Domingo graces the cover of Out’s January/February print issue, which will hit stands Feb. 6.
Domingo, 54, has won critical acclaim and an Oscar nomination for best actor for his portrayal of civil rights activist and titan Bayard Rustin in “Rustin.”
With “Rustin,” Domingo, who has Belizean and Guatemalan heritage, is the first Afro Latino to be nominated for best actor.
Domingo is the second out gay actor to be Oscar-nominated for playing a gay character. The first was Ian McKellen, nominated for best actor for playing film director James Whale in 1998’s “Gods and Monsters.”
Domingo also has a high-profile role as Mister in the musical film version of “The Color Purple.”
“I do think it’s an incredible time, the idea of seeing an openly queer man on this level, playing these roles,” Domingo tells Out. “This has taken a long time, but it’s here at the right time. Because for me to be amplified by representing someone like Bayard Rustin and ‘The Color Purple,’ I feel like I’ve truly earned it. As I’m stepping into the spotlight, so is this incredible hero of mine at the same time. I think that’s beautiful too.”
“In the middle (of both of these characters) is me who’s just constantly trying to explore Black men and how we operate, how we love, whether there’s redemption or not,” he adds. “There’s a human quality that I’m trying to explore in all these different kinds of people, whether they’re a pimp or a bandleader. I always want to be useful (to the narrative or story) and then let’s see how I can tell my story (through it).”
Domingo has been an actor for 30 years and highly praised for many supporting parts, but “Rustin” is his first lead role.
Julian Breece, co-screenwriter of “Rustin,” says Domingo was the ideal actor for the part
“Bayard’s legacy has been so unjustly buried, and it’s so rare that you have the perfect character and the absolute perfect ambassador for it,” he tells Out. “That’s why it is just a dream to have Colman be able to not just be a masterful actor but also be the kind of person who can really carry that kind of legacy.”
Blitz Bazawule, director of “The Color Purple,” also has praise for Domingo.
“Colman feels deeply, and I don’t know if it’s attributed to his sexual orientation or maybe it’s just his nature of being able to process (things differently), but I felt that constantly he was also interrogating what masculinity means,” Bazawule tells Out. “That’s why I think he’s so good in the film because he could see it from the outside looking in and interrogate that dark masculinity that is the plague of our principal character.”