“Harry Potter” Star Explains Why Many Gay Actors Remain In The Closet

Jason IsaacsI have a lot of gay friends who don’t come out. If you are a romantic lead, there is a perception – I don’t know if it is true or not – that you will no longer be cast as straight people. Even when casting gay roles, there is a tendency to cast straight people, so they are lauded for their transformation. It’s ridiculous. The notion that a gay actor can’t seem like they are in love with a woman on screen is so patently absurd I can’t believe it still exists. It is not for me to push my gay friends to come out. I certainly don’t think that anyone should sacrifice their careers, if that’s what they think it would be, to make a political statement. But my friends who have done that feel immensely relieved and walk taller in their shoes. I would never judge anyone.”


—  Actor Jason Isaacs, best-known as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, telling The Telegraph why some actors aren’t ready to sacrifice their careers to be open about their sexual orientation

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  • MMDD

    He plays an excellent villain. And this is the first time I’ve seen him to look absolutely gorgeous!

  • 2eo

    Such a simple statement, supporting the community and not forcing or prodding. If everyone were like Isaacs here we’d be on easy street.

  • Caleb in SC

    @2eo: Nice to see you “getting it” and posting something positive for a change. It’s not all about Chelsea Manning, btw.

  • pscheck2

    It is my belief that many of them want to remain in the ‘closet’ not because they are afraid of their careers going ‘south[ but, because, they want to retain their image as being str8 and thus enjoy being popular with both str8 and gay fans. Another case is your sports icons who are rumored to be gay. I think they fear being thought of as a ‘faggot’ thereby effete! Their masculinity is at stake and they will protect it at all costs! Ironically, it is your sport figures who could do the most good in bringing down the wall of hate and bulling that pervades our society. Lets hope they will own up to their responsibility to right this awful situation. Just say’en.

  • Caleb in SC

    @pscheck2: I totally agree with the spirit of your comments; however, no one will take your comments seriously if you cannot master the basics of the English language. Also, “text speak” does not earn friends.

  • Tackle

    With so many of the casting agents, writers, producers, agents, directors, and the like being gay, yet still in the closet, I’m curious if this mentality that gays that gays cannot play a romantic lead or will not play a straight role convincingly is coming from the straight side, or the gay side of the entertainment industry? It seems that among “some ” gay men there is this inferiority complex about being gay and a superiority with being straight. That’s why certain porn sites that claim straight performers are so popular. And why on online sites, many will describe themselves and desiring someone “str8” acting. As to why the powers to be who are straight and hold this mentality, maybe the belief the public would not accept a gay romantic leading man??

  • Bonerboy

    I have a gay friend who went to school with Isaac in Liverpool when they were children and teens and when Marc, my friend, was being picked on, Isaac always came to his defense against the bullies.

  • jonasalden

    </[email protected]Caleb in SC: I’m not sure that Pscheck2 was necessarily trying to win friends; perhaps just wanting to make a comment. Point taken, Pscheck2. Does everything have to be a criticism? It’s especially ironic given your earlier comment about “positive comments”, Caleb in SC.

  • GeriHew

    If you ask me, specifically regarding male actors, there are probably at least as many, or more, closeted bisexual actors as closeted gay actors. I certainly don’t think there are fewer bisexual ones.

    But most of you men insist on talking about this issue in terms of black & white and ignore the many shades of grey. Which is really one of the main reasons there is in an issue in the first place.

  • Cam


    Please stop with your phony victimology. SO lets see, you now claim in your last sentence that this whole issue exists because people are saying “Gay and Straight” and yet you can provide no proof, or even a good theory on why.

    Here’s an idea, if you can’t even come up with a reasonable reason why what you say may be true…please stop making stuff up and pretending it’s a valid theory.

  • Cam

    I have a question. In ANY other business or industry even the SUGGESTION that there is discrimination in hiring would bring down an investigation by the police or attorney general’s office.

    You have now had MULTIPLE Hollywood folks coming out and stating specifically that being gay effects hiring and yet the studios have not been investigated.

    Why not?

  • tdx3fan

    @Cam: Probably because most of them are mutli-billion dollar corporations that can move their headquarters and business where ever they want when ever they chose. This is not the same as the cake shop down on the corner refusing to put a male and male cake topper on your wedding cake. If the officials go after these companies, these companies are only going to move where the laws are more favorable for them. Since 30+ states in this country still have no protections for gays and lesbians, any of them would do nicely.

  • B Damion

    LMAO…oh the bitchy queens of queerty. I am guilty as well. lol.

  • GeriHew

    @Cam: That’s just it.

    Regarding male sexuality people tend not to talk in terms of: “Gay and Straight”.

    They talk in terms of “Gay or Straight”.

  • Kangol


    Okay, let’s take you at your word. So where are all the out bisexual male actors? Many (most) of them are terrified of the effects of homophobia as are those whose orientation is primarily gay.

    What Isaacs is saying here applies not only to closeted gay male actors, but also to closeted bisexuals too. Because homophobes often do not discriminate, and there’s a reason it’s increasingly “LGBTIQ” and not just “LG” or even “LGT”.

  • GeriHew

    @Kangol: I don’t disagree with you.

    There are far fewer out bisexual male actors than gay ones. Typically they either never really come out or leave it until they are in their 50s or 60s or even older.

    That does not mean there are fewer of them.

    My point is that talking in simplistic black & white terms about sexuality really doesn’t help non-monosexual people (and bisexual men in particular) to be open about their sexuality.

    However, as the quoted article is from The Telegraph it is quite possible that Jason Isaacs made specific reference to bisexual actors as well as gay actors in the interview and they simply removed the word bisexual, or the term GLBT or similar, from the report. The people who work for that paper are more than capable of such behaviour as they generally refer to the LGBT Community as “homosexuals”. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen them use the term LGBT, let alone LGBTIQ.

  • darkanser

    @MMDD: Oh, I always knew he was nice looking…….

  • Stached1

    @GeriHew: Well said.

  • enlightenone

    “…But my friends who have done that feel immensely relieved and walk taller in their shoes…”

    So clearly coming out has psychological health benefits. Which should be and is the primary reason anyone leaves their self-imposed “closet!” “Political” coming out is a secondary matter that has its own value in society!

Comments are closed.