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    Skyfall Star Ben Whishaw Comes Out as Gay

    Ben Whishaw JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

    Ben Whishaw has officially come out.

    The 32-year-old British actor, who took over playing the role of James Bond's beloved gadget-maker Q in last year's box office smash Skyfall, revealed over the weekend that he is gay.

    In a statement to the U.K.'s Daily Mail, Whishaw's rep confirmed that the British star entered into civil partnership with Australian composer Mark Bradshaw, in Sydney a year ago.

    "Ben has never hidden his sexuality, but like many actors he prefers not to discuss his family or life outside of his work," his spokesman said Friday night. "Due to speculation, I can confirm that Ben and Mark entered into a civil partnership in August 2012. They were proud to do so and are very happy."

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    The duo first got to know each other on the set of Jane Campion's 2009 film Bright Star, in which Whishaw played the poet John Keats in a story about the latter's love affair with neighbor Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish) and Bradshaw scored the music.

    Whishaw pretty much opened up about his sexuality, though not explicitly, during a 2011 interview with Out while promoting the off-Broadway play The Pride, in which he played a gay man.

    When asked at the time whether he thought it was important for young gay people to have positive role models, he told the magazine:

    "I really agree with that, and I feel in my heart that it's important, but I don't quite know yet the way to go about that. Maybe that's the transitional thing I feel I'm in the middle of at the moment. It's something I think about, but it's important for me to do it at the time that's right for me. And I'm not there yet."

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    Ben Whishaw

    Whishaw has been widely hailed in the U.K. as one of the finest actors of his generation on both stage and screen.

    He garnered major acclaim after being tapped by Trevor Nunn to play Hamlet in a 2004 production at the Old Vic. Afterwards, he segued easily to movies, appearing in Layer Cake opposite future 007 Daniel Craig as well as playing Keith Richards in the Brian Jones biopic Stoned. Other notable roles followed including in the 2006 thriller Perfume, the Bob Dylan biopic I'm Not There and Julie Taymor's 2010 adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest, after which Bond producers came calling.

    Next up, the thesp costars with Harry Potter star Rupert Grint and Brendan Coyle in a West End revival of Jez Butterworth's Mojo.

    Bradshaw's other music credits meanwhile include the British TV series A Passionate Woman and Campion's current BBC miniseries Top of the Lake starring Elisabeth Moss and Peter Mullan.

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