Out, gay Jewish comedian Jason Stuart: “At my age, the gay guy parts are drying up. Basically gay people in movies die at 40.”
Jason Stuart is done waiting for his turn to be the next great character actor in Hollywood.
The out, gay Jewish comedian, 47, stars as a straight, Christian plantation owner in the upcoming Oscar contender The Birth of a Nation, written, directed by, and starring Nate Parker.
Before that, he’s made appearances in films including Tangerine and Love is Strange, but for several decades worked as a standup comic, a far cry from the emotionally complex roles he’s now bringing to the screen.
After quite the struggling actor’s slog—he spent years closeted working in the industry—it looks like Stuart is finally getting the respect, and screen time, that he deserves. In a surprisingly emotional chat with the emerging star, we asked about the process of coming to work on The Birth of a Nation, the importance of showing up, and being a 40+ working gay actor in Hollywood.
Out: You’ve been doing comedy for a long time—did you ever think you would be taking on such a dramatic role like this?
Jason Stuart: Oh yeah, always. I’ve just been waiting for someone to give it to me. I’ve been waiting in line, for my turn. That’s got to be the title of the article: Jason Stuart: “I’ve Been Waiting For My Turn!”