supports HTML5 videoSimon Callow has disagreed with Tom Hanks’ view that he could not – and ‘rightly so’ – as a straight man play his 1993 role as a gay man in the movie Philadelphia today.The Four Weddings and a Funeral star called it a ‘dangerous idea’ that only gay actor should take on gay roles.Hollywood star Hanks, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of lawyer Andrew Beckett, who conceals his sexuality and HIV-positive status from colleagues before suing his employers for firing him, previously said that he felt the world was ‘beyond that now’ and ‘wouldn’t accept the inauthenticity of a straight guy playing a gay guy’.Appearing on GB News on Tuesday, Callow – who identifies as gay – commented: ‘Think of all the wonderful performances of people who are not gay have given: John Hurt, Daniel Day Lewis, Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain.‘I mean, these are all as far as I know, heterosexual actors who’ve given utterly convincing credible and illuminating performances.’The actor said that people must remember the ‘general principle of acting rather than being’, using his famous role as Gareth in Richard Curtis’ hit 1994 comedy as an example of a gay role that was ‘only a tiny part of me’.He added: ‘Though I’m gay, it doesn’t qualify me to play all the many different kinds of gay people that there are.

It’s a very simple idea and a dangerous idea that you can only play someone who you actually are.‘So although I think Tom Hanks’ heart is clearly in the right place, I think it’s a terribly important thing that we stress, but actors are about imagination, about creating characters.’The 73-year-old also doubled down on his view that acting isn’t ‘autobiographical’, saying it ‘mustn’t be, and it shouldn’t.