entertainment

Stephen Fry discusses his It's a Sin character with Alan Cumming

The actors caught up over a Zoom call for Student Pride 2021 last week.

2021-04-26

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Attitude/wiki

Stephen Fry and Alan Cumming have discussed Stephen's turn in hit Channel 4 drama It's A Sin.

The actors addressed the topic in a Zoom call for last week’s National Student Pride festival, which was uploaded to YouTube over the weekend.

Wilde star Stephen plays MP Arthur Garrison in the Olly Alexander-starring show, which tracks the onslaught of the HIV and AIDS epidemic in 80s London.

"I met several gay but not out MPs"

"He's a gay but not out Tory MP," explains Stephen of the pompous Garrison, who who starts up a secret relationship with Omari Douglas' character Roscoe. "I met several gay but not out Tory MPs in the course of 1980s and 1990s.

"It's a very strange thing to trying to talk to MPs because you're really talking to two people. First of all this facade that represents [constituencies]; 'my constituencies feel this and my constituencies feel that, they've urged me to vote this way, they've told me this, most people in Britain feel this and I understand and hear them.'

"And then behind that facade is a usually quite an intelligent person [...] with a certain amount of skill and aptitude, and they'll say 'I know, but I can't...'



"You think, now this is a deep flaw in our politics. People are speaking and behaving not as they feel and know, but as they feel they should."

“It’s important that we remember the persecution that’s gone before us”

The stars also discussed the concept of the 'LGBTQ umbrella', with Burlesque star Alan saying: “’LGBTQ’ – there are so many letters in the acronym, [and yet] there are many gay people who have never even met a trans person. So it’s kind of weird that we’re so desperate for some sort of recognition that we’ve had to join and scrabble together in this acronym band. But it is so important that we do that, and it’s important that we remember the persecution that’s gone before us and will come again, no doubt.

“I still think you should fight for your individuality within that. That is what I have always done. I like 'queer.' I think queer is a really good word, because it’s not just about what you do with your underpants. It is about a sensibility. I always say I am queer. I feel technically bisexual – I live with a man, I’m married to a man, and I’ve had sex with many women, and I still feel [bisexual].”

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