It wasn't so long ago when gay characters on TV and in movies were extremely rare. Yes, those days are all long gone—as a matter of fact, more and more mainstream actors have been venturing into portraying gay roles today. And they're really good at it—Zanjoe Marudo and Sam Milby, for instance, were brilliant on The Third Party; JC Santos is one of the reasons that keeps us glued on Till I Met You. What a beautiful sign of the changing times, this celebration of the media of all genders and sexual orientations. Here are the actors who are helping break barriers through their brilliant portrayal of gay characters:
From being all-macho SPO1 Ricardo Dalisay to being a femme fatale for his undercover role as Paloma in Ang Probinsyano, actor Coco Martin surely delighted millions of fans when he got all dolled up and dressed for the show. He even stated in a presscon, "Para sa akin dream role ‘yan eh. 'Yun ‘yung mga bagay na hindi mo lagi magagawa sa bawat proyekto na ihahain sa'yo."
Rising actor JC Santos is now becoming a fan favorite as Ali, the third wheel to the tandem of JaDine on the teleserye Till I Met You. And when asked on what he thinks about his role, the theater actor, singer, dancer, and independent film actor firmly said during the teleserye's press conference, "I don’t mind. I’m fine. Okay naman ako, eh. Basta gusto ko yung role, game!" We say this new role is nothing less than a blessing to JC's career.
With a reputation that precedes him, John Lloyd Cruz is known for throwing every ounce of himself into each performance. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then, especially since he has played every role imaginable, that the talented actor once played a gay man in movie In My Life last 2009. And yes, he had to kiss his partner Luis Manzano while at it.
Previously, Zanjoe Marudo portrayed gay roles on films Bromance, 24/7 In Love, Maria Leonora Teresa before his most recent one on The Third Party. At first, Zanjoe admitted that it was not easy to take on a gay role but as it turns out, he's really good at it as we can see through his well-received performances.
Just early this year, young actor Joshua Garcia portrayed his first ever gay role as Ernesto on Maalaala Mo Kaya and the role was absolutely so out of his comfort zone. In this episode, his character showed how love can change human hearts. Because when he met Jonna (Loisa Andalio's character), he was surprised to gradually fall in love with her who eventually became his girlfriend.
Actor Matt Evans takes on another gay role on afternoon soap The Greatest Love after Must Date The Playboy, Pare Mahal Mo Raw Ako, and The Reunion. But it seems like this guy is nothing but excited for the challenge—and he's excited to use it to better connect with people. Going on to say that despite his differences from his character, he was able to understand the struggles,“Para sa akin, sobrang challenge accepted kasi sa akin, walang maliit o malaking trabaho talaga. Kung ano ‘yung ibigay, mas grabe ‘yung pag perform. Isa ‘yan sa talagang nakalakihan kong ugali sa pagtatatrabaho kasi para sa akin, lahat blessing,” he told push.com.ph.
This also we must not forget: These actors aren't "playing gay," they're playing people. Singling out their sexual preference simply speaks to the ever-changing cinematic trend, taking on these characters are challenging especially for the actors who define themselves as straight, but are cast to play gay characters, leading them to having to open their minds, go through their own personal revelations and even having to clear the air to their fans when their work brings about questions for their own sexuality. Kudos to them for celebrating diversity!
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Photographs from Instagram.com/j.c.santos, Instagram.com/onlyzanjoemarudo, abscbnnews.com and ABSCBN Social Media Newsroom