Monday 17 June 2019

Fleabag’s Andrew Scott: Hot priest title would have scared me

Andrew Scott spoke about his role in Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s TV comedy.

Andrew Scott played the priest in Fleabag (Ian West/PA)
Andrew Scott played the priest in Fleabag (Ian West/PA)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Fleabag star Andrew Scott says he would have felt cowed by his character if his official title was “hot priest”.

Scott, 42, played the priest over whom Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s protagonist – and many viewers – lusted in the TV series.

But the actor told The Big Issue magazine: “I’m glad the character was just called The Priest.

“Had it been called the Hot Priest I would definitely have been intimidated.”

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Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Matt Crossick/PA)

The Irish star added: “I think the dog collar just does it for people in some way. It is forbidden.

“So I try to separate myself from that because it is not me. It is the character that people are going nuts for.”

The former Sherlock star also spoke about LGBT rights in Ireland, where same-sex marriage was legalised in 2015.

“The emancipation of Ireland has been one of the great joys of my life,” he told the magazine.

“When I left, I didn’t feel like I could live there. Mercifully I wasn’t a victim of abuse, but I certainly felt I wasn’t accepted and that wasn’t just a flight of fancy or paranoia.

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Andrew Scott on the cover of The Big Issue (The Big Issue)

“The law wasn’t there. And if you don’t have laws to back you up, of course you feel vulnerable.

“When those laws are reversed, it completely changes not just your attitude towards your sexuality, but your attitude towards your religion, your family, your country and your identity.

“It can’t be underestimated how powerful that is.”

The Big Issue, sold by vendors to lift themselves out of poverty, is available across the UK from Monday for £2.50.

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