Michael Cimino, 20, has no doubt become the name on everybody’s lips thanks to his star-making role on the Hulu romantic comedy series Love, Victor.
The show, which is set in the world of the movie Love, Simon, follows Victor Salazar (Cimino) and the challenges he faces when he starts at a new high school after his family moves across the country for a very salacious reason.
Along the way we find his character struggling to come to terms with his sexuality as he dates of the more popular girls in school while having a growing crush on a boy he works with at the local coffee shop.
There is still a surprising amount of criticisms in 2020 for actors who take on gay roles, especially when its their first major entrance into the public eye. Cimino talked about why he’s so against those ideas in a new interview with IndieWire that came out earlier this month.
“I’ve heard it for years: ‘You shouldn’t take a gay role for your first big role because then people are gonna think you’re gay, or they’re gonna think you only play gay roles.’ And it’s like, what does that matter? Why does that matter?”
The emergence of A-list actors playing gay, bi or trans in recent years has emerged to the point where their work is being honored in many different ways. Tom Hanks was the first one to break that barrier when he scored the Best Actor Oscar for Philadelphia way back in the early 90’s. Others who can be thrown into this category include Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) and most recently Timothee Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name).
“They don’t pigeonhole you. Look at Timothée Chalamet: He does a whole bunch, a wide variety of roles,” Cimino said. “You have to make the conscious decision to not listen to those stereotypes and just break from the norm. Because the only way you can change the industry or change the norm is by putting your money where your mouth is, so to speak, and taking it forward.”
Cimino has nothing but good things to say about his experience on Love, Victor, calling it a “very important story that needs to be told.” He is also super supportive of the LGBTQ community, expressing gratitude for the show giving him an opportunity to “provide a voice for people that don’t have one.”
Love, Victor is currently streaming on Hulu. Go check it out!