Ben Whishaw says coming out is an ''intimate, private and difficult'' thing.

The 33-year-old star - who is best known for playing gadget lover Q in James Bond flick 'Skyfall' - has revealed that while he found admitting he was gay difficult, the reactions he received were nowhere near as bad as he was expecting.

Quizzed on whether he'd had to come out to his parents or whether they'd always known, he told The Sunday Times newspaper: ''I did have to. It's a phrase I'm not entirely comfortable with, but since it's the only one we have...

''My experiences were not dramatic. No walking around the block. And everyone was surprisingly lovely. I hadn't anticipated that they would be, but they were...

''It's hard to have a conversation with people you've known your whole life about a very intimate thing. It's massively weighted with all sorts of stuff ... It's an intimate and private and difficult conversation for most people.''

The 'Cloud Atlas' actor is set to star in 'Lilting' later this year - which tells the story of a man whose partner dies and he is then left struggling to decide whether he should tell the mother about his and her son's relationship - but he claims he didn't take the role so that he could play a gay man.

He explained: ''It wasn't so much that, although I can appreciate that that's all there. It was the writing and the sensibility of it. I loved that I was intimate and quiet.''

Ben's agent released a statement last year revealing Ben had entered into a civil partnership with Australian composer Mark Bradshaw.