Rob James-Collier Claims Playing Gay Hurt His Career
‘Downton Abbey’ star Rob James-Collier has claimed that he has been left ‘typecast’ by Hollywood after playing a gay character in the hit period drama.
Though James-Collier was a fan favorite for playing the role of gay butler Thomas Barrow for four years, he has now admitted that the film industry, and especially Hollywood, is unable to separate gay characters from the actors, and that ‘a lot of people within the industry can only see you as that’.
Speaking to Radio Times, he says:
“I think audiences in the U.S. can identify quite easily with the quintessential English gent and English lady, whereas a neurotic, dark, gay character like Thomas is a hard thing to put into the American market. It can lead to typecasting….
Because Thomas Barrow is gay and is, essentially, the bad guy for much of the show, a lot of people within the industry can only see you as that. They might not be in a rush to see you as a heterosexual love interest. That takes time.”
The actor claims he’s rejected several stage roles “which happened to be gay characters” because he “really wanted to show something different.”
Since the series concluded, the actor has starred in 2016’s The Attendant and will soon appear in a horror movie called The Ritual, in which a camping trip goes frightfully wrong.
“It’s a genre I have never done because there’s sometimes a stigma around these films.”
“There can be too much hack-slashing gore and nudity. This is different.”