Rosie O'Donnell was 'sweet' on set of 'The Fosters,' trans actor Tom Phelan says

Wed. March 5, 2014 8:30 AM by

Teen actor Tom Phelan says Rosie O'Donnell helped him get over being nervous on the set of The Fosters.

On the show, Phelan, who identifies as non-binary, plays Cole, a transgender boy placed in a group home for girls run by O'Donnell.

"It was totally awesome," Phelan told about working with O'Donnell.

"It was my first time doing anything, so I had no idea where I was or where I should go. The first thing we shot was the opening scene, with Callie first being introduced to the home. It was really, really nerve-wracking because Rosie is just such an icon and a presence. She was totally down-to-earth and very sweet, and she made a point to strike up a conversation with anyone who was new or nervous. It was wonderful to watch her work, because she's known for her comedy, but her dramatic acting is just as great."

When asked, "What do you hope viewers will learn about trans people from your portrayal of Cole?" Phelan answered: "Just that trans people are real, we exist, and we're not going away. It's really important for [cisgender, or nontrans] people to educate themselves. I really hope they take that away. Learn the terms, learn the pronouns, and get used to it because we're staying here."

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine



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