Kate Winslet says gay actors "fear" that coming out will destroy their careers

Naomi Gordon
·2-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Kate Winslet says gay actors in Hollywood hide their sexuality over "fear" they won't get cast in straight roles.

The Oscar-winner claims to know "at least four actors" who are "terrified" of coming out over concerns it could destroy their career.

"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," the actress told The Sunday Times.

Winslet added that she was aware of "a well-known actor" who was recently instructed by their agent to keep their bisexuality a secret.

"The agent said: 'I understand you are bisexual – I wouldn't publicise that'," Winslet said. "I can think of at least four actors absolutely hiding their sexuality. It's painful. Because they fear being found out."

Winslet accused powerful figures within the film industry of making it rife with "judgment, discrimination and homophobia", and suggested the LGBTQ people in Hollywood needed a #MeToo-style movement.

The star has been promoting her latest film Ammonite, which sees her playing real-life unsung heroine Mary Anning, a legendary palaeontologist whose work was re-appropriated by her male peers and passed off as their own. In Francis Lee's acclaimed romantic drama, Anning falls in love with Saoirse Ronan's character, fellow geologist Charlotte Murchison.

Winslet recently told Harper's Bazaar UK that she hopes her work in the film, which is a beautiful love story, offers a "helpful contribution" in bringing LGBTQ+ stories to the mainstream.

"There needs to be more LGBTQ+ films so that we don’t feel the compulsion to compare the few that do exist, it’s totally mad," she explained.

"You wouldn’t compare Titanic with Die Hard or Revolutionary Road and The Holiday... They all have heterosexual people in them. These kinds of comparisons automatically have the impact of making same sex stories ‘controversial’. Why are we even using those words? That really isn’t right."

Ammonite is available to watch now on BFI Player.

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