Daniel Brocklebank now stars in Coronation Street, having began his career in Shakespeare in Love. (ITV/Miramax)
Coronation Street star Daniel Brocklebank has revealed that he lost out on a Hollywood career after he came out as gay at the age of 18.
In 1998, the actor starred in Shakespeare in Love, which went on to become a global success and won Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
But Brocklebank’s decision to come out publicly shortly after the film’s release effectively ended his film career, he told The Mirror.
“I came out publicly just after Shakespeare in Love was released, so I would have been 18,” explained Brocklebank, who now plays vicar Billy Mayhew on Coronation Street.
“I remember my management in Los Angeles trying to convince me not to come out because they said it would affect work – and it did.
“I stopped being screen-tested for the heterosexual male leads and I was either the gay best friend or the character parts.
“It was more in America than in Britain, but it was still very prevalent.”
Daniel Brocklebank came out publicly because there was a lack of gay role models
Brocklebank is happy with how his career turned out. He said he “loves” working on Coronation Street, adding that it’s the first time in his life he hasn’t been chasing roles.
“I’m creatively challenged, I’ve made some beautiful friends and I love Manchester, why would I change it?” he said.
“I’ve had an incredible career and done amazing things and seen amazing places, but Corrie has given me a work/life balance which I’ve never really been able to have before. As I’ve got older I’ve appreciated that.”
Daniel Brocklebank went on to reveal that he came out publicly because he was all too aware of the shortage of gay role models in the public eye.
He grew up in the 1980s when the AIDS epidemic ravaged the LGBT+ community, and he later came out in the mid-1990s.
Brocklebank said the difference between being gay then and now is “huge”.
“Now it’s incredibly fashionable to be gay and I like to think I was in a small way part of that movement to get the ball rolling,” he said.