‘Saltburn’ Teaser Has Viewers Debating Importance Of Actors’ Sexualities In LGBTQ+ Roles

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 09: Actor Jacob Elordi attends the "He Went That Way" Premiere at BMCC Theater on June 09, 2023 in New York City.
(Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival)

Emerald Fennell’s “Saltburn” dropped its first teaser today. The film, set in the mid 2010s, follows a lonely Oxford University student drawn to a handsome and charismatic classmate, who invites him to spend the summer with his offbeat family at their sprawling countryside estate.

Barry Keoghan of “The Banshees of Inisherin” and Jacob Elordi of “Euphoria” and more star in the leading roles. It is insinuated that the film will follow the pair’s gay romance. Keoghan and Elordi have never commented on their respective sexualities in their personal lives, but both have publicly dated women.

Similarly to the numerous other queer focused films of this year, viewers continue to debate whether it is truly representation if the actors portraying LGBTQ+ characters do not identify that way themselves. On the other end of the spectrum, fans of the genre continue to assert that acting allows for actors to step into roles unlike themselves for a reason.

The Background

Many were excited to see the film, and look forward to the numerous acclaimed actors in the cast’s performances.


I just know this movie is gonna be so fucking good like IM SO EXCITED (also once again it doesnt fucking matter their sexuality is none of ur concern ur not pulling another kit conner) #saltburn #barrykeoghan #jacobelordi

♬ What Was I Made For? [From The Motion Picture “Barbie”] – Billie Eilish

The debate on gay actors, which has been contended with for decades, reached Gen Z when “Heartstopper” star Kit Connor was forcibly outed as bisexual on the internet following the mass popularity of the show. Connor’s beloved character, Nick Nelson, identifies as bisexual on the show. The incident led Connor to take a lengthy social media break, and criticize overzealous viewers for outing him, which he felt was the exact opposite message portrayed in the popular show.

The situation created an ongoing dialogue about the true meaning of the term “queerbaiting”, which means leading people or an audience to believe one is queer when they are actually not. Many argue that this is only possible in the realm of fiction, as sexuality is far more complex in real people.



Kit Connor has spoken about the pressure he was under to come out- here’s everything you need to know. #kitconnor #heartstopper #lgbt #pride #vogue

♬ original sound – Curiously

Social Media Reactions To “Saltburn”

Elsewhere, some have no doubts on Elordi’s performance, as he portrayed the bi-curious Nate Jacobs on “Euphoria.” Many were excited for another allegedly LGBTQ+ centered film, following the recent release of the second season of “Heartstopper” and rom-com film “Red, White, And Royal Blue.”

The film’s extravagant old English imagery is garnering the film comparisons to “Brideshead Revisited” and “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” Viewers have previously found that both novel-to-film adaptations hint at gay characters, but never explicitly reveal their identities. Some hope that “Saltburn” will allow for more obvious gay representation.

Due to the ongoing joint SAG-AFTRA and WGA Strike, neither Elordi nor Keoghan have commented on their roles in the film. The Directors Guild of America (DGA) is the only entertainment union to have reached an agreement with the AMTP and major studios, thus only directors are permitted to speak to the press at this time.


Fennell told Vanity Fair that the film explores intense desire:  “For that completely overwhelming carnal desire to take hold, there has to be an element of revulsion, there has to be an element of transgression.”

“Saltburn” hits theaters November 24.

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