Lucas Hedges opens up about his sexuality in an emotionally honest new interview with Vulture. The 21-year-old actor earned strong reviews at the Telluride Film Festival for his lead role in “Boy Erased,” in which he stars as a gay college student who is outed and sent to conversation therapy by his religious parents. Hedges told Vulture he’s bracing for more questions about his sexuality given the film’s subject matter, but the only problem in giving an answer is that he doesn’t have it all figured out himself.
“People expect you as an actor to have a voice that’s set in some way, and that’s really not what I am,” Hedges said, admitting he envies people who can talk about their sexuality with confidence. “I’m very much within the conflict and confusion of my own life, still, and I definitely feel a pressure to step up in a way. I prefer to step up in my art, and I don’t entirely know how to in my life.”
Hedges remembered having a crush on a boy at camp when he was in third grade and feeling “terrible about it.” The actor praised his mother for being “very comforting” when she noticed something at camp was “distressing” him. Hedges said his fluid interest in men and women continued as he came of age.
“I owe it to this part to speak as honestly as possible,” Hedges said. “In the early stages of my life, some of the people I was most infatuated with were my closest male friends. That was the case through high school, and I think I was always aware that while for the most part I was attracted to women, I existed on a spectrum.”
The actor continued by referencing his sixth-grade health teacher, who was the first to teach him that sexuality existed on a spectrum. Hedges won’t put a label on his sexuality just yet but he is comfortable admitting he doesn’t fall into any particular definition.
“I felt ashamed that I wasn’t 100 percent, because it was clear that one side of sexuality presents issues, and the other doesn’t as much,” Hedges said. “I recognize myself as existing on that spectrum: Not totally straight, but also not gay and not necessarily bisexual.”
Hedges’ career has flourished since breaking out in “Manchester by the Sea,” which earned him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. Last year alone, the actor starred in best picture nominees “Lady Bird” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” and this year he has an impressive fall slate with “Boy Erased,” “Mid90s,” and “Ben Is Back.”
Focus Features is set to open “Boy Erased” on November 2. Head over to Vulture to read Hedges’ profile in its entirety.