In a new cover story for Variety, Hollywood, and The Inspection star Jeremy Pope has opened up about homophobia he faced in the film industry, and how despite it, he still rose to become one of Hollywood’s best rising actors.
In the interview, Pope reveals that before he got his role in The Inspection, he lost out on another huge role because he’s gay. Pope revealed that when he got the role in The Inspection, he was signed onto another film — a major studio one. And he revealed why he left that other role for the A24 movie that eventually earned him award nominations.
“The short version is: I’d been given an opportunity to lead a studio film. And even though I didn’t love the script, it meant something,” he revealed. “But it was one of those things that would get me in the conversations, get me in front of directors and people at studios. As people know, that is currency and helps where the comma on your check goes and the opportunities you’re given.”
“But I got into an interesting conversation with the director where he basically said I didn’t have the ability to connect with a female character because I was gay,” Pope continued. “In the moment, I was negotiating how to defend myself. But at the end of the day, that spoke so much more to where he was at and his journey in life versus who I am or what I know I bring to a project.”
Pope explained that in an industry like this, he’s got to make sure he’s being honest and open when taking roles.
“So I had to say ‘eff that energy’ because it’s going to take too much from me. And literally in that same breath of knowing that don’t serve me is when the phone rang and it was ‘A24 wants to have this conversation about The Inspection.’”
“It was like I had to be tested to really know my worth and affirm myself,” he said. “This is exactly where I’m supposed to be. So it was just I had to go through that and understand my worth and my existence and how I want to show up in this business and what I’m willing to tolerate and not tolerate. So I think, like I said, life has to do life’s thing.”
We don’t know what the major studio movie was, but Pope was set to begin filming it just three days before he left the project.
Pope is nominated for his first Golden Globe this year for his role in The Inspection. He’s previously garnered two Tony nominations, a Grammy nomination, and an Emmy nomination.
The Golden Globes will be held on Tuesday, January 10.
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