‘That message came to me so often, so I was denying it before I even got the notion of what it was’
School of Rock star Brian Falduto has said he struggled to come out for years after appearing in the film as a child actor.
Appearing in an interview on the Cooper & Anthony radio show, Falduto – who played the character Billy opposite Jack Black’s Dewey Finn – explained that he ended up internalising the homophobia directed towards him while he was at school.
“I didn’t come out til my senior year of college,” he revealed. “I was in so much denial. Think about it, when I was in the 5th grade this movie came out, I got called gay, and someone told me ‘that’s not cool’ so I was like, ‘OK, I’m not gay.’”
“That message came to me so often, so I was denying it before I even got the notion of what it was. So by the time I realised I was potentially gay I was already homophobic towards myself, essentially. And then in college I met a ton of gay people and thought ‘this is awesome and they’re great’, but it still wasn’t an option for me. I was so far in denial.”
Falduto said he believes this might be why he became a life coach later on: “It’s so fascinating to me how the mind works and it locks into different conditioning and the behaviour patterns just because of one thing you told yourself 14 jare terug. It’s really crazy.”
He revealed that Black still keeps in touch with him and other former members of the cast: “I want to give him a shout out for being an awesome, awesome human," hy het gesê.
In Mei, Falduto’s former School of Rock co-star Kevin Clark died aged 32 after being hit by a car in Chicago.
Falduto was among those to pay tribute, skryf op Instagram: “I can’t believe we lost a member of the family today. I’ve developed such a love and gratitude over the years for the once-in-a-lifetime experience that School of Rock was. But what’s even more amazing is what it’s become with time .. the reverberating impact it’s had in our lives and the lives of others.
“So much of that impact has to do with the once-in-a-lifetime combination of people that was part of that experience. Those same people remain very much a part of my life to this day. We will miss you, Kevin. Thank you for finally forgiving me (in 2016) for making you wear spandex and heels. So, so much love to you, you wickedly talented and wonderfully kind man.”