Corrie: Daniel Brocklebank discusses Billy’s storyline
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Coronation Street cast favourite Daniel Brocklebank, 41, has claimed his management in Los Angeles previously advised him against coming out as gay, as it would impact his career in Hollywood. The actor, who has starred alongside Hollywood megastars Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman and Helena Bonham Carter, decided he wanted to be open about his sexuality after appearing in the popular 1998 movie Shakespeare in Love despite warnings from his team in the States.
He is now playing gay vicar Billy Mayhew in Corrie, which he credits as being the "first time in my life I'm not chasing the next job".
Opening up about the situation, Daniel said: "I pretend for a living, I didn't want to pretend in my private life.
"When you spend your life on screen, it's important to hold on to the bits that are real.
"Who I am in my real life should bear no relevance to what I play on screen."
Daniel Brocklebank claims coming out as gay ended Hollywood career (Image: SPLASHNEWS•ITV)
Daniel Brocklebank in Shakespeare in Love (Image: UNIVERSALPICTURES)
However, when Daniel came out as gay in the 1990s, he found that it did negatively affect his career in Hollywood.
He recalled to the Mirror: "I came out publicly just after Shakespeare in Love was released, so I would have been 18.
"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.
Daniel Brocklebank plays gay vicar Billy Mayhew in Corrie (Image: SPLASHNEWS)
Platt family tree (Image: EXPRESS)
"It was more in America than in Britain, but it was still very prevalent."
Despite his Hollywood career facing difficulties, Daniel insisted he has no regrets and is very happy with his role on the cobbles.
He divulged: "I love it at Coronation Street. For the first time in my life I'm not chasing the next job.
"I'm creatively challenged, I've made some beautiful friends and I love Manchester, why would I change it?
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"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, who grew up in Warwickshire, realised he was gay at 13 and came out to his family two years later.
His first big break came when he played the lead role of Ralph in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Lord of the Flies at the age of 14.
In 1998, Daniel made his movie debut in Shakespeare in Love.
The film won seven Oscars, three BAFTAs and three Golden Globes.
Daniel also picked up a Screen Actors Guild Award for his role as Sam Gosse and seemed set for Hollywood stardom.
However, he decided to leave America to work on acting projects in Britain, where he filmed the 2001 horror thriller The Hole with Keira Knightley.
Daniel's other big acting gigs include the film The Hours, with Meryl Streep.
He also starred in Merlin with Sam Neill and Helena Bonham Carter, and with Kirsten Dunst in The Devil's Arithmetic, which was produced by Dustin Hoffman.
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