Tom Hollander has spoken out about his sexuality and his historical track record of playing LGBTQIA+ characters, ahead of his new role as American writer Truman Capote in Feud: Capote vs. the Swans.
No stranger to playing a queer character, Hollander has been Lord Alfred (Bosie) Douglas in The Judas Kiss, Guy Burgess in Cambridge Spies and one of the original “evil gays”, Quentin, in The White Lotus: “People keep asking me to do it because apparently when I play these characters, it’s believable,” he explained in an interview with Vanity Fair.
He continued: “For some reason, who I am, who I am as a person allows me to present as gay. Yeah, sometimes I do present as gay.”
The Bristol born actor then was asked whether this trait carried through into his “personal life.”
He confirmed: “I do, yeah. I’m somebody that walks into a room and there are some people who walk into the room, you go, ‘Well, they’re not gay,’ and, ‘They are gay.’ My own sexuality is sufficiently liberal to have encompassed many different experiences, which are not anyone’s business.
“I certainly have not lived the life that gay men used to have to live. I have not lived that difficulty. I have not had to live in the shadows and been under the threat of going to jail for expressing my sexuality.”
He continued to discuss “representation” and his thoughts on whether LGBTQIA+ actors should play LGBTQIA+ characters: “There are issues about representation. There are types of actors that have not been given sufficient chances to play great parts. All of these things are in the process of being revised and improved and changed, and that’s all absolutely right.”
Conversely, he shared: “At the same time as that movement is happening, what shouldn’t be sacrificed is the sort of basic fundamental principle of actors being able to play things that they are not necessarily, because then that’s not art. If an actor’s body is their canvas, my body is my tool—the painter uses a canvas, the actor uses their own body—so within that definition of acting, there has to be the possibility of transformation.
“And sometimes the most interesting, creative work comes from where somebody who is not something is coming up against it, and it’s the fizz of that—the joining of two that makes it interesting.”
Hollander starred in season two of The White Lotus and was part of arguably one of the most iconic scenes on TV in 2023.
Jennifer Coolidge reached a new peak in her career as Tanya McQuoid, when she memorably opened fire on a boat of homosexuals, including Hollander, before delivering the now-iconic line: “Please, these gays, they’re trying to murder me!”
Once again, we are set to return to The White Lotus resort for the upcoming third season of the scandalous HBO series.