All of Us Strangers’ Andrew Scott ‘feels lucky’ to have been born gay

Close-up image of All Of Us Strangers' Andrew Scott

Andrew Scott has said he “enjoys being gay so much, on so many levels”, and says he feels “lucky” to have been born that way.

Speaking to Attitude about his upcoming film, All of Us Strangers, the Irish actor said it was an “extraordinary privilege” to play the character of Adam in Andrew Haigh’s acclaimed drama.

Scott stars alongside Paul Mescal in the film, which follows screenwriter Adam as he is drawn back to his family home, where he connects with the ghosts of his parents, who died in an accident thirty years earlier.

Based on Taichi Yamada’s 1987 novel, Strangers, the movie explores themes around grief, coming out and loneliness, as Adam and his neighbour Harry (Mescal) find solace in each other. 

“I wanted to bring as much of myself as I could, because I feel that’s what the audience is going to relate to the most,” Scott said, adding playing the role had been “cathartic”.

Another of the themes of All of Us Strangers is that his character would have grown up in “the shadow of Aids”, while Harry is younger, meaning the way they relate to their sexuality is vastly different.

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“I certainly know that the shadow of Aids was looming when I was growing up in the nineties,” Scott went on. “And, of course, that’s going to affect the way we think about sexuality, in the sense that [we felt we were being] punished for being physical or for expressing love.”

The emancipation from that feeling of shame after the crisis is “one of the wonderful things” about being gay, the Fleabag star said.

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“I enjoy being gay on so many levels, it’s such a wonderful thing to me. It’s an extraordinary gift and just to be able to see the real beauty in being gay is completely wonderful.

“The older I get, the more I feel lucky to have been born gay, and that pervades my life in the sense of all my friendships. I have so many amazing queer friends [who] I just adore.”

And when he sees same-sex couples holding hands on the street, “I’m like a little weirdo. I’m smiling at them. They’re like: ‘What’s that dude smiling at us for?’ Because I just think it’s so wonderful.”

All of Us Strangers representation of LGBTQ+ romance is critical, Scott continued.

“When we read positive things or see representation on screen, when we see ourselves, we think: ‘Oh, well, we can forge a way in the world’. That’s why a movie like this is so important, because it’s incredibly compassionate and tender, but it also doesn’t erase the fact that it’s painful and it can be lonely being gay.

“There’s a certain thorny path that we all have to go to in order to find love, not just in another person, but in ourselves.”

Scott also believes the phrase “openly gay” should be retired for good, and replaced with the word “out”, with the former phrase making him “uneasy about what it implies”.

He explained: “I do understand that historically we need a word to recognise the fact that there are sometimes people who are gay, but, for whatever reason, aren’t able to be open about it. I totally get that. And so, I just feel the word ‘out’ does that. It’s simpler. It does the job, with less implications.”

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All of Us Strangers is released in UK cinemas on Friday 26 January.

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