Apparently, it wasn’t until Ben Affleck laid a quick peck on his costar Jason Lee in Chasing Amy that he considered himself to be a “serious actor.”
This according to Kevin Smith, who directed the 1997 cult classic and celebrated its 20th anniversary at Outfest this past Saturday.
While discussing the film, Smith reflected on the then controversial kiss between Affleck and Lee, recounting how nervous they both were about it. As the Clerks director remembers it, Affleck said, “A man kissing another man is the greatest acting challenge an actor can ever face.” After finishing the scene, he allegedly told the director, “Now I’m a serious actor.”
Unsurprisingly, Smith’s comments didn’t go unchecked by the Internet, most notably by out actor Evan Rachel Wood, who came crashing down on Affleck for his decades-old comment.
In a since deleted tweet, the Westworld star wrote, “Try getting raped in a scene. Also, grow up Ben.”
She later took down the post, tweeting: “I have deleted the thread because of the sickening things people have written in response. I don’t want to give that kind of hatred a place.”
I have deleted the thread because of the sickening things people have written in response. I dont want to give that kind of hatred a place.
— #EvanRachelWould (@evanrachelwood) July 19, 2017
While it’s important to keep in mind that this is all coming second hand from Smith, this attitude speaks to a larger problem in Hollywood where straight male actors feel entitled to certain accolades for “bravely” portraying LGBT characters.
This long list includes artists who became critical darlings for playing trans women (think Jared Leto or Eddie Redmayne) and countless straight actors who snagged their first Academy Awards for playing gay men (Tom Hanks, Christopher Plummer and Philip Seymour Hoffman, to name a few).
While we’re glad to see more and more gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters on the big screen, we can’t wait for the day when all these roles will be played by actual LGBT people.