One of Ireland’s most successful openly gay actors, Andrew Scott, recently talked about the importance of LGBTQ+ representation in film and television and why he’s glad he ignored advice given to him early in his career to hide his sexuality.
Scott rose to fame for his roles in Sherlock and Fleabag, but his career started much earlier. When he was only 17, he was participating in youth theatre camps while studying art and drama at Trinity College. He performed in a series of roles with the Abbey Theatre at a time when homosexuality had just been decriminalised in Ireland.
For years Scott grappled with his own sexuality. He recalls being 22 and contemplating the expression ‘my burden has become my gift’ and thinking, “Wouldn’t that be amazing? If something that you think is a shameful part of you is actually a bit of you that gives something back?”
Scott officially came out in an interview with The Independent in 2013. Before then, when he started landing film and television roles like Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers, Andrew Scott was given advice to keep his sexuality private.
Scott told British GQ, “I was encouraged by people in the industry who I really admired and who had my best interests at heart, to keep that [to myself]. I understand why they gave that advice, but I’m so glad that I eventually ignored it.”
aisling bea spending pride with andrew scott and ben whishaw i’m gunna collapse pic.twitter.com/cwBtyas2PT
— megan (@owljude) July 3, 2022
When it comes to LGBTQ+ representation, Scott shares how film and television often focused on the pain and trauma of queer identities. He is delighted that younger generations are getting to enjoy shows like Heartstopper that centre queer joy.
Now, he’s getting to play openly gay characters with depth and joy, too.
In his latest film All of Us Strangers, Scott shares how he was able to delve into his own painful queer experiences and revisit those feelings of love and grief. He said, “I think that’s maybe why this feels so gratifying and cathartic, because I did have to bring so much of my own pain into it.”
ALL OF US STRANGERS is an incredibly powerful film. As a gay only child, the scenes featuring Foy deeply resonated with me. It’s more than a love story; it’s a profound exploration of loneliness. Andrew Scott’s portrayal is simply stellar. Wow. @AOUStrangers pic.twitter.com/MdlLfMwOBe
— Landon Johnson (@LandonHJohnson) November 8, 2023
The film is based on the Japanese novel Strangers by Taichi Yamada. It follows a screenwriter (Andrew Scott) in his romance with his neighbour (Paul Mescal) while discovering his deceased parents living just as they were before their deaths 30 years ago.
All Of Us Strangers was the opening film of the Belfast Film Festival, and will screen at Cork International Film Festival on November 19 before officially releasing in Irish cinemas in January 2024.
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