Jamie Bell plays the pronoun game
As usual, let me preface this item by saying that I have no idea if Jamie Bell is actually gay or straight or whatever. But now that he's 19 and starring in movies like King Kong, the young actor most famous for bringing The Dance to a Thatcher-era British mining town in Billy Elliot is going to have to plant his flag on one side of the sexuality fence. You know, for magazine-profile and press-junket purposes.
But this interview in The Guardian suggests that Bell - who has politely sidestepped the whole teen-awkward-stage thing and could grace the cover of GQ tomorrow - actively wants to start rumors about his own sexuality. He lists the three most important people in his life as his mother (sweet), Billy Elliot and The Hours director Stephen Daldry (who was openly gay and then married a woman) and (DING!) "my best mate from up north, he's like my soul mate, my brother, and he's just started drama school in Mountview. We are each other's mentor. He gives me what I need and I give him what he needs."
Yowza. Jamie sounds like, um, a really good friend. And later, Bell stumbles through the most awkward round of The Pronoun Game this side of a CSI cast party:
Bell: No, actually, I think I wear my heart on my sleeve in real relationships. I haven't got a girlfriend at the moment.
Guardian: Are you missing that?
Bell: The companionship, yes. But I'm not really looking. I'm a believer that something will find me; a person will just come and connect.
Guardian: What kind of person do you believe you will connect with?
Bell: I don't really have a list of attributes that they'd have to attain.
Guardian: Well, what would you like from a relationship? Do you want to give love or receive more?
Bell: I like to protect and provide, though if it was not reciprocated I would feel incredibly vulnerable. I often find myself giving and also find myself needing.
Clearly the reporter is teasing the poor lad, asking him if he wants to give or receive more. But hey, look at Bell's answer. At least he's versatile.
BILLY ELLIOTT star JAMIE BELL has slammed "absurd" reports he is homosexual.Bell's sexuality was called into question when he moved into Billy Elliott director STEPHEN DALDRY's home as a teenager and kissed the film-maker after winning a Best Actor BAFTA award for the 2000 movie.But the English actor, 19, says, "Me, gay? That's absurd."People can think what they want. But I do find all these rumours about whether I'm gay weird. And on a personal level, it's a bit odd to be talking about it."He's a friend and mentor. He got me where I am today. I don't think our relationship's weird and I wasn't expecting to get so much attention from it."He's a great person to learn from."
and a place in his heart. It seems it was really that simple. Tawdry tabloid speculation implied that there was something very unseemly about a gay director and a young boy. Homophobic nonsense. Daldry said at the time that Jamie was a catalyst for all kinds of paternal feelings he never knew he had. Daldry has since married dancer Lucy Sexton and they have a little girl Annabel, who Jamie regards as his little sister.
He stresses, 'I didn't just go and move in with him. It was over time. We established a sense of hierarchy within the relationship. I was still living up north and finishing off school, but I had the burning desire to leave and he was there to facilitate that. My mother could see that urge and she sent me down there. After I had been in London for about two months I'd got used to it, so leaving was hard. My mother knew I didn't want to be in the world up there, so she was very happy for me.'
It does sound like there was a strong connection with Stephen, the kind of thing that people expect of love relationships; but thiswas different.