Actor Andrew Scott: I grew up ashamed of myself because of Ireland’s anti-gay law

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Andrew Scott, currently best known as Moriarty in BBC’s “Sherlock,” revealed in an interview that growing up in Ireland at a time when it was illegal to be gay left him feeling ashamed of his orientation.

He told Hot Press, “I don’t think that people are intrinsically homophobic, because otherwise we’d have to give up. I think people are ignorant, and there’s a lot of work to do.”

He continued, “it’s also very important for me to say that, I wasn’t bullied, it never affected my career, my parents were great about it. I mean it was always easy for them, and when I was younger, I still had feelings of isolation and shame, and that was compounded by a law that backed up that feeling.”

As a majority-Catholic country, feelings about the LGBT community have lagged behind much of the rest of Europe, with homosexuality only being decriminalized in 1993.

Scott explained, “in ridding ourselves of that archaic law, you free up that mind space for young people, so that they can focus on all that stuff they should be focusing on, and allowing them to be outward looking. When someone is outward looking, rather than inward looking, it means that they become kind and generous and thoughtful people, and that’s what makes people happier. That’s why it’s a human rights issue.”

Though Scott generally keeps his personal life private, in November 2013 he confirmed that he is gay.

In a late 2013 interview with the Independent, Scott also revealed that when preparing for his role as KGB spy Viktor Koslov in the BBC2 drama “Legacy,” he learned the accent from videos of Vladmir Putin—at first. “But then Putin introduced anti-gay legislation this summer—so, being a gay person, I switched to Rudolf Nureyev videos instead. It was another Nureyev defection of sorts!”

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