Downton Abbey star says gay, bad guy role hurt his career

Rob-James Collier says playing a gay man in Downton Abbey has hurt his career.

The actor starred as villainous under-butler Thomas Barrow in the hit period drama for four series.

While some of Collier's co-stars have enjoyed fame Stateside, the 41-year-old believes Americans find it more difficult to separate the actor from his character's sexuality.

He told the Radio Times: "I think audiences in the US can identify quite easily with the quintessential English gent and English lady, whereas a neurotic, dark, gay character like Thomas is a hard thing to put into the American market. It can lead to typecasting.

"Because Thomas Barrow is gay and is, essentially, the bad guy for much of the show, a lot of people within the industry can only see you as that. They might not be in a rush to see you as a heterosexual love interest. That takes time."

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