Deadpool 2 hit theaters last week, wielding a historic character for Marvel. Negasonic Teenage Warhead, played by out gay actress Brianna Hildebrand, is the first openly gay superhero to grace the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite Deadpool himself being queer in the comics, there was no explicit mention of such on-screen. Hildebrand said she faced zero discrimination for her sexuality in regards to the film and, more broadly, her careerin fact, she says her sexuality is “not that big of a deal.” However, the actress was met with outdated advice from shady publicists.
Onscreen, Negasonic is in a relationship with another out queer superhero, Yukio. In real life, Hildebrand lives with her girlfriend, and she told Playboy that publicists offered to cover up that part of her life.
“I remember going to a few different publicists and that being on the forefront of their mind, like ‘How would you like to go about this? We can keep this under wraps, if that’s what you would like,’” she divulged. “It just kind of surprised me a little bit because I was like, ‘I didn’t suggest that.’ I’m totally fine with who I am. I know that that’s how Hollywood used to work. But they didn’t really know memaybe they thought I was [private]. I’d rather just be like, ‘This is what it is.’”
While covering up an actor’s sexuality may have been the norm back in the day, that’s obviously unacceptable and intolerant behavior. Luckily, actors are typically more transparent today than was true in the past. Hollywood is evolving, slowly but surelysometimes painstakingly slowbut nonetheless, we are more accepting as a culture nowadays. So, it’s frightening to hear that sexuality is still perceived to be an “issue,” or something worth burying, for some industry professionals.
But overall, Hildebrand has had a positive experience as an out gay actress, especially with her Deadpool family. Ryan Reynolds not only returns as the titular character in the sequel, but also served as a producer. The 21-year-old actress recalls the actor asking her approval on Negasonic and Yukio’s relationshipin the film, the couple spends a lot of time together.
“Ryan just sent me an email and was like, ‘How would you feel about this?’” she revealed. “And so that’s greatI’m glad he asked me how I would feel about it. Obviously, I was like, ‘I feel amazing about it. Let’s do it!’ I am glad that he asked me, though. I probably would have been like, ‘Wow.’”
But unfortunately, being harassed online comes with the territory of being an out gay woman. “Most people are really nice some people are mean,” she says of internet chatter surrounding her. The Texas native says receiving hate is “a given it’s the internet. Normally, it’s males sending me weird messages about who I’m into, or what I’m doing. But it’s not that big of a deal.”
Deadpool 2 is currently in theaters.
Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage