British actor and model Robert
James-Collier said in a recent interview that playing a gay role on
the ITV drama Downton Abbey has hurt his career.
The 41-year-old James-Collier played
villainous gay butler Thomas Barrow in all six seasons of Julian
Fellowes' period drama, which ended in 2015.
In an interview with Radio
Times, the actor said that unlike his co-stars on the show, he's
had few opportunities.
“I think audiences in the U.S. can
identify quite easily with the quintessential English gent and
English lady, whereas a neurotic, dark, gay character like Thomas is
a hard thing to put into the American market. It can lead to
typecasting,” James-Collier said.
“Because Thomas Barrow is gay and is,
essentially, the bad guy for much of the show, a lot of people within
the industry can only see you as that. They might not be in a rush
to see you as a heterosexual love interest. That takes time.”
Since the show ended, several stars
have found fame in the U.S. Michelle Dockery, who played Lady Mary
Crawley, currently stars in TNT's Good Behavior, and Dan
Stevens, who portrayed Matthew Crawley, played the beast/prince in
Disney's live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast and
stars in the FX series Legion.
James-Collier, who is set to star in
The Ritual, also revealed that he has turned down stage roles
“which happened to be gay characters.”