Jul 16, 2013

Tim Robbins: New Sensitive Man

Speaking of Tim Robbins, he was one of the most recognizable faces of the 1980s, appearing on tv in Amazing Stories, Hill Street Blues, Love Boat, and Santa Barbara; in teen sex comedies, horror movies, and dramas opposite nearly every star in the business, from Elizabeth Taylor to Jodie Foster.  Although always portrayed as indefatigably hetero-horny, he enjoyed a few buddy-bonding roles:
Fraternity Vacation (1985), with gay actor Stephen Geoffries.

Tapeheads (1988) with John Cusack

The Shawshank Redemption (1994), with Morgan Freeman.

His most iconic role was in Bull Durham (1989), as ball player Nuke Laloosh, triangulating his homoerotic interest in colleague Crash (Kevin Costner) with groupie Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon).  Plus displaying his body in his underwear, tied up by Annie.  Tim Robbins ended up marrying Susan Sarandon, in spite of his unremarkable beneath-the-belt assets.

In the 1990s and 2000s Tim was involved mostly in serious dramatic roles or sarcastic comedies, with ample nudity but not a lot of gay content: all I could find was Cradle will Rock (1999), with Orson Welles trying to provoke the censors in the 1930s by staging a gay-themed play; and Cinema Verite (2011), about the reality-tv Loud Family of the 1970s.   His characters were New Sensitive Men, occupying a liberal, progressive yet gay-free world.

But he's a gay ally in real life. In 2009, he performed a staged reading of Martin Duberman's Stonewall, about the Stonewall Riots of 1969 that marked the beginning of the Gay Rights Movement.

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