It was announced yesterday that actor Wentworth Miller of Prison Break fame has been cast in CW’s The Flash. Not long ago, news surfaced that Robbie Amell had also been cast in the new series. Like its sister-show, Arrow, it’s becoming clear that The Flash is going hard on casting male eye candy, for its heroes and villains alike. Wentworth Miller is set to play Leonard Snart aka Captain Cold, renowned enemy of the Flash.
This announcement literally came less than twenty-four hours after I’d read, in its entirety, Wentworth Miller’s Details Magazine interview – the same one which Justin Theroux covered. In the article, Wentworth opens about the difference between his life in the closet and his life now, post-coming out.
I feel more fully expressed. After Prison Break, I came to grips with the fact that my public persona was in misalignment with how I actually felt. I was out to a handful of people in my twenties, and once I hit 30, I was out to my family friends. But professionally, I was feeding a fantasy. I created this air of “We don’t address that thing.”
He also discusses the reason behind the fact that, last year, he segued into screenwriting with the psychological thriller, Stoker, under the pseudonym, Ted Foulke.
I knew I needed a change. I was fried after four years on an intense network drama. The body-tattoo makeup alone took four hours every day. So the idea was to see what was behind that other door. I hadn’t thought of myself as a writer, but when I wrote Stoker, the feedback was very positive. I used a pseudonym because I didn’t want other actors thinking I’d written the part for myself only to decide I didn’t want to play it.
These two excerpts struck me as particularly interesting, because there still exists this belief – mostly in the insides of PR offices – that actors who come out as gay effectively end their Hollywood careers in doing so. Even just recently, Rupert Everett once again made the claim that his coming out was what ruined his career. Of course, there are many more contradictory reports which assert that his career ended because he’s a grade A tool. I don’t know the man personally, so I cannot claim to know which is the truth; however, based on any number of the awful things that he’s said over the years, you can imagine to which side I’m leaning.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Wentworth Miller is proving that, not only does coming out not necessarily end your career as an actor, it actually embraces your participation in other areas of the industry. Wentworth is not the only other openly gay actor who continues to see success. Other notable examples include Matt Bomer, Neil Patrick Harris, and Luke Evans, though the question of this one’s openness of his sexual orientation is a bit iffy at this point.
The point is, as more celebrities continue to come out of the closet, the prevailing notion that this action is some sort of career suicide is diminished further and further. I suppose the argument is that, once it is known that an actor is gay, it is impossible to see them as anything but. Ironically, even when an actor is known (or believed) to be straight, we can see them as anything that they choose to portray. Any person who cannot believe a gay actor in a straight role merely because the actor is gay is an idiot, because any actor worth his salt is able to make his audience believe anything.