Announcement, Daniel Franzese Letter To Damien
June 2, 2014 by staff
Announcement, Daniel Franzese Letter To Damien, Mean Girls star Daniel Franzese has come out as gay, a week before the tenth anniversary of the smash hit movie.
The actor penned an emotional letter to his character Damian from the film on Indiewire blog Bent, thanking him for the encouragement to be himself but in part blaming him for getting stereotyped.
Daniel, now 35, begins: ‘I was twenty-six; you were sixteen. You were proud of who you were; I was an insecure actor. You became an iconic character that people looked up to; I wished I’d had you as a role model when I was younger.
‘I might’ve been easier to be gay growing up. You WERE beautiful in every single way and words couldn’t bring you down.’
Daniel, who admitted the cast had no idea ‘how loved and quoted this movie would become’, revealed that he was ‘terrified’ to play the role of Damian at first.
But he thanked co-star and writer Tina Fey and director Mark Waters for making Damian ‘a character we laughed with instead of at’.
Daniel explained that the role made him typecast as a gay character and he struggled to find other varied parts as a result.
‘When I first became an actor, I wanted to play lots of roles – Guidos, gangsters and goombahs were my specialty.
‘So, would I be able to play all of those parts after portraying a sensitive, moisturizing, Ashton Kutcher-loving, pink-shirt-wearing kid? I was optimistic. Hollywood? Not so much. I was meeting a “gay glass ceiling” in casting.’
Daniel recalled the times casting directors would not even allow him to read for certain parts because they had seen him in Mean Girls.
‘However, I did turn down many offers to play flamboyant, feather-boa-slinging stereotypes that always seemed to be laughed at BECAUSE they were gay,’ he added. ‘How could I go from playing an inspirational, progressive gay youth to the embarrassing, clichéd butt-of-a-joke? ‘
Daniel recalled how he tried to hide his sexuality from everyone but his close friends and family, even when that meant having no romantic life.
‘Damian, you had ruined my life and I was really p***ed at you,’ Daniel said. ‘I became celibate for a year and a half. I didn’t go to any gay bars, have any flings and I lied to anyone who asked if I was gay.
‘I even brought a girl to the Mean Girls premiere and kissed her on the red carpet, making her my unwitting beard.’
Daniel said that while it took him some time to be ready to come out, he reached a turning point when he realised his character had inspired others.
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