Brian Tyree Henry Opens Up About Portraying Marvel's First Openly Gay Hero


Brian Tyree Henry

Photo: Getty Images

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are patiently waiting for the premiere of Eternals next week. As fans eagerly await the film's opening credits, one of the film's leading actors provided an early look at one of the film's most important aspects.

For this time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a film will feature an openly gay hero, Phastos, in a same-sex relationship. In a surprise interview, actor Brian Tyree Henry, who is responsible for portraying Phastos on screen, opened up about the importance of his character.

“Beyond a dream come true, it’s life-saving,” Henry told Adam B. Vary of Variety about appearing in his first Marvel film.

“I wish I had that when I was a kid to see this. My god. I wish! Can you imagine how many lives this is going to be saving — kids, young queer folk, who are being bullied, committing suicide, and not seeing themselves being represented? And now they get to see this — it’s above and beyond," Henry added when asked about the importance of his character.

Adding to Henry's comments, director Chloé Zhao said that Phastos is an extremely authentic character that doesn't feel forced. As she explained, Phastos' background, sexuality, upbringing and personality were already cemented within the story. Furthermore, Zhao says that Phastos is a well-rounded character that will add to an overall superhero story that is unlike any other in the MCU.

“What’s important is to show that it isn’t about a message we’re trying to put out," Zhao told Variety.

“I think finding authenticity in moments like that is crucial for me, so it doesn’t feel forced, so you could actually relate to them. That’s the most important thing. It’s not just about being the first. It’s about do you actually feel for them, whether you’re gay or straight or whatever.”

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will get to see everything that Henry and Zhao have poured their time and creativity into on November 5.

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