Tom of Finland’s Pekka Strang admits he has terrible gaydar!Entertainment News, Online Only, Section 4A, Top Highlights Saturday, October 21st, 2017
Actor Pekka Strang plays one of the most celebrated figures of LGBTQ culture, Touko Laaksonen, in the biopic film, Tom of Finland (out Oct. 20). During World War II Laaksonen was a decorated military man who served his country valiantly. The film begins as we meet a soldier who fights out of love for his country but who is stalled from voicing his love for other men. Strang sat down with Hornet to discuss the film, his thoughts on what the critics are saying, his gaydar and more.
Calling out his terrible gaydar:
Yeah. I hope people get the humor of it. I’ve been thinking about it lot, because I hope there’s no offense to it. I mean, I’ve tried to find out like, what does it … I can work with people and just find out, OK, he’s gay, he’s got a boyfriend or, oh, he’s not gay? But I just don’t care. It’s all about meeting people, not meeting their gender or their sexuality.
It’s as bad still [after the film]! [Laughs] I feel people are so different all over the world, so you just have to sort of embrace everybody. It sounds cliché, and it is, but I believe that.
On why he considers Touko Laaksonen, “Tom of Finland,” a hero:
I think he’s a hero. I mean, just looking at what Finland was like when he was growing up, you have to be sort of extraordinary to find the courage and the desire to do this artwork — that was illegal, for one thing. It wasn’t acceptable, and there wasn’t a social network existing when he started working. He couldn’t go on Google and find 60 other people around the world doing the same thing. So, yeah, for me he’s a hero. And probably for many people all around the world.
Responding to criticism that the film is “too tame”:
I get it, totally. You can’t make a movie about Tom of Finland without people having their own thoughts of how it should be done. It’s not like making a fictional movie; everybody knows Tom of Finland. But in criticism you always tell something about yourself. We can’t compete with his artwork.
Just look at the drawings. We must remember it’s only ink on paper. That sort of excitement — when you’re getting aroused and horny looking at them — it’s in your mind. It’s not on the paper. They are beautiful, but we could never compete with the fantasy of the audience. This was a story about the artist growing up. There weren’t orgies in Finland in the 1930s, like with leather men and all that, so I completely am OK with the criticism, and I understand completely where it comes from.
But this is our story, and this is how we did it. People have an absolute right to criticize it.
Read the full story on Hornet here: https://hornetapp.com/stories/tom-of-finland-film/
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