It's Called ActingThis kind of stuff drives me nuts. NY Post Broadway columnist Michael Riedel questions whether Sean Hayes of Will and Grace fame is "virile" enough to play the male lead in a workshop production of Promises, Promises which may eventually move to Broadway. The question of why anyone would invest the millions of dollars required to produce a Broadway show into a revival of Promises, Promises not withstanding, Sean Hayes is, by profession, an actor. Jack McFarland was a character he played. He acted that role, just as he will act this role. Riedel's argument is based on the fact that Broadway veteran Jerry Orbach, who, as Brian Juergens of After Elton put it, "could crush buildings with his bare thighs", originated the role.
It is precisely musings like these in the press that keep gay actors in the closet. You won't hear these same reporters questions whether an actor is "white enough" or "too Jewish" for a role. Why the double standard? This kind of talk reinforces stereotypes and contributes to the toxic homophobic atmosphere that permeates our society.
By the way, before his role on Will and Grace, Sean Hayes made a career of doing commercial work playing roles like beleaguered husbands and beer-drinking sports fans.