While there’s been a bit of speculation as to Ben Whishaw’s sexuality, he hasn’t had much to say about it. However that hasn’t stopped him playing the full range of possible proclivities, even recently turning Shakespeare’s Richard II rather gay in The Hollow Crown. He’s also, of course, been having huge success recently as the new Q in Skyfall.
Now he’s taken a gay role in the microbudget movie Lilting, from writer/director Hong Khaou (helmer of the excellent British gay shorts Summer and Spring), according to THR. The plot is slightly similar to Xavier Dolan’s upcoming Tom a la ferme, although whereas that film’s French Canadian, this one focussing on a Chinese mother (Cheng Pei Pei) who is grieving for her son (Andre Leung) after his untimely death. While they both lived in the UK, the Chinese born mother used her son as her conduit to living in Britain and is lost without him.
Feeling stranded in her adopted country, the only person she has left is her son’s friend (Ben Whishaw). However while she believes the young Brit was her son’s roommate, he was actually his lover. They come together, trying to overcome their differences – both culturally and through a difficult language barrier.
Peter Bowles and Morven Christie are also set to star in the film. Backing comes from FilmLondon’s ultra-low budget filmmaking fund, Microwave, which previously helped get iLL Manors made.
Khaou comments, “This film is very close to my heart. The support I’ve had through the mentors has been intelligent, insightful and imaginative. There was a genuine, considered care towards helping me anchor my voice and ideas.”