In a new interview, Kate Winslet reveals that she knows four locked up actors, all of whom refuse to come out for fear of damaging their careers.
“I can’t tell you how many young actors I know – some well-known, some newbies – who are terrified that their sexuality will be revealed and that it will prevent them from being cast into straight roles,” the actress at The Sunday Times. “Now it’s f-cked up.”
“I can think of at least four actors absolutely hiding their sexuality,” Winslet added. “It’s painful because they’re afraid of being discovered. And that’s what they say, ‘I don’t want to be discovered.’ “
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The actress went on to say that she knew a “well-known” actor who recently changed agents. His new agent pressured him to stay in the closet rather than come out as bisexual. Winslet also assumes that men face a much higher barrier when it comes to dating, as Hollywood clings to the attitude that queer men can’t play straight characters.
“It should be almost illegal,” Winslet insisted. “You wouldn’t believe how widespread it is. And that cannot be simply distilled by the issue of gay actors playing homosexual roles. Because the actors, in some cases, choose not to go out for personal reasons. And that’s nobody’s business.
“I don’t plan on frowning or going up against Hollywood,” Winslet said. “We’re only talking about young actors who may be considering joining this profession and finding a way to make it more open. So that there is less judgment, discrimination and homophobia. “
Winslet’s remarks come at a sensitive time for LGBTQ actors in Hollywood. While some creators – notably Russell T. Davies, creator of It’s a Sin – have become more vocal in Hollywood’s need to only portray queer actors as queer characters, others like Neil Patrick Harris, Stanley Tucci, Viggo Mortensen and even Kate Winslet herself. criticized this attitude, insisting that sexuality should not play a role in qualifying an actor for a role. Winslet herself recently played a lesbian in the drama Ammonite. In the same interview, she also revealed that she was the only actress considered for the role.