Irish Sherlock star Andrew Scott: 'Gay marriage is pretty cool'
People are more ignorant than homophobic when it comes to gay rights issues, Dublin actor Andrew Scott believes.
"I don't believe people are intrinsically homophobic. I think they're ignorant, and they need to be exposed to things," said actor, famous for his chilling portrayal of villain Moriarty in the BBC's Sherlock.
The 37-year-old from Churchtown, south Dublin, was speaking ahead of the release of his new movie, Pride, where he co-stars with The Wire actor Dominic West.
The film is the true story about how gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender activists gave financial support to miners during the lengthy National Union of Mineworkers strike in Britain in the 1980s.
Scott plays a young man forced to turn away from his hometown and his religious mother his because of his sexuality.
That's in contrast to the actor's own personal experience of coming out, which was a happy one.
Scott is in a long-term relationship in London and said it's "pretty cool" that gay marriage has finally been legalised in Britain.
"Sometimes I think people talk about different types of sexuality as if the were invented in 1973," he said on the delayed gay marriage legislation in Britain.
"It's going on since the dawn of humanity, and will continue until the end of humanity, whenever that may be," said Scott.
The Government here has pledged to hold a referendum on gay marriage next year.
Meanwhile, having portrayed a variety of straight and gay characters throughout his career, Scott said he has no preference between the two.
"In relation to this film [Pride], people keep talking about the notion of 'playing gay'. Which I always think is preposterous... when you've got ten leading characters who are gay, you're not playing 'the gay one'.
"This is a character where it's much more about his nationality, his national identity, anyway."
The movie, a comedy drama, also features performances by West as well as Bafta-winner Bill Nighy.
Growing up in Dublin in the 1980s, Scott - who also starred Irish comedy The Stag - developed his own views on the strike and the reign of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
"I remember the miners strike, of course, and I remember her presence. I remember that feeling of hatred," he said.
"I really do hate the idea of us and them, the idea that you have to be naturally suspicious of people that are different to you," said Scott.