Skyfall star Ben Whishaw has described coming out as a “massively weighted” experience and said LGBT+ people needed time and courage to take the step.
Whishaw, 33, said he believed it was a particularly difficult and private move for most people.
Saying he actually disliked the term ‘coming out’, he added that it had been awkward telling his parents he was gay.
‘It’s hard to have a conversation with people you’ve know your whole life about a very intimate thing.
‘It’s massively weighted with all sorts of stuff, whatever the wider world is saying,’ he told the Sunday Times Magazine.
However, he stressed his personal experience was not dramatic.
‘Everyone was surprisingly lovely.
‘I hadn’t anticipated they would be, but they were.’
Whishaw, who is in a civil partnership with Mark Bradshaw, an Australian composer, said he was delighted to be an uncle to 16-month-old Evelyn, his twin brother’s daughter.
But he added that he was not sure yet whether he wanted children of his own.
‘I don’t have a feeling about it,’ he said.
The actor stars in the new film Lilting, a gay-themed dual-language movie in both Mandarin and English.
The partly-subtitled film follows a Cambodian-Chinese mother who, grieving over her son’s untimely death, meets his British boyfriend for the first time.
The low-budget production – which cost just £120,000 to make – shows how the pair unite in understanding and grief despite not sharing a common language.
Whishaw said in the movie his character had to take a ‘panic’ walk around the block before he was able to reveal his former relationship to the mother.
But the actor, who has played gay roles in the past, said it was not the character’s sexuality that had drawn him to play the part.
Instead, he said that it was the quality of the writing and the sensitivity of the plot which had attracted him to it.
Whishaw said the film had a sincere emotional quality and a real sense of its own voice.
‘It was tightly written and we didn’t have to change a word of it,’ he told the magazine.
The star of both Skyfall and Cloud Atlas, Whishaw first came to national attention at the age of 23, when in April 2004 he became the youngest ever actor to play Hamlet at the Old Vic theatre in London.
In 2006 he played a heartless killer in the movie Perfume and last year appeared with Dame Judi Dench in the play Peter and Alice, written by John Logan.
He also appeared in the 2008 TV remake of Brideshead Revisted – in which he played Sebastian Flyte – and as outspoken Freddie Lyon in BBC drama The Hour, which ran from 2011-2012.
Whishaw was recently named as the new voice of Paddington Bear, in an animated remake of the 1970s BBC children’s programme based on Michael Bond’s books.
The actor is also set to appear again in the next James Bond film, alongside Daniel Craig, which like its predecessor is to be directed by Sam Mendes.
In the movie, which has the working title Bond 24, the actor will reprise his role as Q, the whiz-kid boffin whose technological knowledge is unrivalled in the world.
However Whishaw revealed that despite his character’s impeccable IT credentials, he himself does not even own a computer.
‘I’m very non-techy,’ he said.
Lilting opens in Cinemas on 8 August 2014.