Colin Firth has agreed that it is difficult for gay actors to be open about their sexuality.

Similar comments were made by Rupert Everett last week, who warned that stars could see their careers curtailed for coming out the closet.

Firth recently starred in Tom Ford’s directorial debut A Single Man. He played gay college professor George Falconer in the adaptation of the Christopher Isherwood novel.

He told Parade: “If you’re a straight actor who takes on the role of a gay man, it’s obviously not the same as being one in this business. I think there are still some constraints against being openly gay.

“It is to do with whatever sexual taboos are in place. In Hollywood, I know that some actors are far more circumspect about keeping that secret hidden. There are not a lot of openly gay leading men.”

Speaking about his gay role, he said: “I think the fact that the man I play is comfortably open about the fact that he is gay is definitely significant. But I think it just reinforces the power of the story, which is about a love between men that has a very accessible, universal quality.”