Luke Evans is not ’embarrassed’ about his sexuality: ‘I’m protecting myself’


In the early days of his career, Luke Evans was seen primarily as a music theater actor, and as such, he felt pretty open in coming out publicly in interviews. When Hollywood came calling, Luke seemingly jumped back into the closet, except… it was more nuanced than that. Luke never flat-out denied being gay, he just hired a publicist who tried to strong-arm journalists into not asking any questions about Luke’s sexuality. And when he was asked personal questions about what he was looking for in a partner, Luke was pointedly vague, refusing to use even gendered pronouns. My take is that part of it is legitimately “stay in the glass closet, dude” but another part of it is just discomfort with talking about any part of his personal life. I don’t know. Anyway, Luke has a piece in the latest issue of Mr. Porter where he’s once again keeping it vague about his personal life. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

He enjoys working on action movies: “Stabbing someone in the chest, tumbling to miss a bomb, or whatever it is, you have to hit your mark every single time. You have to remember a sequence of movements and have accuracy, consistency, and replication. Fight choreography is dance. And I can dance.”

Singing for the live-action Beauty And The Beast (he plays Gaston): “[My vocal cords are] made of well-used leather. They’ve never been out of use for long, in fact. It’s just that, as Gaston, I got to sing more often, and in front of people, instead of on my own in my living room.”

Talking about his sexuality: “If somebody talks to me about my personal life, well, the clue is in the title: it’s personal, it’s private. I’m protecting myself, not because it’s anything that I’m embarrassed about, but because it’s mine.”

The future: Five years from now, Mr Evans muses, he’d like to be living in a warmer climate. Somewhere by the sea, ideally, and wouldn’t it be nice to feel settled enough in one place to have a dog? “There’s this unconditional love, no questions asked,” he explains. He knows exactly which dog he wants. Not the breed – the individual. “I fell in love with someone’s dog once, and I sort of want that dog. Not another dog – that one,” he says.

He’s single, gentlemen: He is currently single, and while this lasts, he’s treating it as an opportunity for “finding contentment with myself, and not relying on anybody else to validate it”. He adds, “I think being an only child has hindered that slightly, because I’ve always wanted to be around other people.”

[From Mr. Porter]

Only children have such strange take-aways from their only-childness, I’ve found. I’m an only child too, and for me, it meant that even when I was very young, I was very comfortable around adults and being spoken to like an adult. It means that I’m happiest when I’m alone with my own thoughts too. But other only-children are like Luke: needy, almost? Needing to be surrounded by people, to fill that void. It’s strange to me. As for what he says about his private life… eh. I give him credit for not lying and not denying. He’s a 37 year old man and who he bangs is his business. He doesn’t owe us an explanation.


Photos courtesy of Mr. Porter.

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42 Responses to “Luke Evans is not ’embarrassed’ about his sexuality: ‘I’m protecting myself’”

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  1. Colleen says:

    @Kaiser, my husband is an only child and I’m the oldest of four, who spent much of my time with my 12 cousins.

    My husband still continually seeks comfort in numbers, while I’m often looking for moments to get away for some alone time.

    We have 2 children, to my husband’s disappointment, as he wanted a few more.

    Additionally, my husband thrives in chaos and noise, while I’m the opposite.

    So I would at times characterize my husband as almost needy, to answer your question.

    That said, we do well together so I really don’t get it. Maybe it’s the opposites attract thing.

    • Borgqueen says:

      Wow. My husband is an only child, loves the quiet, is fine by himself with no one around and himself as his only company.

      Me, I am the eldest of 4, love to be around people and needs human interaction.

      • Melanie says:

        Only child here. Was always up under my grandmother and her friends. Treated like a little adult. Now I prefer my own company or being around older people. Growing up my friends were either only children or maybe had 1 or 2 siblings.

  2. Kilo Tango says:

    He is gorgeous. HONK for Luke!

    I agree with you Kaiser on the only child thing. I am an only and have always got on with older people and been quite happy to be by myself.

  3. delphi says:

    I’m like you, Kaiser. Give me solitude and quiet. I also learned to be fiercely independent at an early age, so I am loathe to have anyone tell me what to do and when to do it. Especially in relationships. I can’t abide clingy people. Ugh.

  4. marjiscott says:


    • Jenns says:

      These comments are the worst.

      • amilu says:

        They really are.

        In the time you took to comment, you could’ve googled it and spared yourself looking willfully ignorant and lazy.

    • elle says:

      I thought the same thing! Came here to try to figure it out… “oh, that guy…” but I still don’t know!

    • Trixie says:

      The “Who?” Comments are either 1) the commenter being willfully ignorant or 2) the commenter being rude to the subject of the story. If you’re willfully ignorant you just look dumb, and if you’re being rude to the subject of the story then you just look like a jerk.

  5. CT says:

    My son is an only child, and he is on the NEEDY spectrum. However, his neediness definitely manifests itself only within his most trusted circle, if that makes sense. He wants to constantly be with people, but not just ANY people. Which is probably a good thing, actually, to be selective in the people you surround yourself with, now that I’m musing on it. It just gets problematic because he really does need constant attention, but when that’s not available he flails a bit emotionally.

    Hmmm. A lot to unpack here on this post about Luke Evans.

  6. Nicole says:

    Only child here too, and I can say I am more introverted and prefer to be alone then in crowds. I too have always gotten along with older people generally as well.

    I actually HATE neediness. My biggest pet peeve. Neediness will make me drop someone so fast, their heads spin.

    • Jenns says:

      Ditto. I’m an only child who is a total introvert and needs my alone time.

    • MellyMel says:

      Yep same here! I’m always fascinated by ppl who have to be around other ppl at all times! It’s exhausting to me. I have to have quiet moments or I get overwhelmed.

  7. Jess says:

    I don’t blame him for playing things close to the chest. Once an actor is out, it’s very difficult for them to get cast in straight parts. It’s total BS, but it is what it is because Hollywood is still so backward.
    Look at Ben Whishaw… He came out and his career still hasn’t recovered. He is THE BEST British actor of his generation but the big roles keep going to Cumberbatch and Hiddleston and Hardy and McAvoy. He was even snubbed for a Tony for The Crucible (which I saw in NYC and was insanely phenomenal)!! Sorry for the rant, but I don’t blame Evans one bit for wanting to maintain his position in action films…

    • Turtle says:

      He was cast as the new Q in two blockbuster Bond films, which don’t get any more A-list, and was the lead in “London Spy” TV series. He was in “Paddington” (huge hit family film), “In the Heart of the Sea” (big-budget A-list project). Recently he was in “The Lobster” and “The Danish Girl” (two hit indie films) and “Suffragette” (with Meryl Streep) and “A Hologram for the King” (with Tom Hanks). And he was on Broadway in a big, splashy production of a popular play. That’s all since coming out. He has literally not stopped working in prestige projects. He’s doing GREAT.

      • Stella Alpina says:

        “That’s all since coming out.” Not quite. That’s all since he became silent about his personal life.

        The point being made was that Luke was open to the media about being gay earlier in his career. He was out and proud and true to himself. Once he started getting roles in Hollywood, playing straight characters in many action films, he went right back into the closet. All those roles you mentioned were offered years after he covered up his past.

        Whether it was due to pressure from Hollywood execs, his agent, his PR team, or a combination of them all, we don’t know. What is apparent is that after his profile increased after appearing in major films, he suddenly became private. Yet at the same time, as another commenter mentioned, he appeared at public events with his publicist and pretended she was his girlfriend.

        Of course, that’s his choice. It’s also a reversal of his prior candidness about his sexuality, which is sad. Hollywood is not as progressive as it thinks it is when a bankable actor has to hide his authentic self, just like Rock Hudson did over half a century ago.

        Again, it’s sad but no surprise, since Hollywood also hasn’t evolved when it comes to hiring non-white actors, or when it comes to creating roles for women over 40.

      • Jess says:

        Umm .. Turtle…. I’ve seen everything he’s ever done (including The Crucible which was the “big splashy thing” for which he was snubbed for a Tony). None of those roles were starring roles and most of the parts he was on screen less than 10 minutes. Go ahead and look it up. London Spy and The Danish Girl are the only substantial parts and surprise! both were parts as gay men. You didn’t READ what I said. Once an actor is out they are typecast and shunted.

  8. Gabby says:

    I think he has the right to be cautious about his private life. He is not lying about being gay, just not talking about it. There are plenty of actors, men and women, that dont talk about relationships either. Not because of shame, but because they don’t want to be tabloid fodder.

  9. Brittney B. says:

    Yeah, I’m an only child who NEEDS alone time more than anything… I even quit my office job to freelance because it was so emotionally draining to interact with people all day. And I’m a writer, so I’ve always thrived while alone with my thoughts.

    But then again, I’ve been in a series of long-term relationships since I was 18, and I spend almost every waking moment with my partner (unless we’re in our separate offices at home). Never really connected that to my lack of siblings, maybe because my partner (who has 2 siblings) is the same way. But he gets restless if we don’t socialize with others at least once a week, and I’m not that way at all.

    Anyway, that’s just my meaningless take on the only child perception.

    • Salome says:

      Youngest of 4 here, married 27 years to an only child.
      We’re both gregarious introverts — NEED alone time, enjoy people time within limits.
      We are always together, and we both prefer being together when possible. We’ve spent a total of 10 days apart in all these years, and miss each other when one is elsewhere (he teaches a night class, and I enjoy the alone time and miss him at the same time, lol).
      He’s kinda bad at boundaries though. I connect it to being an only child and not really going through squabbles with siblings: He has a VERY hard time just saying ‘I’m sorry’ and moving on. It was never a routine part of his life.

  10. INeedANap says:

    Good for him. His sexuality is not anyone else’s business but his and the consenting adults with whom he has sex.

    Just because he’s not public about it doesn’t mean he’s lying.

  11. Deni says:

    It’s his business but practically everything we discuss on this site are not our business either. Now, I think it’s a complete lie to suggest that he doesn’t discuss his love life because he is just private. There’s actually footage of him discussing his p0rn preferences in an old interview before Hollywood came calling. And from what I read on gay sites about five years ago during the reclosetting, he wasn’t just not discussing it, he was trying to sweep the internet of his real past and presenting his publicist as his gf. It seems obvious that he has gone back for his career and that should trouble us. He shouldn’t have to and the media playing along just convinces him that this is the only way to succeed in action. A free human being has been reimprisoned, I refuse to play along

    • Stella Alpina says:

      Thank you! Truer words were never spoken.

      We’ve made some progress but there’s a long way to go. Both Hollywood and many people in general think that sexual orientation is not an issue anymore and everyone’s welcome at the table, but not really.

      Actresses are allowed to be gay or bisexual as long as they can fit society’s idea of attractive and feminine. Angelina Jolie and Kristen Stewart can play the leading lady, whether it’s in a romance or action movie. But an openly gay or bisexual actor has limited career opportunities. Yet another ugly double standard.

      Hollywood tends to cast an openly gay actor as the stereotypical flamboyant character. Even if he fits their requirements – rugged and “straight” acting – he must stay in the the closet, like Luke Evans, if he wants to play the leading man or an action hero. More than 50 years later and Luke is doing the same things Rock Hudson was urged to do. Not much has changed.

    • VirgiliaCoriolanus says:

      I never knew he was gay, but I always thought he was frigging gorgeous, but always in crap/weird films.

    • spidey says:

      @ Deni that is what I thought. Which is why my mouth dropped open a little at this at the end:

      “As for what he says about his private life… eh. I give him credit for not lying and not denying. He’s a 37 year old man and who he bangs is his business. He doesn’t owe us an explanation.”

      • AustenGirl says:

        “He’s a 37 year old man and who he bangs is his business.”

        This really bugs me, as it’s akin to the “I don’t care what someone else does in the bedroom” contingency when accepting human beings for who they are. I think it ignores the notion that sex is only one small part of a relationship, and the outcry against the LGBTQ community isn’t their sexual preferences, it’s their audacity in wanting to also live public lives and to want to hold hands with their partners, and go on dates, and be married (or not), and raise families (or not). We don’t deny straight people the opportunity to live full, authentic lives publicly and privately, and we don’t impose contingencies for being OK with hetero relationships. The whole notion of contingency relegates the LGBTQ community to lesss-than status; even when it’s well-meaning, it’s still hurtful and ignorant.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        I didn’t take it that way at all. There definitely are people who try to hide homophobia behind “Ugh. Why are these people talking to us about their sex life/why is this even being brought up, too much oversexualization,”, but I thought the quote at the end was just saying that Luke Evans gets to decide for himself how open with the public he does or doesn’t want to be with his sexuality. That it’s his choice.

    • V says:

      I agree to an extent, but at the same time, nobody owes you/us anything, certainly not justifications or explanations or confirmations. If he doesn’t want to be a poster child or an example, he doesn’t have to be. The sex lives of consenting adults are their own business, not ours.

  12. Vaya says:

    I don’t care if he’s gay, straight, bi, pan, or mythical unicorn. I love him. I love his work. I just want to hug him, kiss his forehead, and make him soup and sandwiches all day while we watch binge watch Game of Thrones. Thats my dream. Don’t care. Just love him.

  13. TalkingAbout says:

    I like the way he has been administrating his private life – it’s private. Thats it. Period. He really says what he means, no games. He got my respect.

  14. Cat87 says:

    I was raised as an only child despite having two older half brothers. they were raised with their father and me with me mother. I am more solitude than anything and come off to most people as private and aloft at times. In the past I’ve hinted to friends and family members about me being bi. as I age, still have the urgency to explore those areas of my secuality. like Luke Evans, I keep my sexuality private and if you were to ask me straight out. my response is usually “I am what I am and not what you think I am.” It sounds assholic but I don’t feel the need to explain it, define it or make my sexuailty the talk at dinner.

  15. spidey says:

    Saw him in “Girl on a Train” today, very good.

  16. Bread and Circuses says:

    My dad was an only child, and my mom said when they were talking about kids, the upper limit was negotiable but the lower limit was not: At least two. He had found being an only child very lonely.

  17. Reece says:

    Maybe some only children need to be around people.
    I’m a bot of a paradox I suppose. I’m an only child and I very much enjoy being alone. Something I have a difficult time explaining to sibling-ed people. I am also very selective about who I let close to me. Admittedly, that isn’t merely an only child thing , it’s also a trust issue I have. However, I do like crowds in certain situations, ex. I love going to concerts. I love the energy of them. I love full movie theatres at midnight. But once I am out of those situations then it’s time for peace and quiet again. After enough time at home I start to feel the need to be out again.

  18. MelB says:

    I know they try to closet gay actors because for some reason it’s thought that it decreases the appeal to a female audience (?). Totally ridiculous.

    I don’t care if he’s gay, he’s sexy AF. His Zeus fueled many a fantasy of mine.

  19. DSA says:

    I love that “glass closet” approach—I learn something new here everyday! Obviously, who he sleeps with/dates is none of our business and he owes us no details about his personal life. But public figures do have a social responsibility (to the LGBTQ community) to not flat-out deny their sexuality if they are part of the community. On one hand, I don’t like people volunteering too much of their personal lives, especially if they’re actors who are supposed to sell us a character (just as long as they don’t go full-blown “no homo” or act like self-loathing homophobes, I have no issue what celebrities say—I have no issue with “straight-acting” gays even). But denial and erasure bothers me more, I think. I was really impressed with what Martin Freeman once said, “I don’t want some 15 year-old to think it’s wrong [to be a sexual minority].” And that’s important. My favourite thing to say is: Everyone is somewhere on the Kinsey scale.

    Obviously, I don’t advertise, either (I live in conservative Asia and I remember having to take personal security measures when I volunteered for the local LGBTQ film festival here). I also remember filming a gay film, and I’d just moved after a long home renovation (so I didn’t have a printer set up at home) and for that entire year, I had to go to print shops for all my screenplay (except for my stageplay) and I never printed the screenplay for that particular gay film ever… I like to keep my screenplays as souvenirs, I collect them—one time I lost my original copy with the scribbles and notes and I freaked out and asked everyone where it is, but I’ll never have a printed screenplay for that film because we were scared. Production told us if we wanted to post on social media, to turn geo-tagging off. The persecution is real.

  20. Mannori says:

    I was in Toronto coincidentally when they were filming State like Sleep. He stepped in almost a couple of weeks before filming and when pre-prod had already well entered. Pretty messy shooting, it was actually green lighted last year, then cancelled, then delayed a year, then last minute cast changes….can’t say more

  21. “Who he bangs is his business” is not that same as someone acknowledging that he’s gay. You can be openly gay and then say, “I don’t talk about who I’m dating. ” When we look at closeted or glass-closeted stars and find that acceptable or, worse, laudable, we’re agreeing—intentionally or not—that gayness is intensely privately, somewhat nasty business that one shouldn’t discuss in polite society. That is the message it sends.

    I mean, Robert De Niro is not a Kardashian, but I know he’s straight and he has talked about things that specify that. It’s a harmful double standard, however well-intentioned.