Premature Outing? Neil Patrick Harris Says Actor Ncuti Gatwa Will Be ‘First Gay Doctor Who’

(INSET: Ncuti Gatwa) Neil Patrick Harris attends Netflix's "Uncoupled" Season 1 New York Premiere at Paris Theater on July 26, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
Jamie McCarthy, Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

In an interview with Variety U.S. actor Neil Patrick Harris appears to have outed the U.K.’s new Doctor Who as gay — or the series’ new star Ncuti Gatwa — before that facet of either the character or the actor has been confirmed by primary sources.

In a July interview with the trade paper, Harris spoke of his first semi-nude scenes and his first gay, on-screen kiss in his new Netflix series, Uncoupled. But the 49-year-old actor also spoke of his recent guest role on the new season of the venerable British sci-fi series, Doctor Who.

Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies, who is openly gay, met Harris on the HBO miniseries It’s a Sin, which dramatized the early days of the AIDS epidemic. Davies is also responsible for multiple series focused on the LGBTQ community, including Queer as Folk, and Torchwood — which featured the gay Doctor Who character Captain Jack Harkness.

Daves is back in at Doctor Who after having left the rebooted series in 2009. And with the passing of the 13th Doctor — actress Jodie Whittaker, who left the role behind — Davies has cast the series’ first black actor for his next Doctor.

The Rwanda-born Ncuti Gatwa is currently filming the new series and will make his debut as The Doctor later this year. Gatwa made a splash as a gay teenager in the series Sex Education but has remained mysterious in the British press as to his personal sexual preferences, refusing to confirm or deny rumors that he is gay.

But in his interview, it appears that Harris may be unaware of Gatwa’s public ambiguity, and the How I Met Your Mother star may have outed him.

In the very last part of the Variety interview, Harris says of Gatwa, “He’ll be the first gay Doctor, which is going to be super cool, a sexier Doctor.”

Harris may have let the cat out of the bag that Davies intends to make The Doctor a gay man, or he may have accidentally outed Gatwa as a gay actor. Either way, this quote should get the Doctor Who community rumor mill swirling.

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