21 Gay Film Characters Hollywood Made Straight

Hey, movie buffs, you’re in for a big surprise! Here’s a list of 21 iconic characters of some of you’re favorite films, all of which have one thing in common: in the novels or comic books, the characters were gay, but in the film version, they were either made straight or their sexuality was lessened. As controversial as it sounds, these 21 gay characters were written as straight so that the films would have a greater audience. #13, #6, and #4 will definitely surprise you!

Photo: Courtesy of CinemaBlend

#21. Crassus In Spartacus

Directed by Stanley Kubrick, Spartacus is one of the most iconic epic films ever made, but it also sparked quite a bit of controversy. If you’ve watched it, then I’m sure you recall the bath scene where the Roman General Crassus seduces his slave, Antonius.

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Crassus, played by Laurence Olivier, expresses his sexual preferences by using an analogy involving snails and oysters, saying that “My taste includes both snails and oysters“. This scene, which was quite scandalous at the time, was cut from the theatrical version.

#20. Louis And Lestat In Interview With The Vampire

Released in 1994, Interview with the Vampire starred Brad Pitt, in what was one of his first lead performances. Pitt’s character, Louis, and Tom Cruise’s character, Lestat, are portrayed as rather sexless men, but in the novel, the two developed way more intimacy.

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Written by Anne Rice, the novel of the same name was quite erotically charged, and it turns out that Louis and Lestat were vampire lovers who had a long relationship. The scriptwriters decided to write off the character’s gay side, but why?

#19. Justin McCleod In The Man Without A Face

Drama film The Man Without a Face stars Mel Gibson, who plays the role of disfigured teacher Justin McCleod. Gibson never cared to hide his homophobia, but then, why did he ever take on a gay role?

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In the novel written by Isabelle Holland in 1972, Justin McCleod was gay, but his homosexuality was written off the film script. Had the film been truer to the novel, then we’re sure Gibson wouldn’t have accepted the role.

#18. Ruth Jamison In Fried Green Tomatoes

In the iconic drama film Fried Green Tomatoes, Ruth (played by Mary-Louise Parker) is tormented by the memory of her late husband throughout the whole film. She befriends a woman named Idgie (starred by Mary Stuart Masterson), with whom she shares her grief.

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However, in the original novel written by Fannie Flagg, Idgie and Ruth develop an intimate bond and were much more than friends. Why did they cut this from the film, then?

#17. Pussy Galore In Goldfinger

Released in 1964 and starred by Sean Connery, Goldfinger is one of the greatest classics from the James Bond franchise. However, you should know that the writers made quite a few changes to the plotline when adapting the story from novel to film.

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In the film, James Bond has a romance with Galore, portrayed by Honor Blackman, and the truth is they make a perfect couple. However, in the novel written by Ian Fleming, Galore secretly sees a group of lesbian cat burglars. This scene did not make it to the script.

#16. Sean Bateman In The Rules of Attraction

Ever watched the comedy-drama film The Rules of Attraction? In the film, the lead character Paul Denton, starred by Ian Somerhalder, is openly gay, while his friend Sean Bateman, starred by James Van Der Beek, is heterosexual. But what about the book?

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In the novel written by Bret Easton Ellis, Sean is one of those people who sleeps with anyone who crosses his path, including his friend Paul Denton. Apparently, the director and scriptwriters decided to dial down the sex scenes in the film adaptation.

#15. John Constantine In Constantine

Starred by Keanu Reeves, Constantine is a 2005 fantasy-horror film that follows the steps of supernatural exorcist John Constantine. In the film, Constantine is portrayed as a heterosexual man and his bisexuality isn’t hinted at all, but what about the comics?

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In the original comics, Constantine has occasional relationships with both men and women, and it’s hard to understand why the writers felt the need to write this off the script. It’s the 21st century, folks!

#14. Corporal Fife In The Thin Red Line

Thin Red Line is one of the most touching war films ever made, and that’s probably the reason why it earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Film. You probably remember the character played by Adrien Brody, Corporal Fife, right?

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Well, in the book, the author James Jones explores the intimate urges that men experience during the war. At one point, Corporal Fife goes to Private Bead’s tent and… well, you know, things happen.

#13. Brick Pollitt In Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

In the drama film Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Hollywood legend and heartthrob Paul Newman plays the role of Brick Pollitt, an alcoholic man who has a dysfunctional relationship with his wife, and by dysfunctional, we mean sex-wise.

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Given that the character was played by Newman, everyone assumed that Brick was just another heterosexual masculine man. However, in the play written by Tennessee Williams, Brick’s sexuality is actually questioned. Why wasn’t this hinted in the film?

#12. Ree In Winter’s Bone

Winter’s Bone will always be remembered as the film that catapulted Jennifer Lawrence to fame. The talented actress portrayed a young country girl named Ree and she earned her first Academy Award nomination. However, Ree was portrayed differently in the novel and the film.

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In the book, Ree developed a lesbian relationship with Gail, one of her closest friends. This was actually quite relevant to the plot, as it highlighted the lack of male role models in Ree’s life. So, why was all this written off the script?

#11. Alan Turing In The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game is a biographical drama film based on the life of Alan Turing, the famous WWII code cracker. What struck me the most about this film is that Turing’s character, which is played by Benedict Cumberbatch, is basically portrayed as sexless.

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In the book, author Andrew Hodges makes it clear that Turing is homosexual and stresses the inhumane treatment he received just for being gay, even in spite of the fact he left a mark in history by helping the Allies win the war. Why was his sexuality invisibilized in the film?

#10. Don Birnham In The Lost Weekend

Released in 1945, The Lost Weekend is a drama film that centers on the life of Don Birham (played by Ray Milland), an alcoholic whose life starts falling into pieces. The film won 4 Academy Awards, including for Best Actor. Oldie but goodie!

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Throughout the film, Birnham is tortured both physically and psychologically, but there’s one major difference between the movie and the book. In the novel written by Charles Jackson, Birnham is haunted by his childhood memories, including a secret relationship with another boy.

#9. Rorschach In The Watchmen

Released in 2009, The Watchmen is one of the most thrilling and dramatic superhero films of this century. In the film, there wasn’t any sort of romantic feelings or sexual tension between lead character Rorschach (played by Jackie Earle Haley) and Nite Owl (played by Patrick Wilson), but what about in the original text?

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In the graphic novel of the same name, many fans and literary critics have suggested that Rorschach was actually into Nite Owl. The author has never commented on the topic, but one way or another, Rorschach’s homosexual impulses are not hinted in the film.

#8. Ben-Hur In Ben-Hur

Charlton Heston left a mark in Hollywood history after playing the role of Judah Ben-Hur in the movie of the same name, having won the Academy Award for Best Actor. Ben-Hur appears bare-chested and covered in oil throughout most of the film, but there aren’t any hints of gay feelings.

Photo: Courtesy of Los Angeles Times

But here’s an amazing fact you probably didn’t expect: in the 1880 manuscript written by Lew Wallace, Ben-Hur seemed to have romantic feelings for his close friend, Massala. This, however, wasn’t included in the plotline of the film, probably because it would’ve sparked much controversy. Besides, I seriously doubt Heston would’ve agreed to shoot any gay love scenes.

#7. Abraham Lincoln In Lincoln

Believe it or not, many historians believe that former US president Abraham Lincoln was homosexual, but obviously never came out since he lived in a time where being gay was illegal. I guess we’ll never know the truth!

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In 2012, Lincoln’s biopic was released. Despite the fact that the script was written by a gay scriptwriter, Tony Kushner, there is no hint of Lincoln’s homosexuality. FYI, if you still haven’t watched it, please do, cause Daniel Day-Lewis just nails it!

#6. Deadpool In Deadpool

Have you watched X-Men Origins: Wolverine or any of the films from the Deadpool franchise? If you have, then you probably remember that lead character Deadpool is always engaged in intense heterosexual relationships.

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Nevertheless, Gerry Duggan, the writer of the comic graphic novel, once tweeted that Deadpool is actually omnisexual. In case you haven’t got a clue about what that is, it means that he was up for anything, be it men or women. One thing’s for sure, and it’s that his “omnisexuality” wasn’t at all hinted in the film.

#5. Paul Varjack In Breakfast At Tiffany’s

Without a doubt, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of the most iconic rom-coms of all time. Lead character Tiffany (played by Audrey Hepburn) falls for Paul Varjack (played by George Peppard), who – in case you haven’t watched the film – was as heterosexual as men can be.

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However, in the novel written by Truman Capote, Paul was actually a male gigolo, and do you know what that means? Well, let’s just say he didn’t care too much about the gender of his clients, as long as he got paid. Who would’ve thought!?

#4. Catwoman In Batman Returns

As you know, there was always a bit of sexual tension between Batman and Catwoman, both onscreen as well as in the graphic novels. However, Catwoman is bisexual in the DC comics. Why wasn’t this ever hinted in any of the films?

Photo: Courtesy of Hollywood Reporter

Catwoman’s bisexuality was invisibilized both in Michelle Pfeiffer’s Batman Returns as well as in Halle Berry’s Catwoman. As regards The Dark Knight Rises, Selina Kyle (played by Anne Hathaway) has a female roommate, but even though this may raise suspicion, she ends up falling for Batman. We can’t judge her, who wouldn’t fall in love with Christian Bale?

#3. Iceman In The X-Men Franchise

Played by Shawn Ashmore, Iceman appears in 4 of the X-Men films, and in all of them, he was portrayed as somewhat of a womanizer. He is constantly seen flirting with the female mutants, mainly with Rogue and Kitty Pride.

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However, in the comic graphic novel, Iceman comes out as gay. If we were to judge from the films, there’s a higher chance of Iceman freezing to death than coming out of the closet!

#2. Mystique In The X-Men franchise

The female mutant Mystique was played by different actresses throughout the X-Men franchise, though Rebecca Romijn and Jennifer Lawrence were the ones who stole the spotlight. Now, did you know that Mystique is bisexual in the comic books?

Photo: Courtesy of CinemaBlend

This shouldn’t come as a shock, as Mystique can transform into whichever person or gender she wishes to. However, in the films, her bisexuality isn’t hinted at all. I wonder why!

#1. The Narrator In Fight Club

Fight Club is one of the greatest films out there and its success has overshadowed Chuck Palaniuk’s novel. But while the novel is charged with homoeroticism, we can’t say the same about the film, can we?

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The only slight hint of homoeroticism we can spot in the film is when the Narrator (played by Norton) beats Jared Leto up because he “wanted to destroy something beautiful“.

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    Hernán Tamargo

    Teacher. Political Scientist. Writer. Feminist... and much more!

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