Peter Dinklage wants to change Hollywood’s perception of a ‘leading man’

image of Peter Dinklage posting in leather jacket
Peter Dinklage commented on being a “leading man” in Hollywood. Pic credit: ©ImageCollect/Birdie Thompson/AdMedia

Peter Dinklage opened up about challenging the status quo in Hollywood, especially through his latest project Cyrano. The famous actor is most popular for his award-winning role in Game of Thrones where he played Tyrion Lannister. Dinklage also starred in X-Men: Days of Future Past, Avengers: Infinity War, and the Netflix crime thriller I Care A Lot.

In a recent interview with The Times, the 52-year-old actor spoke about his experience as an unconventional leading man. He first related the experience to his title role in the upcoming musical drama Cyrano. Based on the classic play Cyrano de Bergerac, the movie tells the story of a man who is attracted to a woman that he deems as out of his league. Playing opposite of Dinklage is actor Hayley Bennett, 32.

This highly-anticipated flick has had limited releases worldwide but will have its official theatrical release in the United States on January 28, 2022.

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Dinklage comments on Cyrano character

Speaking about playing the lower class lead in Cyrano, Dinklage criticized previous portrayals of the character. He shared, “Nine times out of ten, Cyrano is played by a handsome actor with a fake nose and you know that he takes it off when they wrap.”

He went on to praise his wife — the scriptwriter — for the new adaptation’s authenticity. He continued, “Erica [Schmidt] got rid of the nose to make it more universal. You set yourself apart from Cyrano because of his nose and have a judgment about him.”

Dinklage added, “Granted, someone would probably raise an eyebrow if a very handsome actor without a nose or anything was playing Cyrano, but it really does speak to all of our lack of self-worth in front of a person who loves you.”

This isn’t the first time concerns as such have been raised. There has been an ongoing outcry from audience members to see more authenticity in less-conventional leading roles. In recent news, Taron Egerton was criticized as being “too attractive” to play Seymour in a movie remake of Little Shop of Horrors (that has been seemingly stuck in pre-production purgatory) and Sarah Paulson was heavily-berated for donning a fat suit while playing Linda Tripp in Impeachment: American Crime Story.

Dinklage on being a leading man

Building on this concept, Dinklage acknowledged how times are changing. He went on to tell the interviewer, “The idea of a leading actor is changing now. Whether racially or whatever. It’s about time. We’ve been stuck with this stereotype of a leading man and it’s healthy to open that up.”

The actor continued, “Love life is not the domain of pretty people — everybody has a love life.”

Cyrano will premiere in theaters on January 28, 2022.

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