Romeo San Vicent weighs in on casting calls and gay sitcom plots
Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher are getting married. Or, rather, their alter egos on the long-running CBS sitcom Two and A Half Men are. No, they aren’t in love. No, they aren’t gay. But according to creator Chuck Lorre, for the show’s 12th and final season, they’re getting married anyway. See, it’s really difficult for fictional heterosexual men to adopt children and they need all the equally fictional magical properties that trendy gay marrieds possess. So, now the two non-gay characters are going to get married so they can please the adoption agency. Or something like that. We’re assured that this upcoming storyline won’t be offensive or tone deaf at all and that everyone involved understands that the majority of LGBT couples in the United States still do not enjoy marriage equality, much less the breeziest of adoption processes. Oh, yes — and there’ll be a wedding scene, too. What’s the over/under on these characters visibly freaking out over the prospect of kissing? We have enormous confidence in you, broadly-written family sitcom! Proceed with abandon!
A “top secret arc” for Portia de Rossi is coming to Scandal, and, really, it’s about time. The wild tone of the show is perfect for de Rossi’s self-aware and self-obsessed brand of comic treachery, a quality honed to a razor point on Arrested Development. You won’t see it until next season, so if you’re behind on your binge-watching, pick up the pace before spoilers ruin everything.
In other queer casting news, recently out actor and former Dallas resident Wentworth Miller, pictured, has landed the role of Captain Cold in the CW’s upcoming comic book-based series The Flash. CC is a key player in the universe of The Flash, so just add another log to the fire that burns down the old ideas about actors coming out of the closet and ruining their careers. Word is there’s going to be an Arrow crossover, too.
Finally, what would happen if Neil Patrick Harris got a job because of Twitter? It seems appropriate. The man never stops working. Why shouldn’t he get hired via all manner of communication platforms for all the stage musicals, TV shows, films and musical web series? Anyway, that’s what just happened. The actor reached out to American Horror Story’s Ryan Murphy, expressing interest in working on the series, and Murphy, in turn, tweeted his agreement. We’ll keep you posted on what evil lurks down the road.
Hedwig isn’t the only casting addition to AHS. Murphy loves his divas, so it was perhaps inevitable that one of the biggest divas of all, Miss Patti LaBelle, would choose to grace the set of Murphy’s loopy hit. She’ll embark on a four-episode arc where she’ll play Gabourey Sidibe’s mother, a townsperson who stumbles upon the secrets of the murder-happy Twisty (John Carroll Lynch), a clown killer. She joins another Patti already announced for the show — Patti LuPone. Diva central, that set!
Perhaps you’ve already heard about the in-development Mad Dogs and Englishmen, which is reported to be starring Colin Firth as witty gay playwright Noel Coward during his 1955 two-week-long cabaret stint in Las Vegas. By all accounts it’s still in the works, and what we learned from two Truman Capote movies is that there’s always room for competition, so wrap your head around Chris Colfer taking on the same role. Currently untitled, the project from up and coming filmmaker Joe A. Stephenson (who already served as a producer on a TV special, In Love With Coward) is, obviously, devoted to the younger years of the same man. And Colfer’s reported co-stars will be none other than Ian McKellen and Vanessa Redgrave. It all sounds fairly promising. Next up: Seth Rogen in old-age makeup and a weird accent to play Coward during his time on the set of the Richard Burton/Elizabeth Taylor art-film fiasco, Boom! Why not?
Former high school football star-turned-Atlanta Falcons player Brian Banks and his struggle against a false rape accusation is being filmed by gay director Lee Daniels. Daniels has explored child sexual abuse (Precious) and rape (The Paperboy) before, and he’s not afraid of that sort of controversy, and this film is sure to bring it.
If you happen to be lucky enough to attend next month’s Toronto Film Festival, be sure to check out the gay-themed film from straight director Barry Levinson and the straight-themed film from the gay directing team of Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer. Levinson’s film, The Humbling, is not a horror show in spite of its spooky sounding name. It is, however, a tragic comedy about a legendary stage actor who finds himself in an affair with a younger lesbian. It stars Al Pacino, Greta Gerwig, Dianne Wiest and Mandy Patinkin. And Still Alice, from Glatzer and Westmoreland, tells the story of a linguistics professor, married with three grown children, who begins to forget words, only to discover she has a degenerative condition. The serious-minded family drama (one way you can tell that autumn and pre-Oscar season has arrived without checking the color of the tree leaves) from writer Lisa Genova (based on her novel) stars Kristen Stewart, Julianne Moore, Kate Bosworth and Alec Baldwin.
Romeo San Vicente can be reached by email at DeepInsideHollywood@qsyndicate.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 29, 2014.