Adam Lambert made headlines recently for slamming a casting rumor that “The White Lotus” star Theo James was circling the role of George Michael in a biopic about the pop music icon. Not so fast. Speaking at the Variety Studio presented by Audible at Sundance, Lambert said he was mostly being sarcastic and that it would be “ridiculous” to claim that gay characters can only be played by gay actors.
“My actual comment was a straight actor playing a gay icon. I by no means think that gay characters can only be played by gay actors,” Lambert said. “That would be ridiculous. Case in point: Scoot’s brilliant performance in this film.”
Lambert is at Sundance with the drama “Fairyland,” starring Scoot McNairy as a bohemian father living in 1970s San Francisco. McNairy plays a gay man in the film, and Lambert says his performance is proof that gay characters don’t always need to be played by gay men.
“I don’t imagine anyone playing this part,” Lambert said. “As a queer person, so many doors have been closed for us for so long. It’s a big step forward that these stories are being told, but I hope in the future you’d see an out actor also being able to tackle an out leading role. I just want some equal opportunity.”
Later in the interview, Lambert said that homophobia was “probably” the reason he lost the “American Idol” crown to Kris Allen during the eighth season of American Idol.
“Probably. But it was 10 years ago,” Lambert said when asked if homophobia was to blame for his second-place finish. “The thing about our film is that even though it takes place in the 1970s, there are so many ideas in it that are current. LGBTQ people are under attack again by the conservative part of our country.”
Sofia Coppola produced “Fairyland,” which is written and directed by Andrew Durham and based on Alysia Abbott’s 2013 memoir.
Watch the full interview below: