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Harry Hamlin Thinks Playing a Gay Man in 'Making Love' 'Ended His Film Career'

Harry Hamlin Thinks Playing a Gay Man in 'Making Love' 'Ended His Film Career'

Harry Hamlin is getting candid about his career.

In a new interview with People, the 70-year-old actor reflected on his role in the 1982 film Making Love,

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“I was told by a lot of people, you can’t do that movie,” he revealed. “I think it had been offered to pretty much everybody in town and everyone had turned it down because they thought it might be damaging to their careers.”

“I didn’t see it that way,” Harry told the outlet. “I was looking for something serious and something meaningful, rather than doing a movie about vampire bats invading a small town in in the Midwest, which is the type of fare I was being offered at the time.”

He went on to say that the film, in which he plays a writer named Bart who begins an affair with a young doctor named Zack (Michael Ontkean), was “way ahead of its time.”

“Even though I was told by my friends not to do it, my agent said I should,” he noted. “He said I was somewhat Teflon because I was out in the press having had a son with Ursula Andress. And he said, ‘Everyone knows you’re straight so you’re going to be okay.’ But I didn’t really pay much attention to any of that noise. I thought it was interesting and bold. I was attracted to that.”

But in retrospect, he thinks the critical and cultural response to the movie “ended” his film career.

“For years, I’d think was that the reason why I stopped getting calls? And finally realized that was the last time I ever did a movie for a studio,” Harry said. “I’ve done independent films but never a studio film. I had been doing nothing but studio films and basically going out on all the castings for all the movies. That stopped completely.”

“It never really got the attention that I think it probably deserves, given the time in which it was released,” he added. “The movie was panned and my performance was ignored. The reviews were all negative, pretty much.”

“As far as the film business sort of shutting the door, I think it just had to do with the fact of the studio system being a closed system and once they saw there could be some confusion about my sexuality, then they just said they didn’t want to take the chance,” he continued. “If they were contemplating having me be a love interest to a young female star, the thought was, ‘How is the audience going to react?’ Even though I was straight, I think the perception at the time was that anybody who could play gay must be gay.”

“Regardless of the effect it had on my film career, I went on to have a great career — and I still do. I’m very proud of having done that movie,” he said. “I’m interested in working as an actor. I happen to think that TV is where its at right now. As long as the part is good, I’ll do it.”

Harry also said he’s seen the impact the film has had firsthand.

“People come up and thank me for making the film and say they were affected by it and that it helped them come out or it helped them talk to their parents about their sexuality,” he said. “Very rarely does one have an opportunity to have that kind of effect out there in the zeitgeist.”

Harry‘s wife Lisa Rinna poked fun at rumors he had a “gay lover” last year. Check it out

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Posted to: Harry Hamlin

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