With every passing day, Hollywood is becoming more inclusive. Films and TV shows are actively working towards the right representation of marginalized people. Therefore, Benedict Cumberbatch playing a gay role raised some questions. However, he has a perfect explanation for it. Interestingly, this is not the first time for him.
Based on the book of the same name, The Power of the Dog is a western drama
The film is based on the novel written by Thomas Savage. According to the synopsis, the story revolves around a charismatic and severe gay cowboy, Phil. Whether you like him or hate him, he impacts everyone around him. When his brother married a widow with a son, they move in next door. Initially, Phil tries to make their life hell. However, he starts realizing that he might be falling for his brother’s stepson. In the film, Phil is played by Benedict Cumberbatch. Apart from him, the cast includes Kristen Dunst, Jesse Plemons, and Kodi Smith-McPhee. Initially, Paul Dano and Elizabeth Moss were also part of the cast. However, they dropped out later. The Power of the Dog is directed by Jane Campion. Recently, Benedict Cumberbatch movie had its world premiere at Venice Film Festival.
Although this is not the first time, Benedict Cumberbatch talks about straight actors playing gay characters
Previously, he played the mathematician, Alan Turing, in The Imitation Game. Although Turing had to face a lot of difficulties for his sexual orientation, it is a known fact that he was gay. Therefore, Benedict Cumberbatch is already familiar with such characters. However, there is always talk of such characters being played by someone who is actually gay in real life. To which, Cumberbatch had a fitting reply. During an interview, he talked about The Power of the Dog and his character, Phil. Benedict Cumberbatch also talked about straight actors playing gay characters. He said:
I feel very sensitive about representation, diversity, and inclusion. One of the appeals of the job was the idea that in this world, with this specific character, there was a lot that was private, hidden from view.
Furthermore, Benedict Cumberbatch reassured that Jane Campion chose him to play this part and she did not do it without thinking. He said:
It wasn’t done without thought. I also feel slightly like, is this a thing where our dance card has to be public? Do we have to explain all our private moments in our sexual history? I don’t think so.
At the Venice Film Festival, the film has received high praises and acclaim. According to the critics, Benedict Cumberbatch and his co-stars might be getting Oscar nominees this year. The film will be streaming on Netflix on December 1st.