Andrew Scott reveals how acting gave him the confidence to come out

Paul Mescal (L) and Andrew Scott (R) in All of Us Strangers.

Andrew Scott has shared how acting gave him the confidence to come out and stop feeling shame.

Scott, who stars in the highly anticipated All Of Us Strangers alongside fellow Irish actor Paul Mescal, has reflected on how pursuing a career in acting helped him to feel free and eventually confidently show up as his true self.

The actor told The New York Times that his journey began when he was put into elocution lessons to help him with a “really bad lisp.”

He recalled: “Eventually it was speech and drama classes. I was so shy and terrified, but then someone would say, ‘Get up and do an improvisation,’ and some part of me felt… free.”

Andrew Scott is starring in the West End production of Vanya.
Andrew Scott has shared how acting helped him to stop feeling shame. (Lia Toby/Getty Images)

The Fleabag star says he started being cast in gay roles in his late teens, though he hadn’t yet come out. Plus, Scott shares that it certainly helped to see such a strong LGBTQ+ community within the acting world.

“A lot of people within the industry were queer, so I was surrounded by them and then, bit by bit, started to feel confident,” he shared.

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While, today, Scott is much more sure of himself and confidently out, the actor did confess that it could be all too easy to drift back to a place of shame.

“I’m happy to be able to say that to be emancipated from shame has been genuinely the biggest achievement of my life,” he said.

“For a long time, I have felt very comfortable with myself, but it doesn’t take much to go back there —-something a taxi driver can say can still wound you. If he might say, ‘You’ve got a wife?’ You could go, ‘No, I don’t,’ or is that sort of a lie by omission?”

Paul Mescal (L) and Andrew Scott (R) make the perfect pair in All of Us Strangers.
Andrew Scott stars in All Of Us Strangers with Paul Mescal. (Searchlight Picture/Chris Harris/20th Century Studios)

For his role in All Of Us Strangers, Scott had to essentially “undo” his own personal progress and “go back to that place where you feel frightened.”

In the film, Scott plays a quiet gay screenwriter named Adam, who develops a romantic relationship with his neighbour Harry, played by Mescal.

But, as their romance blossoms, Adam finds himself drawn back to his old family home in Croydon, where he encounters the ghosts of his parents, played by Claire Foy and Jamie Bell.

Adam uses this connection to his late parents to challenge his own fear and shame and finally come out to them.

For Scott, the film, which has already earned rave reviews from those who have been lucky enough to see it already, was an honour to be a part of.

“To make something like [All of Us Strangers], it moves me, because I never thought that I’d get a chance to expose myself so much in a film like this or for it to be in such a trusting environment with such brilliant colleagues,” he said.

Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott at the Aftersun screening in London.
In All Of Us Strangers, Andrew Scott plays quiet gay screenwriter Adam, who falls for his neighbour Harry (Mescal). (Getty/Darren Gerrish)

Scott also briefly touched on his connection with Mescal in the film. The pair have already made many headlines with their undeniable on-screen chemistry and sensual scenes, but actors want viewers to appreciate the tenderness of their characters’ relationship, too.

“People have talked an awful lot about the chemistry and the sex between our characters, but actually what I think is really radical and affecting about the relationship is how affectionate and tender they are with each other,” said Scott.

“It’s such a beautiful thing to play, isn’t it? Just real care.”

Paul Mescal chimed in: “I find it healing to watch that kind of emotional intimacy. I remember being surprised when we watched it for the first time, because I didn’t remember being so close to your face when we were talking, how we were totally taking each other in. 

“There’s a weird thing that I don’t think you can cheat: You know how when somebody you love is talking to you, and you look at their lips? It’s like, Jesus, I can’t remember doing that.”

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