With his action-heavy roles in Sense8, Jason Bourne spin-off series Treadstone and BBC One's WWII drama World On Fire - which has been renewed for a second season - Brian J. Smith is the picture of confidence on screen.
While covering Attitude's December issue - available to download and to order globally now - Brian opens up about growing up in rural Texas in the shadow of rising 1980s US conservatism and how he was left feeling isolated by his burgeoning sexuality.
See what happened in special behind-the-scenes film of his exclusive cover shoot below:
"I was terrified. At school I really couldn’t fit in anywhere. I wasn’t a jock or a nerd," he says.
“Forget about any LGBTQ union or groups. There was absolutely nothing. I was completely alone. I heard all the names: pussy, faggot.
“I could never be who I was. I was constantly having to check myself and make sure I wasn’t looking at someone too long or making someone feel uncomfortable."
Read the full interview Brian J. Smith in the Attitude's December issue, out now.