Role models of greatness.

Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ben Whishaw

Earlier this month it was announced that British actor Ben Whishaw (b. 1980), best-known for playing Q in the recent James Bond film Skyfall, has been chosen to replace Sacha Baron Cohen in the role of Freddie Mercury in Mercury, a film about the rock group Queen. The movie, slated for a 2014 release, will focus on Queen's formative years and the period leading up to the celebrated performance at the 1985 Live Aid concert. Cohen, who had been cast in the role back in 2010, left the much-delayed project over creative differences with surviving members of the band.

Stage, film and television star Whishaw, meanwhile, is currently appearing on stage in London’s West End in a revival of the award-winning play Mojo. Generally regarded as one of the most naturally gifted actors of his generation, when he was cast as the youngest-ever Hamlet at the Old Vic in 2004, one critic said: “This is the kind of evening of which legends are made.” This past spring Whishaw again appeared in a project with Judy Dench, this time in the world premiere of Peter and Alice, a play by John Logan.

In an interview in Out magazine, Ben said that he prefers not to talk about his personal life, because he deplores the scrutiny of celebrity. “I have no understanding why we turn actors into celebrities.”  He added, "For me, it’s important to keep a level of anonymity. As an actor, your job is to persuade people that you’re someone else. So if you’re constantly telling people about yourself, I think you’re shooting yourself in the foot.”

However, in August of this year his representative confirmed that Ben Whishaw had entered into a civil partnership with his lover, Australian composer Mark Bradshaw, in Sydney, Australia, in 2012.  The couple met on the set of Bright Star (2009), a film in which Whishaw portrayed poet John Keats. Bradshaw composed the score for that film, and Ben and Mark have been together ever since.

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