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If Polo Morín quit the business after what he went through, no one would blame him. But the Mexican actor is prepping for his splashiest role yet, and he’s finally ready to tell his side of the story.

Speaking with Attitude, the 31-year-old star opened up about being hacked and blackmailed in the early days of his career, and how the experience drew him to the story of his upcoming project, the romance novel adaptation Red White And Royal Blue.

 

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It was 2014, and Morín had a few years of television acting under his belt when a blackmailer threatened to leak screengrabs from a nude webcam session unless the actor paid up. At first, he thought it was a hoax, but the extortionist eventually released the images.

“I was so, so depressed and there was nothing I could do,” Morín told Attitude. “There was no law that covered that area.”

At the time, the actor was closeted. Though it’s said he was “engaged in sexual acts” with another man in the cam session, only images of Morín were released, so he managed to keep his sexuality a secret. “They couldn’t see who I was with,” he shared. “I thought, ‘Yeah, well, I was masturbating. We guys masturbate. So sorry for that.’” Life carried on.

 

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But just two years later, Morín was hacked once again. This time, it was his emails—emails that included photos of him on vacation with his then boyfriend.

“It was just a bunch of photos of us traveling,” Morín said. “We were in Spain. They hacked my emails and got the photos, and then hacked my Facebook account and published them as if I was coming out. Which, honestly, I wasn’t ready for.”

Though the star had been talking to his team about the possibility of coming out prior to the leak, he was worried what it could do to his burgeoning career. “I was really scared that I would never work again in Mexico,” he admitted.

 

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For a second there, it looked like his fears were coming true. Morín reportedly lost over 100,000 followers on social media after the email photos were posted.

“I was a little hurt. But at the same time, I knew that it was going to happen, because it’s Latin America and we’re still really homophobic in many senses. And I still get it all the time. I get comments like, ‘Oh, Polo Morín, he would’ve been such a huge star if he hadn’t come out.'”

And though he was still able to find work after being outed, Morín recalled being offered a number of gay roles he found disrespectful. They either wanted him to “be really feminine and be the gay comedy [character]” who gets laughed at, or—in one specific instance—”the kind of gay character that people would respect” who was not allowed to be feminine or romantic with other men.

 

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While the actor says the industry still has a long way to go, he’s been heartened by progress in recent years, particularly in his work with Netflix. In the global hit series Who Killed Sara?, he played a multi-dimensional gay character. And, in the upcoming firefighter drama, High Heat, he’s starring in a straight role.

“They do not see me as the ‘gay actor’. They see me as an actor that happens to be gay, but they couldn’t care less.”

Related: Meet the dreamy stars of the upcoming ‘Red, White & Royal Blue’ adaptation

Next, he’s stepping into the world of Red White And Royal Blue—Amazon’s adaptation of Casey McQuiston’s best-selling novel. In a supporting part, he’ll play a former partner of Alex (Taylor Zakhar Perez), the Mexican-American “First Son” of a female President. When Alex meets his supposed rival, Henry (Nicholas Galitzine) the pair begin a secret affair—until it gets leaked to the media and their relationship is exposed.

Certainly, Morín can see something of himself in Alex’s story, leaked photos and all. But what he’s most excited about is the opportunity to work on a project that makes space for positive representation of Mexican people and the LGBTQ community.

 

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