Holding hands with the man

Actor Ryan Corr plays Timothy Conigrave in Holding The Man.
Actor Ryan Corr plays Timothy Conigrave in Holding The Man.

RYAN Corr experienced first-hand the discrimination the gay and lesbian community experience while preparing for his role in Holding The Man.

As a straight man, the former Packed To The Rafters star, who plays gay man Timothy Conigrave in the adaptation of his memoirs published in 1995, said it was an eye-opening experience when he held his co-star Craig Stott�s hand in public.

�We held hands walking down Chapel Street and I had my first first-hand experience of a number of things,� he said.

�We walked into a cafe and ordered a coffee and by the time they turned around we were holding hands and just watching the way the person serving us changed their opinion; it was my first experience of discrimination.

�I haven�t grown up like that. Craig identifies as queer and probably understood this more innately than I did.�

Despite an emotional and harrowing story about love, infidelity, discrimination, the fight for acceptance, disease and death, Corr said the atmosphere on set was generally light-hearted.

�There�s a scene not in the film and it transcended acting for us; the take went for 45 minutes and we spent so long with these boys that it really felt like we were saying goodbye to them,� he said.

�But there�s a lot of humour and hope and Tim�s book is very funny. By all accounts (Tim) had a clowning quality to him; he was an entertainer. It was vitally important that we found that balance.

�Apart from the last two weeks, which were emotionally difficult, and the weight of what we were doing was driven home, it was a lot of fun on set.

�Being boys in the schoolyard and representing young love and all those awkward prepubescent moments in the �70s and �80s with all those Flock of Seagulls wigs on, it was a lot of fun.�

Holding The Man is in cinemas now.