8 LGBTQ Actors Who Would Be Perfect To Play Iconic Queer Movie Roles Today

Three queer actors that would be great in iconic roles.
(Image credit: Amazon Prime/Netflix)

It’s June, which means that it’s Pride Month, so we should celebrate in the best ways and watch movies with some iconic queer roles that deserve all the praise in the world, from classics like Brokeback Mountain to some newer films like Love, Simon. 

But, as I watched many of these, I realized that there are now several queer actors who would play the role just as well, if not better than some of their predecessors. Here are eight LGBTQ+ actors who I believe would be great picks if these movies ever got a remake.

Billy Porter and Tim Curry.

(Image credit: FX/20th Century Fox)

Billy Porter - Frank N’ Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show

I mean, the fits, the style, the sass - Billy Porter would be absolutely perfect as Frank N. Furter if the iconic musical, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, was ever remade. While I do love Tim Curry in the original role, as he’s always had a very spirited acting style and certainly knows how to step into character, I just know that Billy Porter would be fantastic in a part like this. 

Look at Porter on shows such as Pose, where they regularly show off their dance moves and singing ability. Or even them in Cinderella - while they weren’t in the Amazon original movie for very long, there’s no denying that they stole the show with that dress and their awesome song. Porter would absolutely embody this role and become the best Frank N. Furter possible, I’m sure of it. 

Matt Bomer and Jake Gyllenhaal.

(Image credit: FX/Focus Features)

Matt Bomer - Jack Twist - Brokeback Mountain 

Brokeback Mountain was a revolutionary film for the movie industry and was a huge stepping stone for queer cinema everywhere. Without movies like Brokeback Mountain, movies such as Love, Simon or even the latest Netflix hit, Heartstopper, would not be around now. 

But, that doesn’t change the fact that the two lead actors in the film weren’t in the LGBTQ+ community themselves. That’s not to say that they weren’t amazing in their roles, as both gave very compelling performances, but I know that if it were to be redone now there are several great queer actors who could portray the cowboys, and in this particular instance, I’m going to focus on Matt Bomer, who would play the heck out of Jack Twist, who was originally played by Jake Gyllenhaal. 

Again, Gyllenhaal is great, and he’s been in so many amazing films, but Bomer has surprised me with his ability as a dramatic actor in the FX drama, American Horror Story, or even the HBO original film, The Normal Heart. He would play a great Jack Twist, for sure. 

Joe Locke and Nick Robinson.

(Image credit: Netflix/20th Century Fox)

Joe Locke - Simon - Love, Simon

Love, Simon was another one of those movies that truly was a stepping stone in queer cinema for modern day films because it was so popular when it released and displayed a very wholesome, LGBTQ+ love story that anyone could enjoy. The film was so beloved that it received its own Hulu original spinoff, Love, Victor, a year later. 

Nick Robinson, who starred as Simon in the film, is not a part of the LGBTQ+ community, but certainly gave a great performance and created a great career from it. However, if the movie was redone now, I think that Heartstopper breakout, Joe Locke, would be absolutely perfect as Simon, as he’s already had that practice as a kid who falls in love with someone at school, and has that charming charisma to boot.  

Laverne Cox and Whoopi Goldberg.

(Image credit: Netflix/Warner Bros.)

Laverne Cox - Celie - The Color Purple 

I love Laverne Cox. I also love Whoopi Goldberg. Which is why I think Cox would be perfect to play Celie from The Color Purple if there ever was a remake. 

Whoopi Goldberg is, honestly, irreplaceable as Celie. Her performance was fantastic, and she won an Academy Award for it. There’s no denying that she is perfect as the character. But, we’re taking a look at iconic queer roles and seeing who could play them just as well today, and I do think Laverne Cox has what it takes. 

I’ve watched Cox ever since she first appeared in the Orange is the New Black cast as Sophia Burset, a transgender woman in a minimum-security prison, and God, she has made me cry so many times with her acting. While I love her in comedic roles, like her part in the Inventing Anna cast, there is something about her dramatic takes that just get me, and I have a feeling that she would be an amazing choice for a modern-day Celie.  

Jim Parsons and Colin Firth.

(Image credit: CBS/The Weinstein Company)

Jim Parsons - George Falconer - A Single Man

A Single Man was another great romantic drama with a fantastic cast, lead by Colin Firth, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of George Falconer. And while his role was well done and he truly gave a great performance, I know that there’s a gay actor who could have done just as well - and in my mind, I think that’s Jim Parsons. 

While many know him as comedic, smart, and awkward Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory cast, Parsons has proven time and time again how much of a fantastic dramatic actor he is, from parts in Hidden Figures, to the Netflix film, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, or even his starring performance in The Normal Heart. If he wanted a truly dramatic, romantic role, A Single Man would be the best option for him. 

Kiersey Clemons and Natasha Lyonne.

(Image credit: Stage 6 Films/Lions Gate Films)

Kiersey Clemons - Megan Bloomfield - But I’m A Cheerleader

Another teen comedy classic. Natasha Lyonne starred as Megan Bloomfield in But I’m A Cheerleader, a story about a teenager who learns that she likes woman more than men, and is sent to a conversion therapy camp. The film is so funny in so many ways, and if it were to be made today, I think Kiersey Clemons would be a good pick for the lead role. 

Kiersey Clemons, who identifies as queer, has already shown her talent in dramatic roles in films like Dope and Hearts Beat Loud, but she’s also shown her comedic acting skills in the movie Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising. I think a remake of But I’m A Cheerleader would be the perfect chance for her to combine both of those comedic and dramatic skills and really show her talent off, because she can be extremely funny, just like Lyonne. 

Elliot Page and Hilary Swank.

(Image credit: Netflix/Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Elliot Page - Brandon Teena - Boys Don’t Cry

Boys Don’t Cry was a biographical film about a real-life trans man, Brandon Teena, who was trying to live his life in Nebraska but falls victim to a hate crime. In the original film, Hilary Swank, a cis woman, portrayed Brandon, and while she was great in the part and won an Academy Award for Best Actress, I do think that this role should go to an amazing trans actor, and I think Elliot Page would be the perfect choice. 

Elliot Page has already shown off his acting ability in many other critically acclaimed films, such as Juno, Inception, and many others, and considering he recently went public with his very personal transition and how much more content he feels in his own body now, I think that playing a role like Brandon in Boys Don’t Cry would be the best role for him to take. 

Jodie Foster and Cate Blanchett.

(Image credit: Orion Pictures/The Weinstein Company)

Jodie Foster - Carol - Carol

Last but not least, we have Carol in the 2015 film, Carol, originally played by Cate Blanchett, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. While Blanchett was amazing in as the character, as she is in many of her film roles, there could have been a more appropriate pick for a lesbian love story between an older woman and a young female photographer.

You know who would have played the role perfectly? Jodie Foster, an icon of the '90s. An Academy-Award winning actress who is also a part of the LGBTQ+ community, she would have embodied the role of Carol to perfection and truly shown some incredible talent to boot, at least as much as Cate Blanchett did. 

There are so many incredibly iconic LGBTQ+ rolls out there that I know would be fantastic today as well, and these are just some of my picks for who I think would be just as great. And if you haven’t had the chance to see all these films, be sure to check them out soon. 

Alexandra Ramos
Content Producer

Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!