Harry Hamlin says he took a role playing a gay character “10 years too early.”
The 68-year-old actor appeared on the It Happened in Hollywood podcast on Saturday in which he spoke about his career, which he says took a nosedive after he appeared in the 1982 film Making Love as an openly gay man who begins an affair with a married doctor (Michael OntKean).
Hamlin recalled that “everyone in town had turned” down the role because “at the time the idea of a gay world was not accepted at the time.”
But the script was “exactly the kind of movie” Hamlin said he was looking for.
“I wanted to do something that’s relevant and edgy, cutting edge,” he said. Despite his devotion to the role and his hopes that it would be well-received, Hamlin said the part ended his career.
“Overall, in terms of how the way that film was received, it was too early,” he said. “It was like 10 years too early and it completely ended my career. That was the last studio picture I ever did. The door shut with a resounding smash.”
Before Making Love, Hamlin was one of the hottest actors in Hollywood having starred in Clash of the Titans. After the film’s release, Hamlin said he struggled to get good roles until 1986 when he starred in television show L.A. Law in which he starred as Michael Kuzak.
Since then, Hamlin has gone on to star in television shows such as Veronica Mars, Army Wives, Shameless, Mad Men and Glee.
“I’m very proud of the movie and not a week goes by that people don’t come up to me and — I’m serious about this: in the supermarket, on the street — and they thank me for making that movie,” Hamlin said.