Gay actor Russell Tovey: ‘It might be more of a risk for me to play a gay character’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Actor Russell Tovey says he believes his career is unique because he always plays straight characters.

In an interview to the Independent, the 31-year-old said he shuns playing gay men.

“Every character I play is straight, which is unique, my agent says, because it’s not really been done before that someone who is completely out is able to play straight roles. So for me to play gay it has to be something special, because it might actually be more of a risk. So I’m waiting for that role – I want it to be something that moves things forward.”

Tovey also revealed he auditioned for Doctor Who. He said Russell T Davies mentioned in a blog that the actor would be a perfect replacement for the Tenth Doctor David Tennant.

“Russell texted me to say, ‘Look, I’ve said this quote about how you should be the next Doctor Who, so if it goes a bit crazy …’ And I was, ‘Oh, that’s fine …’, and then suddenly it just went everywhere: people messaging me from my childhood and lots of remarks like, ‘His ears are too big for the Tardis, they’ll be flapping about.’ People were starting to get really personal.”

However, Matt Smith was to become the 11th Time Lord, but Tovey, who was screen-tested, professes to have been more relieved than disappointed: “It would have terrified me,” he said. “I don’t know what I would have done with all the attention.”

Tovey currently stars in new sitcom ‘The Job Lot’ airing Mondays on ITV at 9.30pm.