Rob James-Collier says he's rejected other gay roles because he "really wanted to show something different"
Downton Abbey star Rob James-Collier has suggested that playing a gay character in the show has hurt his career.
James-Collier portrayed Thomas Barrow in the ITV period drama from 2010-2015. He previously played Liam Connor in Coronation Street.
Speaking to Radio Times recently, James-Collier said that his role in Downton Abbey has left him “typecast”.
“I think audiences in the US can identify quite easily with the quintessential English gent and English lady,” he said, “whereas a neurotic, dark, gay character like Thomas is a hard thing to put into the American market. It can lead to typecasting.”
“Because Thomas Barrow is gay and is, essentially, the bad guy for much of the show, a lot of people within the industry can only see you as that,” the actor continued.
“They might not be in a rush to see you as a heterosexual love interest. That takes time.”
James-Collier also revealed that he has turned down theatrical roles “which happened to be gay characters” since Downton Abbey finished because he “really wanted to show something different”.
The final episode of Downton Abbey aired on Christmas Day 2015.
Last year, there were reports that Maggie Smith had signed up for a Downton Abbey film.