Ryan Phillippe Says He Was Shunned At School For Playing Gay Teen On 'One Life To Live'

Mon. November 23, 2020 7:44 AM by OnTopMag.com

In a recent podcast, Ryan Phillippe said that his classmates were not happy about him playing gay teen Billy Douglas on the ABC daytime soap opera One Life to Live.

Phillippe's character was lauded for breaking new ground for LGBT representation on television. While the character lasted only one year (1992-93), Billy's arrival rocked the fictional town of Llanview. Some townspeople were openly hostile to gays and when Billy came out to his father, he rejected his son. The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt came to Llanview. The character was written off with Billy heading off to college with a new boyfriend.

During an appearance on Barstool Sports' KFC Radio podcast, Phillippe said that he was "shunned" by classmates at his Christian high school for taking the role.

"I had grown up going to, like, Baptist school and Christian school," Phillippe, 46, said.

"When I was a senior in high school, I played the first gay character on a soap opera – first gay teenager ever – and so I was shunned at that point."

"I mean, this was 1992, and I was playing a gay teenager and I was in a Christian school. They weren't happy about it," he said.

Phillippe played bisexual bartender Shane O'Shea in the 1998 film 54, a fictionalized version of the rise and fall of New York City's iconic discotheque Studio 54.

This article appeared at On Top Magazine and has been published here with permission.

 

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