Actress Kate Winslet revealed in a recent interview that she knows several closeted actors in Hollywood who are “terrified” of coming out, fearing it will ruin their careers.
Winslet, who is straight, spoke to the Sunday Times about her most recent role in the Mary Anning biopic Ammonite, in which she plays a gay character.
Winslet said she is aware of the problems of casting straight actors in queer roles, and that she wishes it would change.
“I’m done with not being honest about what my real opinions are, and I know the [Ammonite] part was never offered to anybody else. In taking this part I had an opportunity to bring an LGBTQ story into living rooms,” she told the Times.
“I cannot tell you the number of young actors I know — some well known, some starting out — who are terrified their sexuality will be revealed, and that it will stand in the way of their being cast in straight roles,” she continued. “Now that’s fucked up.”
Winslet specified that the problem affects “men more than anything.”
She also told the Sunday Times that the age-old stereotype of gay men being “unconvincing” in straight roles is still alive and well in Hollywood.
“That should be almost illegal,” she said. “You would not believe how widespread it is.”
The actress said she personally knows “at least four actors absolutely hiding their sexuality,” which she called “painful, because they fear being found out.”
In the end, Winslet said, it is a completely individual choice whether an actor wants to come out of the closet publicly, and it is nobody else’s business. “In some cases, [actors] are choosing not to come out for personal reasons,” she said. “Perhaps privacy. Perhaps conditioning and shame.”