James Corden has revealed his pride at getting the chance to take part in ‘important’ scenes in Netflix musical The Prom, amid backlash for his performance as a gay man.
The Late Late Show host plays actor Barry Glickman, a faded theatre star who travels to a small town to help a lesbian student who has been banned from attending prom with her girlfriend, and in turn, boost his public image.
However, the star’s portrayal of the character has faced criticism with the 42-year-old being accused of ‘leaning into effeminate gay stereotypes’.
Speaking about new scenes focused on his character’s backstory in Ryan Murphy’s musical adaptation, James explained: ‘I get emotional when I think about those scenes about his family, if I’m honest. They are important scenes which move the story and character forward.
‘[As an actor] you spend quite a long time, just personally, feeling like you might be able to have a bit more to give. Like you might be able to have a bit more depth and you want someone like Ryan to come along and drop a script in your lap like this.’
He continued: ‘And then you go, “Oh God, what if I am not able to do these things?”. Ryan, I will be indebted to forever for his guidance, the way that he led me through it. The way he led me through it as a director, the way he led me through it as a friend, the way he led me through it as a gay man. And I’ll treasure those days.
‘I find it very moving when I think about how I felt on those days when it was just Meryl [Streep] and I. I love those scenes and I’m very proud of them.’
The Cats star added: ‘I think what Ryan did in adding that backstory brings so much weight to the story. They honor the characters that are in it, they honor the stories that are being told, they honor that acceptance is everything really.
‘The whole time I was thinking about the friends of mine, young friends of mine whose families don’t know that they’re out, friends of mine who have distant relationships with their families, because of their sexuality and really hope that many people would realize that however hard it is to address or confront those things, their acceptance is everything.’
The actor stressed: ‘It’s everything to accept, and know that it’s never too late to forgive those things that at one point you felt were forgivable.’
The musical movie is based on the hit Broadway play of the same name, and also stars the likes of Nicole Kidman, Kerry Washington, Andrew Rannells, and Keegan-Michael Key.
Fans still have a little while to wait for the film’s release, the full soundtrack is now available to stream, while the physical CD drops on December 18.
The Prom drop is available to stream on Netflix from December 11.
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