Ewan McGregor defends casting as gay designer in Ryan Murphy’s ‘Halston’

The actor plays the iconic designer in the upcoming Netflix series

Ewan McGregor has defended being cast as gay designer Halston in Ryan Murphy’s upcoming Netflix series, despite identifying as straight.

The actor will be playing the titular role in the forthcoming limited series, following the designer’s hedonistic lifestyle in the 1970s and 1980s.

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, McGregor responded to comments made in 2019 by gay actor Billy Porter, who discussed the narrow range of roles often given to gay actors.


“If ‘flamboyantly’ wasn’t in the description of the character, no one would see me ever for anything,” Porter said at the time. “Straight men playing gay — everyone wants to give them an award.”

Ewan McGregor pictured in 2019. CREDIT: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

In response, McGregor said: “I hear the discussion and I respect both sides of it, I really do. I haven’t walked in Billy Porter’s shoes. I don’t know what it’s like to lose out parts when you might feel it’s to do with your sexuality. So I can only respect his point of view.”

The Obi-Wan Kenobi actor added that “if it had been a story about Halston’s sexuality more, then maybe it’s right that gay actors should play that role. But in this case — and I don’t want to sound like I’m worming out of this, because it’s something I did think a lot about — I suppose ultimately I felt like it was just one part of who he was.”

McGregor’s supporting cast for Halston includes Krysta Rodriguez as Liza Minnelli, Rebecca Dayan as Elsa Peretti, Bill Pullman as David Mahoney, Gian Franco Rodriguez as Victor Hugo, David Pittu as Joe Eula, Sullivan Jones as Ed Austin, Rory Culkin as Joel Schumacher, Kelly Bishop as Eleanor Lambert and Vera Farmiga as Adele.


Last week, a first look at McGregor as Halston was shared by Netflix.