You've never really been 'in' the closet have you?
No. I never really have. I never didn't speak about it. It's really important to find out who you are before you have success, because there's really a rush now for actors to get as famous as possible as quickly as possible and so it was really important for me, in the first ten years of my career just to get to know myself and work hard. I'm glad in a sense that I wasn't a commodity, because when people start to look at you and scrutinise you in a way that they didn't before - it's important you know who they are looking at it. You need to know and accept who you are.
The relationship between Sherlock and Moriarty is very interesting...
Well they are absolutely obsessed with each other. There has to be a line...
In the words of Erasure... I love to hate you.
[laughs] Absolutely. The lines are blurred between hate and love.
I believe your fan-fiction is pretty fruity...
Oh my God. It's the drawings and the photos! It's mostly women doing it... You're put with quite an array of different people... [laughs] I think it's done by librarians.
It's great to have another talented gay man on the cover.
I would never call myself a role model, but the best thing I can do to represent and be a positive influence on somebody, is to be as good at my job as I can possibly be. People are scared that others will just see them as a gay person - but if you say 'here I am, I'm an actor, that's part of who I am. I can play all these parts,' well that's what's freeing. It's not the top line thing about me. I feel so proud of this film - [Pride] and I'm happy to talk about it. I want to be authentic for this film. It's one of the instances when perhaps it is necessary to talk about my private life. It would be strange not to.
Do you remember what it felt like, coming out?
It was really lovely actually. I think I've been very, very, very lucky. I say this from a place of happiness and contentment now but at the time I didn't know what way it was going to be. Of course I was scared. We are talking about years and years ago now. It's not even in this century. That's another thing, this sort of idea of 'coming out' in public that happened a long time ago. Even the words 'coming out', because there's an inference that you were ever 'in.'