Feature

John Hurt’s sexual ambiguity

Hurt's not sure that his sexual identity is completely formed yet.

John Hurt denies that he’s gay—sort of, says Simon Hattenstone in the London Guardian. The 69-year-old British actor is well aware that many people have long assumed he is homosexual—a reputation helped by his penchant for playing gay roles, from a tittering, campy Caligula in I, Claudius to gay icon Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant. “Oh, yes,” he muses, “everybody thought I was gay.” That impression began at a young age, when his unusually pretty features won him female roles in plays at his boarding school in Kent. There, he says, he went through what he calls a “homosexual stage”—though, he hastens to add, “It was masturbatory, not penetratory, if that’s a word.” But any tendencies in that direction “stopped dead, absolutely dead, when I left school.” Since then he has been married four times, most recently to film producer Anwen Rees-Myers, whom he wed four years ago. Still, he’s not sure that his sexual identity is completely formed yet. “I think I went through what could be called a classic Greek cycle, from monosexuality to homosexuality to heterosexuality. The cycle of life is lemonade and boys, to beer and fast cars, to whiskey and women, and finishing up with Port and boys. So I don’t know …” He pauses to consider that final stage. “I think my wife might have something to say about that, don’t you?”

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