Regular readers of the site probably recall the case of Patricia Mauceri who, earlier this summer, got canned from the daytime sudser One Life to Live. Why? She refused to play a scene featuring her character being gay supportive after mistakenly believing her son to be gay.
When Mauceri balked because she didn’t believe the character of Carlotta Vega would ever condone someone’s being gay, the producers wasted no time in rightly showing her the door. An actor is hired to play a role, not write it, and while Mauceri was certainly within her constitutional rights to refuse to play the part, the network was equally within their rights to find someone who would.
But would it surprise you that Mauceri doesn’t see it that way? And that she’s contemplating a lawsuit? The not very bright "actor" told Fox News (naturally):
I did not object to being in a gay storyline. I
objected to speaking the truth of what that person, how that person would live
and breathe and act in that storyline. And this goes against
everything I am, my belief system, and what I know the character’s belief
system is aligned to.
Mauceri, a devout Christian, also offered to write the lines she believed her character would actually say, but the network declined her gracious offer. I’m guessing "You’re going to burn in hell, sodomite!" wasn’t something the network felt comfortable with.
BTW Patricia, that’s not how acting works. The actors usually just "act" the lines they’re given. You get a script and read the lines. Okay, an actor might add their two cents in order to make a part more accurate, but that usually doesn’t involve a "personal belief" system coming into play. (That’s what politics and Fox News are for.) And it certainly doesn’t involve the actor completely changing the vision of the writer who is hired to write the character.
Something tells me that Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Anthony Hopkins, Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz don’t confuse their personal belief systems with their roles. (Well, maybe Cameron Diaz, but you get my point.)
On the other hand, I doubt anyone will confuse Mauceri with Meryl Streep anytime soon.