Brian Falduto says he became 'homophobic' toward himself after 'School of Rock' role
"School of Rock" actor Brian Falduto is opening up how his childhood role made him "in denial" of his sexuality.
Falduto played the role of Billy in the 2003 movie and was nicknamed "Fancy Pants" after being the stylist for the fictional all-student band led by Jack Black. In a 2018 essay, Falduto wrote that playing Billy led him to be called the "gay kid from 'School of Rock'." The former child actor revealed in an interview on the "Cooper and Anthony" radio show posted Tuesday that the label gave him feelings of "denial" about his own sexuality.
When "School of Rock" was released Falduto was in fifth grade. Years later, during his senior year of college, he came out as gay.
"I was in so much denial," Falduto said. "This movie came out and I got called 'gay' and then someone told me that's not cool so I just was like 'Oh OK I'm not gay.' "
The former child actor said he was receiving negative messages surrounding gayness so often that his denial grew before he even understood what it meant to be homosexual or queer.
"By the time I realized I was potentially gay, I was already homophobic toward myself," he said. "In college I met a bunch of gay people and I was like 'this is awesome and they're great but this isn't an option for me.' "