Written by Joyelle Ronan
Can an actor or actress be too attractive to play a role? Broadway actor Jeremy Jordan was recently condemned for being “too hunky” for the lead role in Little Shop of Horrors, a play performed off-Broadway. If you don’t speak musical theatre, I’ll translate — Little Shop is about a nerdy flower shop assistant named Seymour. He believes he’ll never win over his dream girl, Audrey, until he discovers a blood-hungry plant that he names after her. Romantic, right?
In her slate.com article, “Against Hot Seymour,” Heather Schwedel stated that Jordan’s “highly symmetrical face and strong jawline” made him all wrong to play such an iconic nerd. She stated that there are plenty of roles for hot actors and this show isn’t one of them. People even took to Twitter; user McHenryJD tweeted, “Hunk Seymouritis is getting out of control.”
Look, we’re not living in the 1980s when nerds were defined by thick black glasses taped in the middle and a math textbook. It’s 2020 and nerdom has a new definition. People can be conventionally good-looking and be intelligent . . . or playing a character who’s intelligent. Being a nerd is a way of life, not a look.
I think the majority of people who like musical theatre would consider themselves to be at least a little bit of a geek. Jordan was reported as being a straight-A student and starred on the CW’s Supergirl. Sounds pretty nerdy to me, but even if he didn’t share any similarities to his Little Shop of Horrors character, that’s why they call it acting.
Jordan took the comments in good humor by tweeting some less than flattering photos of himself. However, considering the show business industry’s problem with diversity, a straight white male being “too hot” should really be the least of people’s worries.