Ben Whishaw: It was hard to come out 'with some sort of dignity and to remain private'

The James Bond actor said he is happy his sexuality is 'just a fact'

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The Independent Online

Ben Whishaw has spoken candidly about the difficulty of coming out as gay “with some sort of dignity”.

The 34-year-old actor, who appeared in Skyfall and will star as Freddie Mercury in an upcoming biopic about the Queen frontman’s life, told Marie Claire that his sexuality was never a secret but it was still hard to talk about it openly.

He said: “I suppose now I'm very grateful that it happened the way it did. It was never a secret, everyone around me in my life knew, it's just very hard to know how to say it, in a way, with some sort of dignity and to remain private.”

He added: “It was something that happened at that time and now I'm very happy it's just a fact and I can get on with life.”


Whishaw, who entered into a civil partnership with Australian composer Mark Bradshaw last summer, also spoke about his reluctance to replace Colin Firth as Paddington in the forthcoming film abut the much-loved bear.

“I said no the first time,” he said. “I just thought, I'm not very good at doing voices, I can't do it and I don't think I'll be right for it.”

He said he changed his mind after director Paul King asked him to reconsider.

“I had imagined I'd just be putting my voice to something but they actually filmed my face and mouth and took footage of my movements so there was a blending of me and the bear. I tried a few different things with my voice and over time realised that it should sound like I do in real life...”

Whishaw’s other past credits include Hamlet, Brideshead Revisited and Cloud Atlas. He will also star as Herman Melville in The Heart of the Sea, a Warner Bros film about the whale attack that spawned Moby Dick.