Haaz Sleiman says Eternals will “humanise” LGBTQ+ families for audiences and “show how beautiful they are”.
In the upcoming film, Sleiman will play an architect who is married with a child to Phastos – the first openly gay superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
In an interview with Out Magazine, Sleiman said his casting was “very smart” as he will “humanise the hell” out of LGBTQ+ families.
He said: “I feel lucky, and I’m grateful. And…I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I feel like Marvel, they were very smart to cast me in it because I got to humanise the hell out of it.
“I got to humanise an LGBTQ+ family and show how beautiful they are.”
Sleiman, who came out publicly in 2017, said he is excited about how LGBTQ+ storytelling is changing in television and film.
“The most exciting thing is the stories that are being told in television and film about LGBTQ people,” the 45-year-old said. “A lot of TV shows are being more thoughtful about portraying queer people in a more fuller way, not so one-dimensional or very stereotype[d].”
The Of Kings and Prophets star said he wants to break the glass ceiling in cinema by showing people how happy LGBTQ+ families are.
“I think queer families, personally, are way healthier than regular families, in my opinion,” he explains. “We stay together and there’s so much love.”
During a 2020 interview with NewNowNext, Sleiman revealed that Eternals will feature a “beautiful, very moving kiss” with Brian Tyree Henry, who is playing Phastos.
It would mark the MCU’s first-ever on-screen same-sex kiss.
“After the return of half the population in Avengers: Endgame (2019) ignites “the emergence”, the Eternals—an immortal alien race created by the Celestials who have secretly lived on Earth for over 7,000 years—reunite to protect humanity from their evil counterparts, the Deviants,” the film’s synopsis reads.
The movie stars Gemma Chan as Sersi, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanijani as Kingo and Lisa McHugh as Sprite.
Eternals is set to be released on 5 November.