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O'Reilly interviews Harry Hamlin and Tab Hunter

Blender Mykull sent this my way…a surreal interview about gays and Hollywood on The O’Reilly Factor, of all places, with Tab Hunter, who has an autobiography out about his glory days in Tinseltown (and in the closet), and Harry Hamlin, who starred in the ahead-of-its-time gay-themed Making Love (1982).

O’Lielly manages to keep himself under control through most of it, but he gets hung up on whether an openly gay actor could play a straight leading man — and bring in big box office. Of course, he didn’t talk about the lesbos in Hollywood. We don’t matter in this universe. Harry Hamlin, incidentally, does say playing gay hurt him in terms of big screen offers. He did, however, score a big TV lead — L.A. Law.

O’REILLY: But they want to believe that a Tab Hunter and a Harry Hamlin are actually romancing the girl.

HUNTER: But you are.

O’REILLY: But you’re not if you’re really gay.

HUNTER: But it’s all Hollywood. It’s all make believe anyway. It’s all a lot of B.S., as you know.

O’REILLY: Go ahead, Mr. Hamlin.

HAMLIN: I believed that, too, when I made “Making Love.” And I’m an actor, a repertory theater actor. I played this role, thinking, well, I’m just playing a guy, I’m playing a role, and I’ll be able to get away with this. People won’t confuse me with the person that I’m playing.

It’s so weird that when you play a role that has a different sexual orientation, they seem to cross over, and they don’t get it. You could play an ax murderer or you could play a rapist or whatever and get away with that, but for some reason when you cross the sexual boundary, it makes a difference.

O’REILLY: I’m with you.

HUNTER: That is a good point because they do associate you, though, basically with what you play on the screen. I mean, they do.

O’REILLY: They do.

HUNTER: They do.

O’REILLY: And they want to believe it. They want to believe it. But we are in a different world. And Ledger and Gyllenhaal aren’t going to be hurt, I don’t think. I think that picture will win.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding