“Gotham” star Cory Michael Smith has come out as queer.
Smith, who portrays Edward Nygma/The Riddler on FOX’s “Gotham,” opened up about his sexuality in an interview with the Daily Beast.
The 31-year-old actor was promoting his new film “1985” which chronicles the start of the AIDS crisis. Smith plays the lead character Adrian, a closeted man who returns home to his conservative family after the death of his partner Rock Hudson. Smith admitted that the role was more relatable for him than his character on “Gotham.”
“There’s something special about telling a story that feels closer to home. I’m not exactly like The Riddler in real life,” Smith, who is labeled as queer by the Daily Beast, says.
“I’m from Middle America. I’m from Ohio. I’ve been living here [in New York] for a while, and there are stretches when I don’t see my family often. Going home and that whole charade is very familiar. The first family dinner after a while. Coming out to a family, the fear of that,” he continued.
Smith admits that his family gave him “a lot of love” when he came out to them but it also took “a lot of time.” He went on that studying the AIDS crisis in preparation for his role made him “overwhelmed.”
“I don’t ever want to insinuate or push that the queer experience is hindered with shame or darkness and depression…It’s not about connecting gay people with the idea of disease. But I do think it is important to look at the gay experience in the early ’80s and know that it was overwhelmed by disease. It’s a film that is going back to a moment and telling a very personal story about the pain and suffering that certain people went through. Sometimes I think it’s OK to have a moment of silence and consider what that experience was,” Smith says.