'Know at least four actors hiding their sexuality due to homophobia in Hollywood': Kate Winslet

WASHINGTON: Hollywood actor Kate Winslet has opened up about a stigma in Hollywood that can create obstacles for gay actors and said that she knows “at least four” actors “hiding their sexuality” due to ‘homophobia’ in the industry.

According to People magazine, during a recent interview, the Academy Award-winning actor said, “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***ed up.”

She further said, “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 publicise 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.'”

Winslet also noted that the stigma applies to “men more than anything” and added: “It’s bad news, Hollywood has to drop that dated crap of, ‘Can he play straight because, apparently, he’s gay?’ ”

She 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. And it’s nobody’s business. Perhaps privacy. Perhaps conditioning and shame.”

“We could have had a conversation about how I feel about playing a lesbian and possibly taking that role from somebody,” Winslet said. “But I’m done with not being honest about what my real opinions are, and I know the part was never offered to anybody else. In taking this part I had an opportunity to bring an LGBTQ story into living rooms,” Winslet further said.

As per People magazine, for what’s necessary to bring about change, the 45-year-old said it will take “more people to speak the way I am”.