Actor Benedict Cumberbatch has lashed out at anti-gay radicals, insisting he would fight extremists "to the death" if they told him what to believe.
The Sherlock star is receiving rave reviews for his role as gay genius Alan Turing in code-breaking drama The Imitation Game, and in a new interview with Out magazine, he shares his astonishment that people around the world are still being persecuted for homosexuality - just like his real-life character.
He says, "People are being beheaded in countries right now because of their beliefs or sexual orientations. It's terrifying. It's medieval - a beheading! I'd take up arms against someone who was telling me I had to believe in what they believed or they would kill me. I would fight them. I would fight them to the death.
"And, I believe, the older you get, you have to have an idea of what's right or wrong. You can't have unilateral tolerance. You have to have a point where you go, 'Well, religious fundamentalism is wrong'."
And when it comes to Hollywood, Cumberbatch, while acknowledging human and gay rights movements have made huge progress over the years, insists there's still work to be done, because actors 'coming out' is still a controversial issue.
He explains, "I think if you're going to sell yourself as a leading man in Hollywood to say 'I'm gay', sadly, is still a huge obstacle. We all know actors who are gay who don't want to talk about it or bring it up, or who deny it. I don't really know what they do to deal with it."