British actor Ben Whishaw, best known in the U.S. for his portrayal of Q in the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall, has come out of the closet as a gay man.
One of the 32-year-old actor’s reps told the U.K.’s Daily Mail that he is gay, and that he has been in a civil partnership with his partner (Australian composer Mark Bradshaw) for the past year.
“Ben has never hidden his sexuality, but like many actors he prefers not to discuss his family or life outside of his work,” his rep said. “Due to speculation, I can confirm that Ben and Mark entered into a civil partnership in August 2012. They were proud to do so and are very happy.”
Fans have speculated about Whishaw’s sexual orientation since he granted an interview to Out magazine in 2011. In it, he dodged a question about being a gay role model.
“I really agree with that, and I feel in my heart that it’s important, but I don’t quite know yet the way to go about that,” he said.
“Maybe that’s the transitional thing I feel I’m in the middle of at the moment,” he continued. “It’s something I think about, but it’s important for me to do it at the time that’s right for me. And I’m not there yet.”
He also wondered why the public is even interested in the personal lives of celebrities.
“I don’t see why that has to be something you discuss openly because you do something in the public eye. I have no understanding of why we turn actors into celebrities. It’s difficult talking about it. That’s why I didn’t want to go there, but at the same time I know this is a gay magazine and that means there’s a conflict there.”
Whishaw and his partner met in 2009 on the set of Bright Star. Whishsaw played the lead role of poet John Keats while Bradshaw composed the score.
A friend of the couple said that their family and friends are “delighted for them. Mark’s a lovely guy, very talented and very close to Jane Campion. There hasn’t been a chance for a big celebration because of Ben’s schedule but I’m sure there will be one at some point.”
Are you surprised that Ben Whishaw is gay?