Out actor Chris New has said that being
open about his sexuality has “restricted” his career.
New starred opposite Tom Cullen, who is
straight, in the 2011 critically-acclaimed film Weekend, which
follows two men as they fall in love over the course of a weekend.
“I’m known as being an out gay
Guardian. “But I’m not – or, at least, I’m not just
that. I’m an actor, yes, and in my private life I have mainly found
that men attract me. I don’t see that, or any other singular aspect
of my identity, as defining me or as something that I wish to trade
on. In my work, I am increasingly allowed to engage in my culture
only when that engagement centers on being gay. Being out has done
nothing but restrict my career. In the current cultural climate I am
invited to participate only on the basis of my supposed oppression.
Nothing more is required of me. I live in a cultural ghetto.”
“Any role where the character’s
sexuality is their defining characteristic I turn down. Which means I
don’t work very much. Or, at least, nowhere near as much as I’d
like to,” he added.
When asked how he feels about straight
actors playing gay roles, New said: “I really don't mind at all. I
just hope they are the best actor. And I quietly wish that the role
could be defined as something a little more than just gay.”