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Kate Winslet Knows 'At Least Four Actors' Afraid to Come Out

Kate Winslet

The Ammonite star said gay actors are still "terrified" that coming out will kill their careers.

Kate Winslet is speaking out against the "judgment, discrimination, and homophobia" in Hollywood that is preventing actors from coming out.

In a new interview with The Times's Culture magazine, the Ammonite star said she knew "at least four actors" that are staying in the closet due to fears that being out would hurt their careers.

"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. Now that's fucked up," Winslet said.

"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 added. "It's painful. Because they fear being found out. And that's what they say. 'I don't want to be found out.'"

Winslet said she believes that the pressure to stay closeted relates primarily to men and "it's bad news." She called for a movement like #MeToo among LGBTQ+ folks in Hollywood to help address these issues.

In addition to discussing the glass closet, the Oscar winner also tackled the topic of straight actors playing gay roles. Winslet stars in Ammonite as a paleontologist, Mary Anning, alongside Saoirse Ronan as her lover Charlotte; both women identify as straight.

"A conversation about straight actors in gay roles is incredibly important," Winslet said. "I hope there will come a time when it is automatic that [gay] actors get those parts and you wouldn't have to put punchy film stars in to get it made."

However, Winslet defended her right to play gay, as her star power helped create and draw international attention to a film like Ammonite.

"We could have had a conversation about how I feel about playing a lesbian and possibly taking that role from somebody, but I'm done with not being honest about what my real opinions are, and I know the part was never offered to anybody else," she said. "In taking this part, I had an opportunity to bring an LGBTQ story into living rooms."

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