With the eagerly-anticipated Prison Break revival set to hit screens in less than a week, one of its stars is using his voice to raise awareness of the queer Muslim community.
Amin El Gamal, whose Egyptians parents moved to California before he was born, plays the villainous Cyclops in the rebooted Fox miniseries, which kicks off next Monday in the US (April 10).
The 31-year-old actor has appeared in Shameless, The Newsroom and Transparent, and in Attitude’s May issue – available to download and in shops now – the rising star reveals he’s was pressured by a well-known director to go back in the closet in order to further of his career.
“Right before before I auditioned for [Prison Break] there was actually a pretty well-known director – who is actually radical herself – and she told me that until you start working more, don’t tell people that you’re queer because it will limit the way they see you,” he recalls.
“I was like ‘No!’ I’ve had to work so hard just to get to where I am. If I can, I’m going to show up and say: ‘This is what a Muslim looks like. This is what a queer person looks like. There are queer Muslims.”
Along with Augustus Prew, who plays Whip, and lead star Wentworth Miller, who plays Michael Schofield, Amin is one of three gay actors to appear in the Prison Break revival – but sadly its prevalence of LGBT+ stars remains something of a rarity when it comes to TV action drama.
“There still haven’t been enough queer people allowed to play straight people,” says Amin. “For some reason Hollywood doesn’t do that. Especially in action roles.”
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