Beauty and the Beast’s Luke Evans says being gay has not hurt his Hollywood career

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

British actor Luke Evans, who played Gaston in this year’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, has said that being gay in Hollywood has not damaged his acting career – and that he will leave the movie industry if it does.

Heartthrob Evans, who rarely discusses his sexuality, said in a wide-ranging interview this week that he keeps his personal and professional life separate.

“There’s a dignity to keeping private,” he told The Jackal magazine .

“I try to keep my personal life and my private life separate…. Not for any reason other than there’s a clue in the title – it’s private.

“As an actor you have to keep some sort of enigma and mystery. There’s a dignity to keeping private.

“I’m trying to keep a bit of dignity to my private life and to protect the people in my life.”

Asked if being gay is a challenge in Hollywood, he said: “That question is difficult to answer.

“I don’t know how “Hollywood” as you call it, thinks. I don’t think about it. I don’t feel they’re connected. Talent, success, what you do in your personal life – I don’t see how one should have an effect on the other.

“I don’t think I’d be in this business if I felt that I was not being employed because of who I am in my personal life.’”

Evans, who also played creepy husband Scott in last year’s The Girl on the Train, came out as gay in 2002 in an interview with The Advocate, but has rarely discussed the topic since.

He said in 2002 that he had no reason to hide his sexuality.

Luke Evans came out as gay in 2002
Luke Evans came out as gay in 2002

Evans plays villain Gaston in this year’s live-action remake of the classic Disney fairytale Beauty and the Beast.

The film attracted controversy in some parts of the world for being the first major Disney film to feature an unambiguously gay character – Gaston’s sidekick Lefou, who is shown dancing with another man near the end of the film.

In Malaysia, Disney was initially forced to cut all of its screenings of the film due to the minor gay subplot, and in Russia the film – which also stars Harry Potter star Emma Watson – was given an adults-only rating.

Evans himself joined the debate last month, telling The Hollywood Reporter that he sees Gaston and his little helper Lefou as “just friends”.

Evans, the son of a working-class builder from the Welsh valleys, is not the only gay actor in the new Disney film – Sir Ian McKellen plays talking clock Cogsworth, and described the film last month as a “gay extravaganza”