Cory Michael Smith. Picture: Bang Showbiz

Gotham' actor Cory Michael Smith - who is known for playing The Riddler - opened up about his sexuality whilst promoting his new movie, '1985', which follows the story of a gay man returning home after his partner died of AIDs.

Speaking to The Daily Beast about the film and how he came out to his parents, Cory said: "There's something special about telling a story that feels closer to home. I'm not exactly like The Riddler in real life.

"I'm from Middle America... I'm from Ohio. I've been living here [in New York] for a while, and there are stretches when I don't see my family often.

"Going home and that whole charade is very familiar. The first family dinner after a while. Coming out to a family, the fear of that."

The 31-year-old actor says his family were accepting of his sexuality and took it with "a lot of love", but it took them "a lot of time" to get their heads around it.

Cory said he was left "overwhelmed" by the story of Adrian.

He said: "This story, a story about AIDs and stripping away politics, stripping away activism, stripping away the medical drama of it, what you're left with is something so personal about family and connecting with family and keeping secrets with family. It just overwhelmed me."

Cory says it's very important for people to be made aware of what gay men went through during the HIV/AIDs epidemic in the 80s.

He added: "I don't ever want to insinuate or push that the queer experience is hindered with shame or darkness and depression.

"It's not about connecting gay people with the idea of disease. 

"But I do think it is important to look at the gay experience in the early '80s and know that it was overwhelmed by disease. 

"It's a film that is going back to a moment and telling a very personal story about the pain and suffering that certain people went through. Sometimes I think it's OK to have a moment of silence and consider what that experience was."