British Hunk Ben Aldridge Felt 'Powerful' at Coming Out

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Saturday February 11, 2023
Originally published on February 3, 2023

Ben Aldridge in "Spoiler Alert"
Ben Aldridge in "Spoiler Alert"  (Source:Focus Features)

Openly gay British actor Ben Aldridge has kept busy with screen roles since coming out a few years ago. The hunky thesp recalled what it felt like to announce his truth: In a word, "powerful."

During an episode of the podcast "Just for Variety," the entertainment outlet's Marc Malkin asked Aldridge about the moment the actor embraced authenticity with an Instagram post he made on Coming Out day of 2020.

Aldridge instantly grew emotional, telling Malkin, "Oh, you're going to make me cry."

Aldridge went on to say: "It sounds dramatic, but I could just breathe easier. I underestimated how significant that was to me. I really did. I thought, it's not that I'd played it down, but I didn't know what it would do to me physically. And just for days afterwards I was like, 'I needed that so badly.'"

Moreover, Aldridge recalled, "It just felt so — I felt so powerful. I felt so powerful to be able to stand alongside and be part of my community."

Currently the star of M. Night Shyamalan's "Knock at the Cabin," where he plays one half of a gay couple opposite Jonathan Groff, Aldridge hasn't lacked for work since he came out. He also recently shared the screen with Jim Parsons in the tragedy-tinged rom-com "Spoiler Alert," playing the part of Kit Cowan, the real-life husband of entertainment journalist Michael Ausiello, whose memoir provides the basis for the film. He also played the recurring role of Thomas Wayne in the "Batman"-adjacent series "Pennyworth."

In his native country, Aldridge starred in the 2021 detective series "The Long Call."

If his career is heating up, his life today is also markedly different than when he "left drama school closeted," as he admitted having done. And it's not as though Aldridge didn't expect to see his career affected by his courageous emergence from the closet; however, he told Malkin, at that point he had simply decided, "If people didn't want to work with me because I was gay or they wanted to stop casting me, then I wasn't interested in working with those people either.

"But what I didn't predict," Aldridge went on to add, "and what I was surprised by, is that then it seemed to coincide with more queer filmmaking, TV-making, more queer content being made."

His inner life has blossomed, as well. "I suddenly realized that I had held myself from desires that I had," Aldridge confided. "I didn't know that I loved 'RuPaul's Drag Race.' I forgot or I'd denied to myself early on that I love musicals. I love divas."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.