According to Star, ‘at least four’ gay actors in Hollywood are afraid to come out.
Kate Winslet has said that she knows “at least four” gay actors who are afraid to come out for fear of the repercussions on their careers.
Kate Winslet claims to know “at least four” gay actors – both emerging and established – who have remained silent for fear of being typecast.
The Titanic star asserted that there is a “widespread” problem in Hollywood of actors who are terrified of disclosing their sexual orientation due to the possible effects on their careers.
The star, who co-starred with Saoirse Ronan in Ammonite as British palaeontologist Mary Anning, added that the issue extends beyond straight actors portraying LGBTQ+ characters.
According to Winslet, The Sunday Times: “I cannot tell you how many young actors I know – some well-known, some just starting out – who are afraid their sexuality will be exposed and will prevent them from being cast in straight roles,” she continued, citing an example of a star who was encouraged to keep their sexuality secret.
“A well-known actor recently signed with an American agent, who said, ‘I understand you are bisexual. I will not make that public.’ At least four actors come to mind who are fully concealing their sexuality. It’s excruciating. And they are afraid of being discovered. That is what they assert. ‘I don’t want to be discovered.'”
She added, drawing on her own experience portraying a gay character, that it should be “almost illegal.”
“Hollywood needs to abandon the dated nonsense of, ‘Can he play straight because he appears to be gay?’”
“That should be nearly illegal,” she said, adding, “You can not believe the extent to which it is.” And it cannot be limited to the problem of gay actors portraying gay characters. Since certain performers, for personal reasons, chose not to come out. And it is none of our own. Perhaps confidentiality. Maybe conditioning and humiliation.”
“We should have discussed my feelings about playing a lesbian and potentially stealing the part from someone else,” she continued.
However, I’m done with concealing my true thoughts, and I’m aware that the role was never given to anyone else. By accepting this position, I was able to bring an LGBTQ story into living rooms.”
When the biopic Ammonite started shooting, Winslet’s performance was allegedly criticized by relatives of real-life fossil hunter Mary Anning due to the ‘unconfirmed’ depiction of her sexuality.
Anning never married, but a story in the Telegraph indicated that her distant relatives were feuding over the film’s central relationship, a romance between Anning and Saoirse Ronan’s Charlotte Murchison.
“I agree there is no evidence to support describing her as a gay woman,” Barbara Anning was quoted as saying. “Do the filmmakers have to turn to unconfirmed elements of someone’s sexuality in order to make an already extraordinary story sensational?” she continued. This makes no difference to her story.”
Lorraine Anning, another relative, was more supportive of the film, saying, “To be frank, it doesn’t matter; as long as it’s well portrayed and tastefully done in the spirit of Mary Anning, I think it’s brilliant.”