Andrew Scott has said that he was encouraged by people in the film and TV industry to keep his sexuality to himself.
The Sherlock actor, 47, who stars in new film All Of Us Strangers alongside fellow Irish actor Paul Mescal, told a newspaper during an interview in 2013 that he did not want to make a big deal about being gay, but that he did not want to hide it either.
Speaking to British GQ ahead of the publication’s Men of the Year event next week, Scott said: “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 also glad that I eventually ignored it.”
Scott grew up in Ireland where homosexuality was illegal until he turned 16, making him “fearful” of his sexuality and wanting to ignore that side of himself.
He told British GQ: “What’s difficult sometimes for gay people is that you don’t get to experience this sort of adolescence where you go, ‘Oh, my God, I like that person, do they like me back?'”
He said that he found All Of Us Strangers freeing as it was his own chance to revisit and address his childhood.
He said: “I think that’s maybe why this (film) feels so gratifying and cathartic.
“Because I did have to bring so much of my own pain into it.”
In the Andrew Haigh-directed film, Scott plays Adam who develops a relationship with a neighbour, played by Normal People star Mescal.
The film explores the complexities of grief as Adam is drawn back to his childhood home, where he discovers that his parents appear to be living just as they were 30 years before the day they died, when he was just a child.
The actor’s other popular TV credits include starring in Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag, as a character dubbed the ‘hot priest’.
The final scene of series two saw his character choose the love of God over his love for Fleabag, responding to her “I love you” with “It’ll pass”.
Scott believes these words ring true and said: “It does pass. It may not end forever, but heartbreak is a form of grief, and grief, as they say, is the price you pay for love.”
Scott covers a special issue of British GQ and will be toasted at the annual Men of the Year event in association with Boss, taking place in London on November 15.
The December/January issue of British GQ is available via digital download and on newsstands from November 28.