Ben Aldridge Says He Could 'Breathe Easier' After Coming Out as Gay at 34: 'I Needed That So Badly'
David M. Benett/Hoda Davaine/Dave Benett/WireImage
Ben Aldridge says he "underestimated how significant" coming out publicly would impact his life.
During the Knock at the Cabin actor's appearance on Variety's Just for Variety podcast this week, Aldridge, 37, said he "felt so powerful" after he came out via an Instagram post in June 2020.
"It sounds dramatic, but I could just breathe easier," Aldridge told Variety's Mark Malkin. "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 afterward I was like, 'I needed that so badly.' "
"I wasn't aware of how much I needed to do that and how much I'd potentially hung onto, conveniently hidden behind," he added.
Aldridge noted he felt "so powerful to be able to stand alongside and be part of my community" in that moment.
"The journey to pride was a long one for me," Aldridge wrote on Instagram back in June 2020 in celebration of Pride Month, alongside a black-and-white photo of a Pride event. "I love the LGBTQ+ community and am incredibly proud and thankful to be a part of it."
"So much won," he added at the time. "So much more to fight for."
RELATED: M. Night Shyamalan Is Back with Terrifying Trailer for His New Thriller Knock at the Cabin
Linda Källérus/FOCUS FEATURES Ben Aldridge and Jim Parsons in Spoiler Alert (2022)
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In Knock at the Cabin, Aldridge costars alongside Jonathan Groff as a couple whose trip to a remote cabin with their daughter (newcomer Kristen Cui) is interrupted by four home intruders who demand the family help "prevent the apocalypse."
Aldridge told Entertainment Weekly that coming out did "help align me in queer projects that I wouldn't have necessarily been considered for" in his acting career, such as the romantic comedy Spoiler Alert and the new film from director M. Night Shyamalan.
"A journalist put it to me, 'Do you feel like the universe has rewarded you for coming out?' I don't believe that it would reward me, but I think in being authentic, you interact with the world in a different way," Aldridge said. "Therefore, what comes back at you is also gonna be different."
"I have really relished playing gay men," he added to EW. "It has given the work that I'm doing much more meaning. I'm meeting myself in my work."
Knock at the Cabin is in theaters now.