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Neil Patrick Harris weighs in on straight actors playing gay roles debate

Neil Patrick Harris weighs in on straight actors playing gay roles debate
/ Cover Media

Neil Patrick Harris has weighed in on the debate about whether straight actors should be cast in gay roles, insisting that a part should simply go to the "best actor".

The actor, who is openly gay in real life, famously played straight character Barney on How I Met Your Mother, and has no issue starring as gay or straight on screen.

He believes an actor's sexuality shouldn't be taken into account when a role is being cast.

"I think there's something sexy about casting a straight actor to play a gay role - if they're willing to invest a lot into it," he told The Times newspaper. "I played a character for nine years who was nothing like me. I would definitely want to hire the best actor.

"In our world that we live in you can't really as a director demand that (an actor be gay or straight). Who's to determine how gay someone is?"

Neil's remarks come after Kristen Stewart, who is also openly gay, spoke about her thoughts on the debate while promoting her lesbian romcom Happiest Season last year.

Asked if only gay actors should star in gay roles, she said to Variety, "I would never want to tell a story that really should be told by somebody who's lived that experience. Having said that, it's a slippery slope conversation because that means I could never play another straight character if I'm going to hold everyone to the letter of this particular law. I think it's such a grey area."

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