Sense8 actor Brian J Smith comes out as gay and opens up about life in Texas

In the cover story for Attitude's December issue, Sense8 actor Brian J Smith comes out as gay and speaks about growing up in suburban Texas.

Brian J Smith sitting on the ground with rope around his fingers.

Tony-nominated star and former Sense8 actor Brian J Smith has come out as gay while opening up about the struggles he faced growing up in suburban Texas.

In the cover story for Attitude‘s December issue, Smith details his journey from hiding his sexuality to becoming one of the biggest action heroes on T.V. He said, “I could never be who I was. I was constantly having to check myself and make sure I wasn’t looking at someone too long or making someone feel uncomfortable.”

Smith’s feelings of isolation spurred him on to start acting and get involved in high school theatre productions. He said, “In front of an audience, I disappeared and became someone else. I had 600 students at school, all of whom probably thought I was an absolute idiot, a nerd. [But] on stage, they paid attention to me, and they saw that I had something. And that’s when I didn’t feel alone.”

Delving into his passion for acting, Smith said, “I had to be very, very careful about telling people the truth about myself. It still reverberates. A lot of my work is about that. The things that move me as an actor are those echoes that come up.”

Sense8 proved to be a breakout role for the actor as he played one of the main character’s Will Gorski. Following on from this success, he is now starring in the Jason Bourne spin-off show Treadstone, which has already built up a large audience since its debut

Though Sense8 was cancelled after two seasons, it gathered such a dedicated fanbase that it was brought back for a final two hours. Brian J Smith reflects on the opportunity to play a pansexual character on the show, “I remember being so relaxed. I thought, ‘Finally, I can just be myself, I don’t have to put on airs for any of these people.’“

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