Pic: Gage Skidmore
American actor Cory Michael Smith, who plays Edward Nygma (The Riddler) in the TV series Gotham, has come out.
The 31-year-old star spoke openly about his sexuality for the first time in an interview to promote his new film, 1985.
Directed by Yen Tan, the movie tells the story of a closeted New York man who goes home to his family in Texas for the holidays after his boyfriend dies from AIDS.
Smith said that he could personally relate to some of the character’s experiences. “There’s something special about telling a story that feels closer to home,” he told The Daily Beast, which also confirmed that he identifies as queer.
“I’m from Middle America. I’m from Ohio,” he said. “I’ve been living here [in New York] for a while, and there are stretches when I don’t see my family often. Going home and that whole charade is very familiar. The first family dinner after a while. Coming out to a family, the fear of that.”
Smith commented that his own family responded to his coming out with “a lot of love,” but admitted that it also took “a lot of time”.
The story of 1985, he said, is ultimately about “something so personal about family and connecting with family and keeping secrets with family”.
Smith added: “It’s not about connecting gay people with the idea of disease. But I do think it is important to look at the gay experience in the early ’80s and know that it was overwhelmed by disease.”