Suggesting that he might not be “completely straight,” Viggo Mortensen is defending his role as a gay man in his new film “Falling.” Mortensen also wrote and directed the film, which tells the story of a gay man’s relationship with his homophobic father, who moves from his rural farm after exhibiting signs of dementia and into his son’s house in Los Angeles—the home his son shares with his husband.
Critics have blasted Mortensen for casting himself as a gay man in the film. In a recent interview with British newspaper The Times, Viggo hit back at critics saying, “Look, these are the times we’re living in, and I think it’s healthy that those issues are brought up. The short answer is that I didn’t think it was a problem. And people then ask me, ‘Well, what about Terry Chen, who plays my husband in the film, is he a homosexual?’ And the answer is ‘I don’t know,’ and I would never have the temerity to ask someone if they were, during the casting process.”
“And how do you know what my life is?” Mortensen added. “You’re assuming that I’m completely straight. Maybe I am, maybe I’m not. And it’s frankly none of your business. I want my movie to work, and I want the character of John to be effective. So, if I didn’t think it was a good idea I wouldn’t do it.”
Last month, Mortensen addressed concerns about him playing a gay man with a joke about a person playing a proctologist in the film, saying “I apologize to all the proctologists for casting David Cronenberg.” The joke was meant to point out that actors are actors playing a role whether it be a gay man or a proctologist.
The film was selected as an original selection for the Cannes Film Festival, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the prestigious event had to be canceled. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January of 2020 but still does not have an official U.S. release date.