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Fleabag star Andrew Scott opened up about the important role acting had on his coming out journey. 

In a recent interview with The New York Times, the beloved talent gave insight into his acting journey and how it helped him break out of his shell.

“I genuinely think that acting helped me. When I was a kid, I started doing elocution lessons because I had a really bad lisp,” he explained.

“She sells seashells,” I had to say that 17 times a day. So they sent me to elocution, which was boring, but eventually, it was speech and drama classes. I was so shy and terrified, but then someone would say, “Get up and do an improvisation,” and some of me felt [free].”

In addition to his blossoming confidence, the openly gay actor admitted that acting led him to embrace his sexuality. 

“[I felt] free and loved it. And then I practiced it a little bit more and then started doing it as a job. When I was 18 or 19, I was playing gay parts, but I wasn’t out,” he continued.

“A lot of people within the industry were queer, so I was surrounded by them and then, bit by bit, started to feel confident.”

While Scott has come a long way in accepting his identity, he admitted that it “doesn’t take much” for his confidence to falter.

“I think an awful lot, if I’m honest. I’m happy to be able to say that to be emancipated from shame has been genuinely the biggest achievement of my life,” he added. 

“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 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’s recent comments come a few weeks after he opened up about his career beginnings and being advised to keep his sexuality a secret. 

“I was encouraged by people in the industry who I really admired and who had my best interests at heart, to keep that [to myself],” he revealed to British GQ. 

“I understand why they gave that advice, but I’m so glad that I eventually ignored it.” 

While Scott doesn’t regret coming out, he admitted that talking about his sexuality can be “exhausting” at times. 

“Sometimes I find the prurient nature of the way of the way we talk about it a little bit exhausting. It’s both very important to talk about, and sometimes I feel like I wish we didn’t [end] up talking about it,” he explained.

Aside from his coming out journey, Scott is set to appear alongside Paul Mescal in the highly anticipated LGBTQIA+ drama All of Us Strangers. 

Based on the novel Strangers by Japanese novelist Taichi Yamada, the film follows screenwriter Adam (Scott), who navigates a new romance with his mysterious neighbour Harry (Mescal). 

However, things take a surprising turn when Adam comes across his dead parents (Jamie Bell and Claire Foy), who “appear to be living just as they were on the day they died, 30 years before.” 

All of Us Strangers is set to hit UK cinemas on 26 January 2024.