Not OK. Kate Winslet opened up about many actors in Hollywood who are in fear that if they come out, it will negatively impact 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. Now that’s f–ked up,” the England native, 45, told The Sunday Times on Sunday, April 4. “I’m telling you. A well-known actor has just got an American agent and the agent said, ‘I understand you are bisexual. I wouldn’t publicize that.’ I can think of at least four actors absolutely hiding their sexuality. It’s painful. Because they fear being found out. And that’s what they say. ‘I don’t want to be found out.’”
The Titanic actress added that the stigma negatively affects men more than women, and it needs to change.
“It’s bad news. Hollywood has to drop that dated crap of, ‘Can he play straight because, apparently, he’s gay?’” the Mare of Easttown star said. “That should be almost illegal. You would not believe how widespread it is. And it can’t just be distilled to the question about gay actors playing gay parts. Because actors, in some cases, are choosing not to come out for personal reasons.”
The Oscar winner explained, “It’s nobody’s business. Perhaps privacy. Perhaps conditioning and shame.”
Winslet, who played paleontologist Mary Anning — a woman who falls in love with another woman — in Ammonite, explained that there could have been conversations about playing a lesbian “and possibly taking that role from somebody,” but there wasn’t.
“I’m done with not being honest about what my real opinions are, and I know the part was never offered to anybody else,” she said, adding that she hopes others will speak out in the same manner as she is. “In taking this part I had an opportunity to bring an LGBTQ story into living rooms. … I don’t intend to browbeat or take on Hollywood. We’re just talking about young actors who might be considering joining this profession, and finding a way to make it more open. For there to be less judgment, discrimination and homophobia.”
Last month, Winslet opened up about her role in Ammonite, noting that she was asked more about the love scenes with costar Saoirse Ronan than any other in her career.
“I definitely found really striking is that people seem to talk about the love scenes in the film in ways that are much more focused because it’s two women,” the four-time Golden Globe winner told Digital Spy. “I feel like we need more LGBTQ love stories in our mainstream. We just do, right? And what I feel is really special about Ammonite is that our love story is between two people who happen to be women. And not sensationalizing their love, or shrouding it as anything that is forbidden or fearful, or with any degree of hesitation or secrecy. You know, there’s no shame around this, it’s just two women who love each other. And for me, I really hope that that contributes to the evolution and progression of how audiences view LGBTQ people and their relationships — just by normalizing it completely.”