Actor Nick Robinson has revealed that while he was shooting Love, Simon, his brother came out as gay.
Robinson said his brother decided to tell him he was gay during the filming of the movie about a young man struggling with his own sexuality.
“I think that he had been dealing with this for a long time and the timing was coincidental, but one of the best things that came out of this movie was being able to talk to him.
“I think that’s the strength of a film like this is that it starts conversations, and I hope it can do that for more people and start a conversation that might not have been there.”
Robinson acknowledged the often controversial decisions to cast straight actors in gay roles, and his responsibilities in taking a gay part as a straight man.
“It was a conversation with Greg [Berlanti], our director, we went back and forth and we talked about it,” he said.
“But I really think that with a project like this, especially today, there’s been so much progress in the last 20 years, a lot of which is thanks to you and everything that you’ve done. If you hadn’t come out when you did we might not have this movie now.”
Director Berlanti is openly gay, marrying his partner, footballer Robbie Rogers, last year.
Two other actors in the film, American Crime star Joey Pollari and Australian Keiynan Lonsdale, have spoken about their coming out in recent weeks.
Love, Simon premiered at the Mardi Gras Film Festival in February, and is the first major studio film to focus on a gay teenage romance.
The film is screening as part of both the Melbourne Queer Film Festival and the Brisbane Queer Film Festival, and will be widely released in Australian cinemas later this month.