Casting Call — Same-Sex Actors in Queer Love Stories

by Frank J. Avella

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday October 25, 2021

Daniel Craig, Luke Evans, Gal Gadot and Scarlett Johansson
Daniel Craig, Luke Evans, Gal Gadot and Scarlett Johansson  

What same-sex actors would you most like to see in a gay love story?

We've wondered about this question often since throughout the decades, in film and TV, we've had to watch way too many straight couples engage in heterosexual love scenes over and over ad nauseam. No offense to the het community. Well, maybe a little offense.

But how cool would it have been to have experienced Paul Newman and Robert Redford throw down on that "Sting" poker table in Panavision? Or Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave take that next sapphic step in "Julia?" Or Julie Christie and Goldie Hawn kick Warren Beatty in the balls and do each other at that party at the end of "Shampoo?"

OK, I'm stuck in the '70s, but you get the idea. Imagine young Gary Cooper sucking face with young Tyrone Power or Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton needing to confess something more cardinal in "Becket" or Bette Davis nuzzling Joan Crawford — did that last one make you throw up a little in your mouth or did it turn you on? Be honest.

So, we offer up some potential pairings for today's audiences.

Regé-Jean Page & Paul Mescal

Regé-Jean Page & Paul Mescal
Regé-Jean Page & Paul Mescal  

Now that smoldering Regé-Jean Page has left "Bridgerton" in the lurch, we think he should pair with sweet and yummy Paul Mescal from "Normal People" — especially since the two seem to love to get naked — a lot! Imagine the longing lustful looks, the intertwined limbs, and the morning glow butt shots. Perhaps Mescal can be the Princely one this time and Page can be his Cinderello?

Scarlett Johansson & Gal Gadot

Gal Gadot & Scarlett Johansson
Gal Gadot & Scarlett Johansson  

Scarlett Johansson caused quite a kerfuffle over at Disney with her "Black Widow" lawsuit (which settled) fighting for her rights. "Wonder Woman"'s Gal Gadot has had her share of Warner controversies including reporting the abusive behavior of Joss Whedon. How about we bring these two super-heroic gals together in a simple story about two people who discover they have superpowers but only when they are together-together. Let's see just how out-of-the-stratosphere things can get when ScarGal unites as one.

Daniel Craig & Luke Evans

Daniel Craig & Luke Evans
Daniel Craig & Luke Evans  

Daniel Craig recently said he enjoys hanging out at gay bars and that he's even made out with men. We'd like to take that one shaken-not-stirred step closer and have him get it on with the person we think should be the next James Bond, Luke Evans, Craig's younger gay doppelgänger. Bet Luke could teach 007 a thing or two. Or vice versa? The action in this film can be set on land, sea, and air, but it's ALL sexual.

Will Smith & Denzel Washington

Will Smith & Denzel Washington
Will Smith & Denzel Washington  

Almost three decades ago, Will Smith was cast as the bisexual con-artist Paul in the screen adaptation of John Guare's "Six Degrees of Separation." Wary of the same-sex kissing scene, he turned to mentor Denzel Washington who told him not to do it as he might be marked as gay. Well, we at EDGE put forth, as atonement for such crap advice, Smith and Washington in a very macho action-adventure film where, midway, they stop the pyrotechnics and start making out — yes, they must share a torrid, explicit, full-on tongue kissing scene for at least 30 seconds. Pucker up, dudes!

Archie Panjabi & Julianna Margulies

Archie Panjabi & Julianna Margulies
Archie Panjabi & Julianna Margulies  

What better way to prove that there's no feud between these two brilliant Emmy-winning actors than to get tawdry with one another on the small screen — especially now that Julianna Margulies is killing it as a lesbian on "The Morning Show?" Have them re-team for a 3-hour Paramount+ Event, "Good Riddance to the Good Wife," where Alicia plots to finally break free from her husband with the help of bisexual Kalinda (the amazing Archie Panjabi). And in the final 15 minutes, they go at it in the master bedroom. No green screen. Just red-hot heat. Bring in the fabulous Christine Baranski to interrupt. And join in.

Tyler Posey & Nico Tortorella

Tyler Posey & Nico Tortorella
Tyler Posey & Nico Tortorella  

Where do the tats end and the hot guys begin? "Teen Wolf" hunk Tyler Posey and "Younger" yum Nico Tortorella are both bi and they both love to show off their tattoo-covered bods on Insta, so why not cast them in something where they can fully show off their inked-skin and also fall in love. Let's make it a comedy, no plot necessary, and toss in Pete Davidson for a surprise threesome before he gets all his tats removed. The moving parts and nudity might make our eyes bleed, but in a good way.

Lady Gaga & Barbra Streisand

Lady Gaga & Barbra Streisand
Lady Gaga & Barbra Streisand  

Who played the better singer-on-the-rise in "A Star is Born?" That's been a hotly debated topic with Streisand recently walking back her praise for the Gaga film and criticizing it for "not being as original as she thought it could be," among other critiques. No retaliation from Gaga. Yet. Why not remake this saga one FINAL time with Gaga reprising her role with Streisand in the Kristofferson/Cooper part? They fall in love. And this time both have the ability to co-exist together and be happy for one another. Imagine. The final scene is a mind-blowing duet — a true battle of the divas.

Timothée Chalamet & Timothée Chalamet

Timothée Chalamet & Timothée Chalamet
Timothée Chalamet & Timothée Chalamet  

We can do wonders with technology nowadays and there seems to be so much gay love out there for Timothée Chalamet, especially after his impressive performance in "Call Me By Your Name" opposite the wooden Armie Hammer (raise your hand if his strange, cannibalistic behavior did not surprise you?). We were originally going to suggest teaming Chalamet with Harry Styles just to have a metrosexual sextravaganza but then realized Timmy fans just want Timmy. So, riff on "Dead Ringer(s)" but give it a psycho-sexual spin. They're ID twins who are just so attracted to one another they can't resist themselves. He can phone it in. Call it, "Beautiful Boys."

Emma Stone and Andra Day

We don't have a reason for this one, except it just feels right. That and we adore them both. Stone for going from her Oscar-winning turn in "La La Land" to playing lesbian Billie Jean King in the underrated "Battle of the Sexes" with perfect ease. Oh, and following it up with a genius performance as Olivia Colman's lover in "The Favourite." And Andra Day was fantastic as the titular bisexual chanteuse in "The United States vs. Billie Holiday." They're two of the most sensual actors alive and they sing. So how about an original romantic musical written just for them?

The Not Queer Quintet

Darren Criss, Eddie Redmayne, Taron Egerton, Jeremy Irvine and Andrew Garfield
Darren Criss, Eddie Redmayne, Taron Egerton, Jeremy Irvine and Andrew Garfield  

Finally...The "We're-Not-Gay-But-We-Play-Them-For-Money-And-Fame-And-Awards-Quintet": Andrew, Jeremy, Eddie, Taron & Darren

These five actors profess to be straight but keep playing queer roles and playing them a little too well — earning ridiculous amounts of praise and awards. Andrew Garfield, Jeremy Irvine, Eddie Redmayne, Taron Egerton, and Darren Criss, must agree to do a "Shortbus" type film where they have real sex with each other, so they can officially prove they know what it's like to BE with a dude — in THAT way. It's the new price you pay to "play gay." Let's see just how daring and bold and audacious and fearless and intrepid these thesps really are. You want another Oscar, Redmayne? You'll have to earn it. The hard way!

Frank J. Avella is a film and theatre journalist and is thrilled to be writing for EDGE. He also contributes to Awards Daily and is the GALECA East Coast Rep. Frank is a recipient of a 2019 International Writers Retreat Residency at Arte Studio Ginestrelle (Assisi, Italy), a 2018 Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship, a 2016 Helene Wurlitzer Residency Grant and a 2015 NJ State Arts Council Fellowship Award. He is an award-winning screenwriter and playwright (CONSENT, LURED, SCREW THE COW, FIG JAM, VATICAN FALLS) and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. https://filmfreeway.com/FrankAvella https://muckrack.com/fjaklute