straight-identifying actor who has played one of the title characters in ‘Will And Grace’ since its debut in 1998 – has old HuffPost UK he sees no problem when straight actors take on gay roles.
“If anybody had a problem with me playing Will, I’d just say, ’go back and watch 200 episodes and tell me if you still have a problem,” he said.
″And then go and watch every episode of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ where Neil Patrick Harris plays a straight guy. I think it’s a dumb conversation.”
However, he did say he felt “differently” with regards to cisgender actors portraying trans roles.
He explained: “That’s just different. It is as important as a black man should play a black man and an Indian woman should play an Indian woman, that we start to give transgender people a chance to play themselves.
“Just as Will and Jack were kind of new for a lot of America back then, so is the idea of what a transgender person is and can be.
“And so I think it’s important they have their voice. But in the meantime, if I can’t play a gay man… then why should I play a dentist? Because I’m not a dentist either.”
After a break of more than a decade, Eric returned to the role of Will Truman in ‘Will And Grace’ for a new series in 2017, alongside co-stars Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally.
The new series of ‘Will And Grace’ is currently on Friday nights at 10pm on Channel 5.