The 23-year-old has played men struggling with their sexuality in TV dramas Scream Queens and Kingdom, leading to accusations he's deliberately teasing gay fans, and in a new OUT magazine interview, he admitted the criticism has hurt.

"It’s not the majority, but a large handful have a negative opinion for whatever reason and I think it’s really quite sad," he said, insisting he didn't take the roles on with the intention of courting a specific fan base.

"It’s been a great character to play, one that I try to be respectful of and take myself out of," he added of his Kingdom role as fighter Nate Kulina. "He’s on his own path."

During the interview, Nick also opened up about dealing with his real-life relationships in the media.

The star broke up with former girlfriend Olivia Culpo last year (15), after nearly two years of dating, and confessed public love splits add extra pressure.

"It definitely sucks," he said. "It sort of feels like, on top of dealing with the situation with the person, you have to be thinking about other people's opinion about it, and without all the information."

But fans will get more of an insight into what caused the break up when his new album, Last Year Was Complicated, is released.

"With this one I made a real point to tell stories as honestly as I could,” he explained. “It became very clear what it was going to be about, after the break up. I just dove in headfirst and wrote about all of it. I think it was the most meaningful relationship I’ve ever been in, and it was the longest."