Kate Winslet says she knows gay actors who fear coming out will destroy their careers

There are gay actors in Hollywood who fear coming out will derail their careers, according to Kate Winslet.

"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. Now that's f—ed up," Winslet said in a new interview with The Times' Culture magazine.

"I'm telling you. A well-known actor has just got an American agent and the agent said, 'I understand you are bisexual. I wouldn't publicize that.' I can think of at least four actors absolutely hiding their sexuality," she continued. "It's painful. Because they fear being found out. And that's what they say. 'I don't want to be found out.'"

Winslet added that from her perspective, the stigma applies to "men more than anything. It's bad news."

The Academy Award-winning actress spoke on the topic while discussing her film Ammonite, a romantic drama about British paleontologist Mary Anning (Winslet) and her lover, Charlotte Murchison (Saoirse Ronan).

"A conversation about straight actors in gay roles is incredibly important," Winslet said. "I hope there will come a time when it is automatic that [gay] actors get those parts and you wouldn't have to put punchy film stars in to get it made."

She added, "We could have had a conversation about how I feel about playing a lesbian and possibly taking that role from somebody, but I'm done with not being honest about what my real opinions are, and I know the part was never offered to anybody else. In taking this part, I had an opportunity to bring an LGBTQ story into living rooms."

Ammonite is available to stream on Hulu.

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