“Gaya Sa Pelikula,” the Boys’ Love (BL) series currently being developed by writer Juan Miguel Severo in partnership with Globe Studios, has now finished casting but Severo recently went on Twitter to air out the difficulty of looking for the actors perfect for playing the male leads.
In a Twitter thread posted yesterday, Severo says that since they started casting for the series, he’s been gaining a better understanding of why it has been difficult for the industry to cast queer actors for queer parts.
His thread cited various reasons why some productions opt to get straight actors for gay parts all boiling down to systemic homophobia. He explains that some queer actors veer away from playing queer characters because “they’re not ready to come out yet and taking on a gay role will inevitably subject them to convos about their sexuality.”
Nobody asked but since we started casting for Gaya, I gained better understanding of why, despite good intentions, some productions resort to casting straight actors for gay parts. Grabe, the paltry amount of experienced queer actors that went to audition was disappointing.
— Juan Miguel Severo 🏳️🌈 (@TheRainBro) June 15, 2020
Typecasting is also another hurdle for queer actors—if they take on one gay role they might be reduced to playing token gay characters for the rest of their careers.
This understanding of how systemic homophobia works against queer actors in the media has prompted Severo and the team behind “Gaya’s” development to make adjustments to their casting call. Aside from asking audiences not to pry into the sexuality of the actors they will be casting, he also said “[i]n the end we decided not to specify in the casting call that we’re looking for queer actors, and let them decide whether they’re comfortable enough to disclose their SOGIE with us in the audition process.”
This is just one of the things that the production team has done to ensure that the upcoming series is a love story that the LGBTQ+ community deserves. The story itself includes Severo’s real-life experiences, so he and the team have made it their mission to put LGBTQ+ people at the forefront of the series’ development and production in a bid for responsible representation.
Severo also hopes to uplift the out and proud queer actors who may get casted. In the end, he says, that is what their series is working towards—for queer artists to gain opportunities and to be celebrated because of their queerness, not despite it.
While waiting for the premiere date of the love story between university students Karl and Vlad, you can get a sneak peek into the opening scene posted by the writer himself on Wattpad—yes, exactly like fanfic.
Photo by Alexis Corpuz from Inquirer Lifestyle
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