Pic: Gage Skidmore
Hunky Beauty and the Beast star Luke Evans says that he doesn’t think that being openly gay has affected his Hollywood career.
The 38-year-old British actor, who plays Gaston in the live action remake of the classic Disney film, explained why he rarely opens up about his personal life in a new interview with Jackal Magazine.
“I try to keep my personal life and my private life separate,” he explained.”Not for any reason other than there’s a clue in the title – it’s private. As an actor you have to keep some sort of enigma and mystery. There’s a dignity to keeping private. I’m trying to keep a bit of dignity to my private life and to protect the people in my life…. It’s the choice I’ve made.”
He was asked if Hollywood is open to a gay action hero, to which he replied: “That question is difficult to answer. I don’t know how ‘Hollywood’ as you call it, thinks. I don’t think about it. I don’t feel they’re connected.
“Talent, success, what you do in your personal life – I don’t see how one should have an effect on the other. I don’t think I’d be in this business if I felt that I was not being employed because of who I am in my personal life,” Evans said.
The former musical theatre actor, who is now known for taking on action roles in films such as Clash of the Titans, Fast & Furious 6, The Hobbit and Dracula Untold, first came out as gay in a 2002 interview. “Everybody knew me as a gay man, and in my life in London I never tried to hide it,” he said.
Since then he’s rarely discussed his romantic life with the media. Last year he admitted to The Guardian that he was bullied as a kid and said that he hoped that he could inspire young people through his roles.
Pic: Luke Evans / Instagram
“If a bullied kid reads this article and sees that someone like me went on to play these quintessential, masculine characters … Well, maybe that shows you don’t have to let it affect you. That bully is only one person you will meet out of thousands in your life.”
Evans was in a relationship with model Jon Kortajarena from 2014 until 2016. There have been rumours, however, that the couple may have started dating again.
Beauty and the Beast was recently embroiled in controversy because it depicts the minor character of LeFou (played by Josh Gad) as gay. This led to threats of censorship in some countries and calls for boycotts from religious conservatives. The film, nevertheless, went on to become a hit around the world.