Entertainment & Arts

Andrew Scott rejects 'openly gay' label

Andrew Scott Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Scott has previously played Sherlock Holmes' nemesis Moriarty on screen

TV star Andrew Scott has said being referred to as "openly gay", "implies a defiance I don't feel."

The Irish actor, best known for his roles in Sherlock and as "the hot priest", in Fleabag, believes the term does not reflect who he is.

"You're never described as openly gay at a party," he told British GQ Magazine.

"'This is my openly gay friend Darren'... [or] 'She's openly Irish'," he added.

Scott played the forbidden love of interest of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's title character in series two of Fleabag and said his sexuality made no difference to his ability to play the role.

"Sexuality isn't something you can cultivate, particularly," added Scott, who first found global fame starring as crime lord Jim Moriarty, opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock.

"It isn't a talent. You believe the relationship, that's my job."

Analysis by Ben Hunte, LGBT Correspondent

Andrew Scott's feelings about the phrase 'openly gay' are shared by many gay men and women. Many queer and LGBT individuals are now happy to not let their sexuality or gender define them, choosing instead to be less vocal about their identity.

The concept of being 'openly gay' leans on stereotypes of sexuality being hidden and closeted. This was the reality of daily life for many generations of LGBT people, but things are now changing.

There is a hope within the community that as LGBT lives become more usual and mainstream, the need for people to 'come out' will lessen to the point where it is no longer necessary. Of course, this is still a personal choice.

There is also a real sense that just because a person is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, they should not be made to feel like they have to be an activist fighting for their LGBT rights.

Forty two-year-old Scott was recently spotted handing out drinks to theatre-goers outside the London stage production of the popular BBC Three series over the weekend, alongside its writer and star.

He also spoke of his great love of theatre, having completed a recent run of Noel Coward's Present Laughter at the Old Vic.

"You direct yourself. Of course there's a director, but in the auditorium, if you feel the audience is getting a little coughy, you've got to think 'Well, it's my job to get them back'."

Scott was recently honoured with the standout performance prize at the GQ Men of the Year Awards 2019.

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