Kate Winslet has revealed that she knows many gay actors who opt to never go public with their sexuality over “fear” of never being cast in straight roles and destroying their careers.
In a recent interview with The Sunday Times, the Oscar-winning actress also claims that she knows a minimum of “four actors” who are “terrified” of coming out.
“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 revealed.
The 45-year-old also added that she knows of a “well-known” actor who has been recently instructed by their agent to not publicise their bisexuality and to keep it a secret from the industry.
“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.”
But it’s not just the industry as a whole, Winslet accused the powerful figures within Hollywood as rife with “judgement, discrimination and homophobia”, suggesting that Hollywood’s LGBTQ+ community was in need of a #MeToo-style movement.
Promoting her latest film Ammonite, where she plays unsung heroine Mary Anning—a renowned palaeontologist—whose work was re-appropriated by her male peers and passed off as their own. Directed by Francis Lee, the acclaimed romantic drama also sees Anning fall in love with fellow geologist Charlotte Murchison, played by Saoirse Ronan.
In another recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar U.K., Winslet also expressed how she hopes her work in the love story offers a “helpful contribution” in bringing LGBTQ+ stories to the mainstream, given the struggles they are forced to face.
“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,” she said.
“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.”