Hollyoaks star hits back after Downton Abbey actor said playing gay hurt his career

An out gay Hollyoaks star has hit back after a Downton Abbey actor said playing a gay character hurt his career.

Downton Abbey star Rob James-Collier, who played a gay butler in all seasons of the hit series, earlier this week said playing a gay character has had a negative impact on his career.

Now Hollyoaks star Andrew Hayden-Smith, who plays DS Gavin Armstrong in the season has hit back.

41-year-old actor James-Collier played villainous under-butler Thomas Barrow on the show, which ended last year after six seasons.



Speaking to Radio Times, he said that the watching public now associated him with Thomas’s gay character, which had affected his job prospects.



“I think audiences in the US 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,” he added.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 12:  Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge shares a joke with actor Robert James-Collier (Thomas) during an official visit to the set of Downton Abbey at Ealing Studios on March 12, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)


And James-Collier complained that he had the same issue with producers and casting directors. “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,” he said.

“They might not be in a rush to see you as a heterosexual love interest.

“That takes time.”

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