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From The Hobbit to Fast & Furious 6 to Beauty And The Beast, Luke Evans is undoubtedly one of our most prominent gay blockbuster hunks. But it’s a career the actor admits he wouldn’t have at all if he were only allowed to “play gay.”

In a new interview with The Telegraph, Evans opens up about his own coming out journey, and the eternal debate surrounding “gay-for-pay” roles.

Specifically, the star was asked about comments TV creator Russell T Davies (It’s A Sin, Queer As Folk) made last year, asserting that only gay performers should take gay parts. “I’m not sure about that,” Evans responds.

“Gay people have definitely missed out on gay roles, for sure,” the actor elaborates. “Russell spoke very powerfully, passionately, about this point. I get it, and I totally think that things do need to change.”

“But from my perspective: firstly, I wouldn’t have had a career if gay people played gay roles and straight people played straight roles. I’d have played two roles out of the 36 projects I’ve worked on, or whatever [the number] is.”

Related: Luke Evans has some thoughts on whether people are ready for a gay James Bond

Think about this: If the entertainment industry were so strict about only straight actors playing straight roles, then we never would’ve had Evans’ memorable turn in the new cult classic Ma! You know, the one where [SPOILER] Octavia Spencer’s Sue Ann threatens to cut Evans’ character’s d*ck off, and then proceeds to give him a transfusion with dog blood. Let that sink in.


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But, seriously, Evans is getting at a larger point here. The more you think about it, the sillier it is to quibble over who can play what role—especially when it comes to something as fluid as sexuality.

As he sums it up: “The right person gets the job. Talent and ability, and a bit of luck and timing … That should be the reason why you get a job. It shouldn’t have anything to do with anything else.”

Related: Guys Reveal What It’s Like To Be ‘Gay For Pay’

In the same interview, the actor also reveals that he’s lived an “openly gay life” since he first moved to London and began acting in his late teens. It wasn’t until he began  booking roles in widely seen films that, suddenly, he felt pressured to come out again.

“It felt almost like I’d been born again. People said: ‘Oh, who is this person? Let’s get to know who he is,’” the actor recalls. “And all of a sudden I’m being told I have to come out again, like it’s a big thing. And it was just not. Not to me, at least. So that was weird, and to have to endure that was unpleasant–the public opinion saying that I went back in the closet and all that stuff. Absolutely ridiculous.”


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He remembers a specific instance when, at his first world premiere, he brought along a “good female friend,” whom The Daily Mail quickly assumed was his girlfriend—and even wrote that things were “becoming really serious” between them. But then, at the same time, others were saying this woman was his beard, and shaming him for “going back in the closet.”

Confidently out and proud, at least Evans is able to look back on that time with a sense of humor.

Related: Dan Levy just tapped this major gay star to appear in his directorial debut on Netflix

By the way, did you know that Luke Evans has an album out today? It’s a collection of cover songs called A Song for You, including “Say Something” (originally from Christina Aguilera and A Great Big World), which is a duet with—believe it or not—Nicole Kidman.

So, yeah, it sounds like he’s living out every gay’s fantasy these days. Good for him!

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