Chris New: Weekend Update
BY Brandon Voss
October 14 2011 6:00 AM ET
Thereâ€™s also a discussion in the film about the shared gay experience of coming out to oneâ€™s family. What was your coming out like?
My coming out was sort of like Glenâ€™s. I just said to my parents, â€śLook, you have to deal with it. If you canâ€™t deal with it, itâ€™s your problem, not mine.â€ť
How did that go over?
Well, I never really asked after that. I just carried on with my life. I was born with a certain amount of stubbornness, which is sometimes a blessing and sometimes a curse. In the area of coming out, I was just stubborn.
As an actor, when did you decide to be out professionally?
There was an interesting moment. It was when I did my first play out of drama school [Royal Academy of Dramatic Art]. I did a play called Bent by Martin Sherman in the West End [in 2006]. It was a massive role to get right out of drama school, and it was a really lucky break. I did the play with Alan Cumming. I had an agent at the time who, when it came to talking to press interviews, told me not to come out. She said, â€śJust donâ€™t mention the gay thing.â€ť I spoke to Alan about it, and he took me aside and said, â€śLook, if you want to be really unhappy and feel like youâ€™re hiding something forever, then by all means donâ€™t mention the gay thing. But if you want to live a happy life, just be honest about it, even if you have to deal with some consequences.â€ť I agreed with him, so I fired that agent and I came out.
Have you felt any consequences?
If it has affected anything, then I donâ€™t really know about it. If people are having a conversation about it in a room when theyâ€™re talking about casting â€” â€śOh, no, we canâ€™t have Chris New because heâ€™s gayâ€ť â€” then I never hear about it, so it doesnâ€™t really bother me. Iâ€™ve had a very nice career so far. If I ever get any backlash for being an out gay actor, they can eat my ass. [Laughs] Iâ€™d rather live in the world I live in than live with a lie.
Do you feel like an actorâ€™s sexuality is as much of an issue in the U.K. as it is in Hollywood? We hear Rupert Everett chime in on the subject from time to time, but â€”
I think Rupert Everett might just have too much time on his hands. There might be a lot of other reasons why Rupert Everettâ€™s not happy with his career, but if I were him Iâ€™d be very happy â€” heâ€™s done some great stuff. But yeah, I do think that sexuality is an issue in the British film and theater industry. Very often the scripts that come through the door for me are for gay roles, but itâ€™s up to me whether or not I take them. If the part says, â€ś20s, camp, best friend to a girl,â€ť Iâ€™ll probably not do it.
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