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Arrow's Colton Haynes says he almost lost out on 'Teen Wolf' role because of his sexuality

The actor bears all in his new memoir: Miss Memory Lane.

By Josh Weiss
Colton Haynes in Teen Wolf

Colton Haynes doesn't hold back in his new memoir — Miss Memory Lane — in which the actor claims he nearly lost out on the role of Jackson Whittemore in MTV's hit Teen Wolf series because of a 2006 photoshoot he did for gay mens' magazine, XY. What's more: his publicity team allegedly tried to bury the photos, so as not to hurt his chances at landing roles.

“When I moved to L.A., I was basically told that I needed to change everything about myself,” he recently explained to The Hollywood Reporter. “I had to learn how to be the way that I looked, which was a square-jawed douchebag, cocky athlete. But when I first started working, [the images] started popping up on blogs. My team acted almost like a firing squad."

Haynes, who is also known for playing the role of Roy Harper/Arsenal on The CW's Arrow, shared an image from the XY shoot on his Instagram page for the very first time last summer and encouraged others to embrace their sexuality — whatever it may be.

"I’ve never posted this picture before. In fact, I spent a big part of my career trying to erase it from the internet while I was still in the closet," he wrote in the caption. "Partly because so many people in Hollywood told me I would never work as an openly gay actor, but part of it was because I was incredibly ashamed. It made me sad to see these pictures I had taken as a teenage model…before I was placed with voice and movement coaches to straighten me up for the cameras…before I learned to see my queerness as a liability. I was jealous of him. The boy in these pictures was so open, so free. He had to be taught that it wasn’t ok to be who he was. Being gay is worth celebrating. I wish I’d figured that out sooner, but I’m so glad I know it now. To everyone in the LGBTQIA+ community, I hope you celebrate yourselves this month and always, exactly as you are."

Haynes will reprise his Teen Wolf character for an upcoming feature film based on the show, which ran for a total of six seasons between 2011 and 2017. The actor also recently opened up about his departure from Arrow, which he says occurred because of clashes with another cast member.

Tyler Posey (Scott McCall), Holland Roden (Lydia Martin), Shelley Hennig (Malia), Crystal Reed (Allison Argent), Orny Adams (Coach Bobby Finstock), Linden Ashby (Sheriff Noah Stilinski), JR Bourne (Chris Argent), Seth Gilliam (Dr. Alan Deaton), Colton Haynes (Jackson Whittemore), Ryan Kelley (Deputy Jordan Parrish), Melissa Ponzio (Melissa McCall), and Dylan Sprayberry (Liam Dunbar) are also slated to appear in the movie. Dylan O'Brien, however, declined to step back into the shoes of Stiles Stilinski.

Miss Memory Lane now on sale from Simon & Schuster.

Looking for more horror shows like Teen Wolf? Check out SYFY's Chucky, streaming on Peacock. The show will return this fall on SYFY with a second season.