(Edge) In a new interview with the U.K. newspaper The Independent, actor Andrew Garfield discussed straight people playing LGBTQ characters and the criticisms lodged by some who say it takes roles away from queer actors.
Garfield played a gay man in "Angles in America" in London in 2017 and when speaking with the publication said he agrees with playwright Tony Kushner on the subject.
"I understand the complaint. I think Tony Kushner put it best," he said. "He said, 'It's illegal for me to ask someone who they fuck in terms of hiring them for a job. That's none of my business who someone sleeps with. The only question I have as the playwright is, are they right for this character?'
"He said that if we only let people play who they are, then it's the death of empathic imagination. I think that's beautifully put, and I agree with it," Garfield continued, adding that "taking such a role means potentially taking it away from an LGBTQ person. The community has suffered so much oppression.
"As a straight, white male, with so much privilege in this world, I believe my job right now is to pay attention, to listen and to be an ally," he told the Independent.
While starring I the play, Garfield came under fire for comments he made about being gay (saying he's gay "without the physical act") and teasing the possibility of a same-sex relationship. In 2014, Garfield also a trans character in a music video for Arcade Fire — a role for which he came under fire.