It’s Called ACTING and Only Straight Cis Thin Able-bodied White Men Get to Do It

Every once in a while all of the time, there will be news of a film in which an actor radically and bravely transforms himself for a role either by getting skinny, getting fat, moving his body weird, being LGBT person, or wearing prosthetics (Meisner). This is called ACTING, people. And only straight cis thin able-bodied white men get to do it.


Inevitably, when one of these moving and monumental performances comes to the light, the unthinking masses will complain that an actor whose lived experience is more aligned with the character ought to play the role, and it’s like, have you ever heard of acting??? It’s being someone else. Preferably, someone with endlessly less social capital and privilege than you, then winning an award for doing that.


People who have weird lives (trans, person of color, etc.) can ALSO sort of act. They can’t do it as well because they can’t pretend to be normal – wouldn’t be believable — and they could play parts where the characters also have weird lives, but then what would all the great normal actors be left to do? It wouldn’t be fair to them.


Sometimes, straight cis thin able-bodied white women can act too by pretending to be less thin or beautiful but mostly with movie-magic instead of real body changing, so it’s acting, but slightly less acting. All the same.


According to your logic, Daniel Day-Lewis shouldn’t have played a character with cerebral palsy in My Left Foot, but that was a beautiful performance, and the fact that this performance from 1989 was good is counter-evidence to your argument that has nothing to do with the quality of performances.



Speechless? Good thing you’re not an actor, because actors have to give moving speeches where they speak for and represent communities they are not a part of but learned a lot about while pretending. They give these speeches while they are winning their awards.


So maybe think about all of the above next time you go to whine on the internet about an actor simply doing his job. And if you’re wondering why a young person has to play an old person in prosthetics and old-age makeup even when aging isn’t part of the movie and they could have just hired a goddamn old person actor, then I tell you once again: ACTING. Also, Christopher Plummer is dead and I don’t know of any other olds. Viva Jared Leto!