Wentworth Miller is done playing straight characters

Wentworth Miller (Pic: Markus Wissmann)

Out American actor, Wentworth Miller has explained why he won’t return to playing his breakout character Michael Scofield on Prison Break.

There’s been much speculation that another series of the hit show, which ran for five seasons, is in the offing but it’s not something Miller, 48, wants to be part of at all.

“I’m out. Of PB. Officially,” he announced on Instagram. He explained that, “I just don’t want to play straight characters. Their stories have been told (and told).”

Miller, who is also a screenwriter, continued: “So. No more Michael. If you were a fan of the show, hoping for additional seasons… I understand this is disappointing. I’m sorry.”

“If you’re hot and bothered bec you fell in love with a fictional straight man played by a real gay one… That’s your work,” he added.

The star followed up with another post clarifying his statement: “Am I saying gay actors (gay men, specifically) should only play gay parts? No. I was speaking for myself. At this point in my life/career, it’s what feels interesting, inspiring, right.

“That said, do I want to see more gay parts played by gay actors? Yes. It makes a difference performance-wise (IMO), but also bec straight actors playing “gay” centers straightness.”

Miller came out as gay in 2013 in an open letter declining an invitation to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival in Russia because of that country’s anti-gay policies. He had for years denied his sexuality in the media.

“I chose to lie – when I thought about the possibility of coming out, how that might impact me and the career I worked so hard for, I was filled with fear,” he later said.

 

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“This is my favorite IG account,” someone wrote in response to a recent post. Thank you. I want you to know I saw that. I see the positive comments and DMs (a lot of them anyway). Affectionate. Supportive. Appreciated (by me). Obviously there are comments and DMs I appreciate less. Who are these people? On my page? What backwards-ass, Stone Age values country did they crawl out of? The U.S.? I won’t be disappearing (too many cool things to repost). The ability to comment likely will. I’m not concerned for myself. I can’t be “bullied” in this space. I have too much power. “Delete. Block. Deactivate.” Etc. But I take seriously the possibility of queer kids visiting here, recently out of the closet or exploring the idea… I don’t want them exposed to bullshit. On a related note… I’m out. Of PB. Officially. Not bec of static on social media (although that has centered the issue). I just don’t want to play straight characters. Their stories have been told (and told). So. No more Michael. If you were a fan of the show, hoping for additional seasons… I understand this is disappointing. I’m sorry. If you’re hot and bothered bec you fell in love with a fictional straight man played by a real gay one… That’s your work. – W.M. 🏳️‍🌈

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So many messages of support and encouragement… Thank you. I’m taking it in. I only hope – thru my acting/writing, what I share online – that energy is returned in some way/shape/form… I didn’t anticipate my previous post going so far, so fast, and I feel motivated to offer a follow-up… Am I saying gay actors (gay men, specifically) should only play gay parts? No. I was speaking for myself. At this point in my life/career, it’s what feels interesting, inspiring, right. That said, do I want to see more gay parts played by gay actors? Yes. It makes a difference performance-wise (IMO), but also bec straight actors playing “gay” centers straightness. Doesn’t matter if they’re “acting” – I still know what I’m looking at. (Does this dynamic exist on a spectrum with porn genres like “gay-for-pay” and the prioritization/fetishization of straight/”masc” men over gay/”femme” men within the gay community? Conversations for another time.) PB was challenging, onscreen and off. Did anyone involved tell me, explicitly, to bury my gayness for the show’s sake? No. Had I already received enough messaging from Hollywood/the larger culture/the schools I went to/my family of origin such things go unspoken lest you risk punishment, losing rights/privileges? Yes. One of the ironies of the closet is I became my own jailer. “Prison Break” indeed. (I’ve said it before – the universe has a sense of humor.) I haven’t spent my career on “Pose” and “Looking.” Didn’t work out that way. What I’ve done is a lot of action-adventure, and that’s come with a diverse fanbase. Within that is a homophobic subgroup and their shit’s been washing up on my shore. They dig “Michael” but have a problem with me. It’s got that “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin” energy. They’d prefer I keep quiet, dial it down. Don’t Remind Them. No. My gayness was largely erased (by me, for starters) in the first decades of my career. It is my want, now, to center it in a way that cannot be missed by myself or anyone else. – W.M. 🏳️‍🌈

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