Watch: 'Eternals' Star Haaz Sleiman Calls Role in Film 'Lifesaving'

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday November 4, 2021
Originally published on October 25, 2021

The big moment is almost here for Marvel's "Eternals," which hits theaters Nov. 5. But for out actor Haaz Sleiman — who plays husband to Marvel's first openly gay superhero Phastos in the film — the moment is even bigger for LGBTQ representation.

In an interview with Variety at the "Eternals" premiere, Sleiman called his role "lifechanging."

"I wish I had that when I was a kid growing up, to see this. My god, I wish," he said about seeing a gay couple portrayed in a superhero movie. And to be a part of the groundbreaking casting was "beyond a dream come true," for Sleiman.

"Can you imagine how many lives this is going to be saving? Kids, you know, young queer folk who are either being bullied, committing suicide, not seeing themselves being represented. And now they get to see this," Sleiman shared, with emotion in his voice.

As husband and co-parent with Phastos, Sleiman's "Eternals" role will also mark the first time that a gay couple is portrayed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as parents. What's more, Sleiman shares, is that they are a gay couple of color.

"The fact that Brian [Tyree Henry] is also Black, you know, that's also beautiful to me. We're both people of color," he said. "Marvel and Disney could not be anymore global, there's nothing more global than that."

Recently, "Eternals" director Chloé Zhao let it be known that she is pushing hard for the films gay relationship not to be censored overseas in places like Russia where it is illegal to "normalize" homosexuality.

"I don't know all the details but I do believe discussions were had and there's a big desire from Marvel and myself — we talked about this — to not change the cut of the movie," said Zhao. "Fingers crossed."

View the full exchange with Sleiman below.

And check out these pics from Sleiman's IG: