“It’s a special moment for television. I am beyond honoured to be part of it.”
Ronen Rubinstein has spoken about the importance of 9-1-1: Lone Star’s gay couple.
The American actor plays Tyler Kennedy “TK” Strand in Ryan Murphy’s new emergency drama, and has become one of the show’s breakout characters thanks to his relationship with police officer, Carlos Reyes (played by Rafael Silva).
The show has been praised for allowing the couple to be unapologetically queer and for not shying away from passionate love scenes – which doesn’t come as much of a shock considering Ryan Murphy is at the helm.
In a new interview with ET, Rubinstein was asked about TK and Carlos’ passionate following, to which he replied: “That definitely has been the most talked about topic on the show and it’s definitely the most asked question for me.
“But I’m still not getting used to it and I sort of like that. It’s a special moment for television and for this couple to be portrayed and represented on network television because this is usually a couple that you would see on cable or streaming.”
Rubinstein praised Ryan Murphy and the show’s writers for being “willing to show this on primetime television”.
“It’s pretty epic. I am beyond honored to be part of it,” he admitted. “And I think that’s why people are grasping to it and are connecting to it because they’ve never seen anything like this on their television.”
The star said 9-1-1: Lone Star is groundbreaking because it’s rare for television shows to not include a major “coming out story” for their queer characters, and that he loves how the “writers made it a normal thing”.
“A lot of times you’d see a gay couple on television there’s something really dramatic and usually sad involved with it,” he added. “And this is just like, “Yeah, this is just normal. This is just how it is”. It’s as if it was a straight couple on television.
“It’s been amazing to be a part of that and to tell this story and to connect with so many people. I talk to people every single day about this and they’re just beyond grateful to see this and they’re excited to see where it goes.”
9-1-1: Lone Star has also received acclaim for casting a transgender actor as a transgender man. Brian Michael Smith (The L Word: Generation Q) plays a leading role as Paul Strickland, a firefighter who isn’t defined by his trans identity.
The series, which is a spin-off of 9-1-1 starring Angela Bassett, focuses on the fire and police departments in Austin, Texas and was co-created by Murphy’s frequent collaborators, Brad Falchuk (American Horror Story) and Tim Minnear (Feud).
It also stars Rob Lowe as firefighter Owen Strand and Liv Tyler as Emergency Medical Services (EMS) captain Michelle Blake, as well as Sierra McClain, Jim Parrack, Natacha Karam and Julian Works.
9-1-1: Lone Star airs every Monday on Fox.