Jedi daddy Ewan McGregor has played gay characters before, most notably in Todd Haynes’s Velvet Goldmine in 1998 and opposite Jim Carrey in 2009’s I Love You Phillip Morris. But in a new cover story for The Hollywood Reporter, McGregor addressed the possible controversy surrounding writer-director Dan Minahan casting him as the title character in an upcoming biographical Netflix miniseries about the 1970s fashion designer Halston. McGregor identifies as straight, and Halston was an out gay man in the public eye whose contributions to queer culture — from his close friendship with Liza Minnelli to his designs that defined the look of the Studio 54 disco era — are inseparable from his story.
During the interview, THR quoted Billy Porter at a 2019 Actors Roundtable saying, “Straight men playing gay — everyone wants to give them an award.” McGregor responded, “If it had been a story about Halston’s sexuality more, then maybe it’s right that gay actors should play that role. But in this case — and I don’t want to sound like I’m worming out of this, because it’s something I did think a lot about — I suppose, ultimately, I felt like it was just one part of who he was.” Viewers can make up their own minds when Halston premieres on Netflix on May 14.