Russell Tovey has said he believes being gay is the best thing that has ever happened to him and his career.
The British star has spoken out against the idea that coming out can destroy an actor or actress.
He will star in The Pass, a Premier League footballer wrestling with his sexuality, which is out on 9 December.
‘I think growing up I absolutely tried to become hyper-masculine,’ Tovey said. ‘I think when I was younger I was a lot freer. So I related a lot of that side to Jason, to his pretence.’
The 37-year-old recently apologized for what many assumed was ‘internalized homophobia’. He said if he had gone to drama school, he would have ‘pranced around’ and ‘could have been really effeminate’. He said sorry and that it was ‘never [his] intention’ to offend.
‘I was never tortured about being gay in the way that Jason is,’ he explained, adding he realized his sexuality at 14.
‘I was watching the film Beautiful Thing on TV. My mum came in and I turned it off and when she went to bed I turned it back on. I remember thinking “OK, that’s it”.
‘It’s like someone had put their hand on mine and said “there you go”. It’s a love story with a happy ending. It’s good to have role models and now there are many more.’
Tovey will be returning to London to star in the National Theatre’s production of Angels in America next year, playing a ‘repressed homosexual’ Mormon.
‘Honestly, it’s the best thing that ever happened to me, being gay,’ Tovey said. ‘It’s made my career.’