Billy Eichner Wants His Paul Lynde Biopic To Shatter Hollywood Stigma On Gay Actors

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By playing a queer icon in ‘Man in the Box,’ Eichner hopes to start erasing the ‘lopsided’ casting process for LGBTQ characters in movies.

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Eichner lamented that gay actors are “not even allowed to play our own heroes” and is hopeful that his performance in “Man in the Box” will lead to lasting change in the movie industry. Though he doesn’t think straight actors should be absolutely barred from portraying LGBTQ characters, he’d like the casting process to be less “hypocritical” and “lopsided.”
“There is no gay Tom Hanks in this country,” he said. “There is no gay Will Ferrell. There’s no gay Steve Carell. There’s no gay Paul Rudd. There’s no gay Kevin Hart. There’s no gay Will Smith.

The list goes on and on, and that’s not a coincidence.”
“We have the lived-in experience to bring the intellectual nuance of it to the screen,” he added about LGBTQ actors. “I think we need to stop undervaluing that, the feeling that if a gay person plays a gay person it’s not acting, but if a straight person plays a gay person, we give them an Oscar.”
“Man in the Box” is one of several projects on Eichner’s current short list. Before the COVID-19 crisis shut down film production across the country, he’d been scheduled to begin work on

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