Richard Armitage has said that his Spooks character Lucas North probably wasn't "100 per cent straight".


Speaking in this week's issue of Radio Times magazine, the actor sat down to talk about his upcoming series, the Netflix erotic thriller Obsession, in which he plays an obsessed surgeon, father and lover who becomes enamoured with his son's girlfriend.

Reflecting on his Robin Hood and Spooks days, Armitage noted that while he has been presented as a presumably straight hero on screen, he explained: “I’ve always been very clear with myself: this is them, this is the bit that’s me. I think it helps you be an actor, because there was never a crossover.

"Also, I would always ask the question of the character: is Lucas North 100 per cent straight? I would say the answer’s probably no, it’s got to be. Sexuality is currency in drama.”

The fictional character appeared in seasons 7, 8 and 9 of the long-running BBC spy drama.

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Elsewhere in the new issue, Armitage discussed coming out as a teenager and the ongoing conversations within younger generations that gives him hope for more representation on screen.

He said: “[Coming out] happened when I was 19 – to anybody who mattered – and I was always waiting for that question to punch me in the face, and it never did. I thought, ‘Are people being polite, or is it that they don’t want to know?’

"I don’t know that I ever wanted to put myself in front of the work I was doing, anything about my family or personal life. I just thought, ‘Let the work speak for itself’."

Dame Deborah James Radio Times cover

He continued: “I love the conversation with the younger generation. I love the idea that whatever gender, sexuality, the fluidity of who you love, how you identify, is not fixed.

"That was always a thing: if I declare who I am and my sexuality, then I’m saying it’s fixed and I don’t know that, or if I might feel something for somebody further down the line. I doubt it, but I don’t know.

"It’s more relaxed now. As a writer and producer, I do wonder if anybody has to be defined by who they’re in love with.”

Richard Armitage as William in Obsession.
Richard Armitage in Netflix's Obsession Netflix

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Based on Josephine Hart's novella Damage, the new Netflix series lands on the streamer later this week and follows Armitage's William as he finds himself caught up in a passionate affair with Anna, played by Happy Valley's Charlie Murphy.

Extrapolations star Indira Varma plays William's wife Ingrid in the series, while Ms Marvel's Rish Shah plays Anna's fiancé Jay. The cast is rounded out by Pippa Bennett-Warner, Sonera Angel, Anil Goutam and Marion Bailey.

Obsession will stream on Netflix from Thursday 13th April. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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