Kate Winslet is sick of hypocrisy in Hollywood, and the star is speaking up.
In a new interview with the Sunday Times, the Titanic actress delved deep into what it means to be gay while pursuing a career in entertainment.
“I cannot tell you the number of young actors I know — some well-known, some starting out — who are terrified their sexuality will be revealed and that it will stand in the way of their being cast in straight roles,” she told the outlet. “Now that’s f***ed up.”
And she has a connection to multiple actors who have suffered because of their sexuality.
“I'm telling you, a well-known actor has just got an American agent and the agent said, 'I understand you are bisexual. I wouldn't publicize that.’ I can think of at least four actors absolutely hiding their sexuality,” she said. “It's painful. Because they fear being found out. And that's what they say. ‘I don't want to be found out.’”
Winslet, 45, noted that “men more than anything” are affected by the problem.
“It's bad news," she said, "Hollywood has to drop that dated crap of, 'Can he play straight because, apparently, he's gay?'”
“That should be almost illegal,” she insisted. “You would not believe how widespread it is. And it can't just be distilled to the question about gay actors playing gay parts. Because actors, in some cases, are choosing not to come out for personal reasons. And it's nobody's business. Perhaps privacy. Perhaps conditioning and shame.”
Winslet said she is now “done with not being honest” about her “real opinions."
“We could have had a conversation about how I feel about playing a lesbian and possibly taking that role from somebody,” said Winslet, whose character fell into a romance with Saoirse Ronan’s in the 2020 drama Ammonite, explaining, “I know the part was never offered to anybody else. In taking this part I had an opportunity to bring an LGBTQ story into living rooms.”
The actress wants “more people to speak the way I am” in order to bring about change.
“I don't intend to browbeat or take on Hollywood. We're just talking about young actors who might be considering joining this profession, and finding a way to make it more open,” she said. “For there to be less judgment, discrimination and homophobia.”