Nov 16, 2015

Jamie Bell: Not Wearing a Sign

Born in 1986, Jamie Bell first gained the attention of gay viewers with Billy Elliot (2000), about a boy who wants to become a ballet dancer in spite of the disapproval of his working-class British family, friends, and entire community.  They think dancing is for poofs (only his gay friend supports him). (Later it was made into Billy Elliot: The Musical).

Nicholas Nickleby (2002) upped the homoeroticism of the original Dickens novel, giving Nicholas (Charlie Hunnan) and abused classmate Smike (Jamie) an overtly romantic bond.

Undertow (2004) was a change of pace, transporting Jamie from Britain to rural Georgia.  But he got to keep the thin, sickly look to play Chris Munn, who has to flee into the woods with his younger brother (Devon Allen) to escape a murderous uncle (Josh Lucas).  The buddy-bonding here is between brothers, but at least Jamie hangs out in his underwear.

I haven't seen Dear Wendy (2004), but it seems to be a dark fable about boys, guns, and friendship.  Or The Chumscrubber (2005), but it seems to be the same, except with drugs instead of guns, and with nudity.

But I did see Tintin (2011), the animated version of the famous comic strip, which doesn't skimp on the homoromance between Tintin and Captain Haddock.

More recently, Jamie has bulked up so he can display a muscular physique in actioners like The Eagle (2011), in which Roman soldier Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum) and his boyfriend/slave Esca (Jamie) wander barbarian Europe in search of a lost golden emblem.

With all the gay-friendly content, you'd expect Jamie to be used to gay rumors.  But he finds them surprising and "weird," since none of his characters is actually Wearing a Sign. Still, he got t a familial connection to the LGBT community when he married the bisexual Rachel Evan Wood.

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