Andrew Scott said the strong queer community within the acting world helped him feel comfortable in his own skin.
The actor, known for his role as the priest in Phoebe Waller Bridge’s Fleabag, is opening up about living authentically in a new interview with The New York Times. It all started out as classes to help Scott with a “really bad lisp.” Soon, he was taking 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.”
Scott embraced queer roles before publicly coming out. Today, he breathes life into his on-screen personas – such as Adam in All of Us Strangers – and lives his truth authentically.
“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?”
Scott Talks AOUS and Paul Mescal
The 47-year-old actor plays Adam, a lonely screenwriter who has a chance encounter with his handsome neighbor Harry (Paul Mescal). But when Adam starts visiting his old childhood home, he has a unique second chance to open up to his parents who passed three decades ago.
“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,” Scott said.
Scott and Mescal’s on and off-screen chemistry has made headlines, such as shared birthday celebrations in bars. Yet, Scott anticipates audiences uncovering a more profound connection between their characters in the film.
“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.
“It’s such a beautiful thing to play, isn’t it? Just real care.”
In an interview, Mescal emphasized the challenge of translating this profound connection onto screens.“ 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.”
All of Us Strangers will premiere in theaters on December 22.
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