Bridgerton Star Golda Rosheuvel says when she started out in the industry, she was told that revealing she was gay could “ruin her acting career”.
The actress, who plays Queen Charlotte in the hit Netflix series, said the advice, given to her by a lesbian director, “blew my mind”.
Addressing the Just for variety podcast, she recalled the shocking discussion with the director.
“We were talking about being proud and representing and if I had to say I was gay in interviews,” she said.
“It was an absolute no: ‘You absolutely shouldn’t do that. It could or it will ruin your acting career.
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She added: “I would rather lose a job than not be true to who I am. I’d rather not work in an industry that doesn’t accept me… That’s just not how I got been brought up.
“And then, as a director, as a lesbian director, I was like, ‘I don’t get that advice. It blew me away.
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But despite the acting industry being known as one of the most gay-friendly professions, a 2012 survey found that gay actors felt that coming out affected the roles they had to play.
Only 57% of gay actors who responded to Equity’s survey felt they could be open about their sexuality with their agents.
Comments on the survey suggested that lesbians felt less supported than gay men by the industry. One woman said she had “been made very uncomfortable twice, always out of ignorance and not out of malice and always by straight directors”.
Westworld Actress Evan Rachel Wood came out publicly as bisexual in 2011, but says she received similar advice to Rosheuvel, saying: “A lot of people are advising you not to do it. They tell you emphatically – ‘Don’t “They don’t want you to be less desirable to men. Because it sells tickets and it helps your career.
But 10 years later, very little seems to have changed because Titanic Star Kate Winslet told The Sunday Times last year that she knew at least four actors who hid their sexuality.
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“I can’t tell you how many young actors I know — some well-known, some newbies — who are terrified of their sexuality being exposed and it keeping them from being cast in straight roles,” Winslet revealed.
And while The Lord of the Rings Star Sir Ian McKellen is openly gay and one of Britain’s most famous actors, only coming out in 1988 in a BBC radio interview.
Later in 2018, the actor took to social media to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his coming out, writing, “I’ve never met a gay person who regretted coming out, myself included. .
“Life finally starts to have meaning, when you’re open and honest. Today is the 30th anniversary of the discussion on BBC radio when I publicly said I was gay. So I celebrate!”
Hopefully more LGBTQ+ stars feel they can follow McKellen and Rosheuvel’s lead.