Danny Dyer might be known as an East-End lad, but when he was growing up, he was bullied for being gay.
The straight actor made the startling revelation in his autobiography, The World According To Danny Dyer: Life Lessons from the East End.
He said he was brought up by a homophobic father, saying he didn’t like ‘poofs, as he would have called them’.
‘There was one sort of man who tolerated gay men and that was another gay man,’ Dyer said. ‘And you have to remember, when they were growing up being gay was illegal.
‘Even the government was saying that being gay is wrong, and you can’t blame a bunch of basically quite uneducated people in the East End for agreeing with them.’
But he also suffered from homophobic bullies all because he wanted to act.
‘I actually suffered from homophobia , despite not being gay,’ he added. ‘To my mates, and some who weren’t quite as matey, being an actor is exactly the same as being homosexual.
‘There is no difference between the two. The bullying I got was sometimes horrible. I got “actress” and “poofter” and all the rest of it.
‘It got so bad that I stopped telling people anything I was doing and used to sneak off to the acting and slide on back over the maisonettes smoking weed before anyone could even tell. It was like living two lives.’
On BBC soap EastEnders, Dyer plays the pub landlord Mick Carter. When it was revealed he had a gay son, Dyer made headlines after responding to the homophobic backlash in a very amusing way.
Here’s a little message for some of the homophobic pricks who are tweeting me……..happy new year. pic.twitter.com/0tiHPU2x01
— Danny Dyer (@MrDDyer) January 3, 2014
EastEnders airs on BBC One on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights.