Earlier this week, Colman Domingo was nominated for the Greatest Actor Oscar for his function because the titular civil rights activist Bayard Rustin in Rustin. The nomination, which is Colman’s first, is historic for one more purpose: it is solely the second time that an overtly homosexual actor has been nominated for portraying a homosexual character.
Ian McKellen was the primary, as he was nominated for his function within the film Gods and Monsters in 1999. Screenwriter Invoice Condon advised Vanity Fair that Ian learn out what would have been his acceptance speech throughout an advert break, which was devoted to younger homosexual actors: “It was about all of the warnings he acquired when he was deciding to come back out, all of the issues that will occur.”
Talking to the Hollywood Reporter about his nomination for the Obama-produced Netflix movie, Colman stated that he was “strolling round, pacing” in his toilet when he obtained a textual content from his supervisor calling him an Oscar nominee. “That is actually a second earlier than my husband discovered. So I picked up the cellphone and put it again down. I used to be surprised, virtually prefer it didn’t occur. After which my husband heard the information, and he laid on the ground and began crying,” he recalled.
In response to the interviewer noting the “large deal” it’s for an overtly homosexual actor to be nominated, Colman replied, “It’s thrilling to me, too, as a result of I do know that that is history-making, in some ways. And I’m glad folks may see the craftsmanship and see the work ethic and see the work in it. I’m overwhelmed in so some ways. However essentially the most extraordinary approach, for me, is I like that the extra folks know my identify, the extra they know Bayard Rustin’s identify.”
In the identical interview, Colman praised fellow nominee Bradley Cooper’s work in Maestro — the place he performed Leonard Bernstein, a queer composer. “He appears like a brother to me on this business already,” Colman stated. “We have been leaving all of it on the ground, we believed and revered the work and the characters and the story so deeply.”
“I do know I’m present in areas which are distinctive in some ways,” Colman stated in a separate interview to Deadline. “On the similar time I used to be representing Rustin, I’m additionally taking part in the main man in The Color Purple, who has a really totally different expertise. The way in which I’ve been in a position to see myself on this business is that I can play something, and it’s not restricted by my very own private sexuality. Folks see me as I see myself, and having the ability to flex all these muscular tissues and play all these several types of males, with very totally different experiences, hopefully strikes the needle a bit extra.”
As others have noted, the truth that Colman is the second overtly homosexual man to be nominated for taking part in a homosexual function is particularly related given how usually straight male actors have been awarded for taking part in LGBTQ characters. Simply final 12 months, Brendan Fraser received for taking part in a homosexual man in The Whale.
Different examples from this century embrace Sean Penn as Harvey Milk in Milk, Jared Leto as a trans lady in Dallas Patrons Membership, and Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. Certainly, round 14 male actors have been nominated for taking part in LGBTQ characters because the flip of the century — with Colman being the one one to overtly establish as homosexual.
A notable snub from this 12 months was Andrew Scott in All of Us Strangers, main author Marcus Wratten to ask, “Was the queer quota for the 12 months already crammed?”
Over within the Greatest Actress class, the primary queer lady to have been nominated for taking part in a queer character was Marlene Dietrich in 1931. Being overtly “out” wasn’t an possibility on the time, however her sexuality was described as an “open secret.” In line with Autostraddle in 2022, not less than “20 straight cisgender ladies [have been] nominated for taking part in lesbian, queer, or bisexual roles, two of whom have been nominated twice for doing so.”
As for Greatest Actress in a Supporting Position, Jodie Foster acquired a nomination this 12 months for taking part in Bonnie Stoll in Nyad. As Variety notes, this makes 2024, “the primary time two overtly LGBTQ actors have been nominated for taking part in LGBTQ characters.”