Armie Hammer believes he is ''working through the stigma'' of playing gay characters as a straight actor.

The 31-year-old star has appeared is three movies in which he plays gay characters - Clyde Tolson in 'J Edgar', James Lord in 'Final Portrait' and now Oliver in 'Call Me By Your Name' - but despite being straight himself, Hammer hasn't been told to avoid these roles.

Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, Hammer said: ''None of my team has ever said 'I don't know if it's gonna be good for you to play a gay character'.

''So I can only assume we are working our way through that stigma.''

The new coming-of-age movie - which is directed by Luca Guadagnino - follows teenager Elio (Timothee Chalamet) who builds a relationship with his older professor Oliver (Hammer).

In one particular scene, Elio uses a peach to perform a sexual act.

Although Hammer has starred as gay characters before, the role of Oliver was something he found difficult and had to reach a ''certain level of understanding'' with the filmmaker.

He said: ''I'm not sure I could have done it unless I'd reached a certain level of understanding with Luca.

''It was really a matter of him beating it all into my thick skull. There were all these kinks and fetishes that I didn't understand.

''Like, why does he want to eat the peach? Why does he say 'call me by your name and I'll call you by mine?'

''If I didn't understand those things, I wouldn't have the character.''