The Titanic star told Sunday Times Culture she knows of at least four actors afraid to come out at the risk of losing roles and representation.
“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,” Winslet explained.
“A well-known actor has just got an American agent and the agent said, ‘I understand you are bisexual. I wouldn’t publicize that’,” she went on.
Divulging that she can think of “at least four actors absolutely hiding their sexuality”, the actress said: “It’s painful. Because they fear being found out.”
She fumed that the film industry should take a more enlightened view of sexuality, insisting: “Hollywood has to drop that dated c**p of, ‘Can he play straight because, apparently, he’s gay?’ That should be almost illegal… and it can’t just be distilled to the question about gay actors playing gay parts,” adding: Because actors, in some cases, are choosing not to come out for personal reasons.”
Winslet portrays historical palaeontologist Mary Anning in her recent movie, Ammonite, in which her character embarks on a same-sex romance with geologist Charlotte Murchison, played by Saoirse Ronan.