Sex scenes and ‘Imitation Game’ controversy
Take it from Chris Pratt, who recently experienced being shipped off to a new world: The future is full of promise for the queer population.
“If you’re a member of the LGBTQ community and you’re really good at plumbing, then you know, they’ll send you, I’m sure,” quips one of the hottest actors on Earth regarding whether the hibernating pod people aboard the Starship Avalon in his latest action-adventure, “Passengers,” are of varied sexual orientations.
“Anyone who’s valuable to the homestead company and (who) would be worth money to the homestead company would go,” the
December 23, 2016
37-year-old “Guardians of the Galaxy” star continues, speaking from the Beverly Hills Four Seasons, “so that would include all people from all — the whole spectrum, anyone who could essentially provide a service that’s an old-world service.”
Imagine a world of gay plumbers who aren’t defined by their sexuality but by their ability to unclog toilets. Or one in which Chris Pratt, as Jim Preston, and his “Passengers” co-star Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Aurora Lane, aren’t contemplating anyone’s sexuality. Perhaps sexuality will be but a footnote among the more important qualities that characterize persona, even as Jim prematurely wakes up 90 years ahead of schedule.
“Hopefully we’re well into the future where none of these things are even a conversation anymore, where they’ve gone from issues to conversation to hopefully (being) forgotten about, and everybody is treated equally,” says Lawrence, 26. “So, yes. Of course I would assume there’d be diversity.”
Naturally, director Morten Tyldum shares that sentiment. Not only does he have a gay stepdaughter, the filmmaker was behind the camera for the Oscar-winning “Imitation Game,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch as gay computer scientist and famed WWII codebreaker Alan Turing.
“I think, very shortly, it will become a non-issue,” Tyldum says. “As Chris said: If he’s a good plumber, he would be on the ship. Nobody would care if he’s gay, straight, whatever.”
That, he notes, was his approach to 2014’s “Imitation Game,” which was controversial for its absence of gay sex scenes. In an interview with Variety in 2015, the director explained why his Turing wasn’t romantically or sexually engaged with another man: “It was not because we were afraid it would offend anybody,” he said at the time. “If I … had this thing about a straight char- acter, I would never have a sex scene to prove that he’s heterosexual. If I have a gay character in a movie, I need to have a sex scene in it just to prove that he’s gay?”
In “Passengers,” Pratt and Lawrence, known for her Oscar-winning performance in “Silver Linings Playbook” and as Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games” franchise, do go at it. But Tyldum, who admits sex scenes in films are “very complicated,” explains this sexy scene is necessary for character development.
“The sex scene in ‘ Passengers’ is there because it’s a relationship — it’s between the two main characters — and there’s a sex moment because it’s about these two characters,” he says. “I think to have a sex scene it needs to have a story moment, going from the two strangers to becoming a couple.”
The difference, the director points out, is that “to have a sex scene in ‘Imitation Game’ would be to sort of prove that Alan Turing is gay,” which, like the hypothetical gay pod
By CHRIS AZZOPARDI