My Celebrity Life

Grantchester’s Al Weaver reveals emotional toll of filming Leonard’s arrest for being gay: ‘I’ve never felt that sort of hatred and vitriol’

Al Weaver has opened up about the hardest moments of filming for Grantchester, as his character Leonard Finch was sentenced to prison for being gay.

The actor, 40, appeared on Good Morning Britain alongside co-star Robson Green, where he discussed the harrowing scenes from last week’s show.

Leonard had been sentenced to six months in prison for gross indecency, something which was a common occurrence for gay men in the 1950s, when the series is set.

Al explained: ‘A lot of men were getting done for gross indecency and he gets six months, which is not too bad – not to say not too bad, but a lot of men were getting put away for over three years and things like that for being caught in public.

‘There was kind of like a witch hunt for people as well, they were going off and grouping men together and putting them in a dock together at certain points.’

Police at the time were searching through the address books of gay men to find who they were associating with, to which Al adds: ‘It was really shocking, it was really horrendous so poor Leonard, it’s not very good for him. ‘

My Celebrity Life –
Leonard was sentenced to six months in prison on the show (Picture: BBC)

Al revealed that the hardest scene for him to film was Leonard’s journey to court, where he faced an angry mob, which the actor found harrowing knowing that was the lived experience of so many gay men in the past.

He told Susanna Reid: ‘Just to have the system attack you for being who you are. One of the most emotional things filming that was before we got to the prison, I was arriving to the courtroom with my lawyer and there’s a bunch of placards outside saying “homosexuals are the devil” and things like that.

‘As an actor, that was really quite profound and moving because I’ve never felt that sort of hatred and vitriol my way.

‘All these people were shouting: “Go home, you’re wrong, you’re a sinner”, as an actor it was really, really horrible actually. I can’t imagine how someone like Leonard would have felt.’

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.

 


Credit: Original article published here.

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