The Non-Gabby Hayes
In my 30-odd years of reading Calendar, I have never been moved to write in response to something encountered in its pages. I am now compelled following your writer’s snide, semantically ill-advised characterization of Sean P. Hayes’ feinting answer to a question about his sexuality as babble (“It’s Not Easy Being Jack,” by William Keck, Dec. 24).
However elastic one’s definition of “babble,” it is more accurately exemplified by the media’s incessant nattering on the issue of sexual orientation than by Hayes’ thoughtful and carefully parsed (if purposely evasive) statement that “if I play a character that is supposed to be in love with a woman, then hopefully you’ll believe that, and if I’m supposed to be in love with a man, then hopefully you’ll believe that.”
To the negligible degree that it is relevant, I am satisfied that the matter of Hayes’ sexual orientation is implicitly addressed (as Nathan Lane famously admonished when similarly pestered on the same tiresome subject, “Do the math!”), and I am also grateful that there has been no self-promoting press release to more precisely clarify things.
It may only be the media at this point that is as preoccupied with public declarations of sexuality as it presumes the public to be. Can we please move on?
So Hayes “doesn’t want us to know his own sexual preference--ever. Or at least for the duration of his acting career.” Yet Hayes, butching it up in his plaid shirt on the Calendar cover, blathers about his “beautiful” senior prom date. Give me a break.
Hayes’ refusal to be honest about his sexuality (whether he’s gay or straight) stigmatizes homosexuality in the industry (in spite of whatever strides “Will & Grace” has made); it has nothing to do with his future employability.
William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Ian McKellen, Tom Hanks and Rupert Everett are a handful of actors who have created onscreen characters that sharply contrast with their offscreen sexual orientations.
It’s called acting, honey.
I have great respect for the acting of Sean Hayes, and from your interview I am sure we have only begun to glimpse all the talent he has to offer.
However, if he is concerned about being trapped in the shoes of Jack, he needs to be more aware of his publicity photos. The Calendar cover shot looks like something from an old porno flick called “The Boys of the Subway.”
As far as his management looking at old Jerry Lewis films to remake, my advice would be to look at the acting work Lewis did with Robert De Niro in “The King of Comedy” . . . and then forget imitation and go directly to acting in a good play on Broadway.
So, it’s not easy playing Jack? Well, Sean, on those days it’s hard for you to leave your apartment--the one with the Emmy on the mantel in Hancock Park, with the Porsche in the garage--to travel to your job that pays you an estimated $80,000 an episode, drop me a line. I’d be happy to step right in.