Andrew Scott says we should stop making ‘assumptions’ about people’s sexuality

Andrew Scott has shared his view on the negative impact of assuming people’s sexuality in a new interview.

The 47-year-old actor has been widely praised for his performance in the drama All of Us Strangers, in which his character, screenwriter Adam, finds himself drawn to his neighbour Harry (played by Paul Mescal) while dealing with his grief over the death of his parents.

Scott, who is gay, has spoken out about the harm that can be caused when people assume others are heterosexual by default – and how it affected him as a young person.

Speaking in the forthcoming edition of Attitude magazine, out on Friday 16 February, the Fleabag star said: “I don’t think that there is one particular point, but I do think if we could erase the assumption in our society that everybody is straight until proven otherwise, it would make an enormous difference to people.”

He continued by suggesting that adults should think more carefully when making gendered comments to children and teenagers.

“And by that, I mean that we don’t say to our six-year-olds, ‘You’re going to marry a princess and have you got a girlfriend?’

“I remember when I was a teenager and people said, ‘Have you got a girlfriend?’ I would say no, and I wasn’t necessarily lying, but you feel like you’re lying by omission. For me, what happened is that you desexualize yourself, slightly.

Andrew Scott (Getty Images for National Board of Review 2024 Awards Gala)
Andrew Scott (Getty Images for National Board of Review 2024 Awards Gala)

“And I think that happens for a lot of teenagers is that there’s a conspiracy of silence around you, and that is a lonely place to be.”

Scott added that an additional impact of this assumption means that teens like his younger self are forced to become “very hardworking” to hide their full selves from others.

He noted: “We pour our energies into something completely different in order to correct what we imagine is a flaw in our character.”

Andrew Scott on the cover of Attitude magazine (Attitude / Ramon Christian)
Andrew Scott on the cover of Attitude magazine (Attitude / Ramon Christian)

Late last year, Scott also weighed in on the debate on whether straight actors should be able to play gay characters, as All of Us Strangers director Andrew Haigh was “determined” to cast a gay actor in the lead role.

He shared his mixed view on the conversation with Screen Daily in December, stating: “As much as I feel like representation is important, so is transformation. I don’t love the idea of being cast for something purely for my own sexuality – you’re not just playing ‘gay’, you’re playing the attributes of the character.

“I don’t want a totalitarian regime – we have to look at each individual story we’re telling and what’s right for that.”

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