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Film and TV

Fleabag’s ‘hot priest’ Andrew Scott doesn’t want to be called ‘openly gay’

Lily Wakefield September 9, 2019
Fleabag actor Andrew Scott

Fleabag actor Andrew Scott said he doesn't want to be described at "openly gay." (Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty)

Star of BBC comedy Fleabag, Andrew Scott, said that he doesn’t like being described as “openly gay” in the media.

Scott plays a family priest in the second series, who is also the show’s unnamed protagonist’s (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) main love interest.

In an interview with GQ, he said: “You’re never described as ‘openly gay’ at a party – ‘This is my openly gay friend Darren’, ‘She’s openly Irish.’ It implies a defiance I don’t feel.”

The gay actor also said making viewers “believe” his opposite-sex relationship in the show is part of his job, and he is being lauded as a sex symbol after becoming widely known as the “hot priest”.

When the second season of Fleabag premiered on March 4 this year, Pornhub told Huffington Post that searches for “religious” on the site spiked 163 percent that evening, and searches for “priest” rose 103 percent.

Fleabag actor Andrew Scott with Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Andrew Scott attend the the GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2019. (David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty for HUGO BOSS)

Fleabag actor Andrew Scott said it “insulting” when people say he can’t play a straight role.

Scott previously told Huffington Post: “It’s not remotely difficult for me to have chemistry with Phoebe Waller-Bridge and that goes for a lot of women I’ve played opposite.

“It’s ludicrous and almost insulting to say otherwise. The most important thing is that you have a real chemistry with the person you’re playing opposite.”

He added: “There hasn’t been a particularly level playing field with regards to who gets to play what. I can only speak for myself, but I think it’s very important that all of us are able to imagine acting is about being empathetic: what is it like to be in someone else’s shoes?

“So, I think it’s dangerous territory to go down sometimes to think that we’re only allowed to play our own – not just our own sexuality, but our own nationality or identity – that we’re only allowed to… represent things that are within our experience.”

Earlier this year, Mean Girls actor Daniel Franzese opened up about how the movie and left him hitting “the gay glass ceiling” of Hollywood.

More: Andrew Scott, Fleabag, GQ, openly gay, phoebe waller-bridge

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