'School of Rock' actor Brian Falduto says he was homophobic towards himself after his role in the 2003 film

·2 min read
School of Rock cast in 2003
The cast of the 2003 film, "School of Rock," pose together. Frederick M. Brown
  • Brian Falduto appeared on the "Cooper and Anthony Radio Show" on June 8.

  • Falduto, 29, recalled his time working on the 2003 film "School of Rock."

  • He said the role made it difficult to address his sexuality.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

"School of Rock" actor Brian Falduto said his role left him "in denial" about his sexuality.

Falduto appeared on the "Cooper and Anthony Radio Show" last week to talk about the 2003 film and his character, Billy. In the movie, Billy was nicknamed "fancy pants" after Jack Black's character appointed him as the school band's stylist. His line, "You're tacky and I hate you," even emerged as one of the film's standout quotes.

Falduto explained that he later internalized the homophobia directed towards him, making it difficult to acknowledge his sexuality.

"I didn't come out until my senior year of college. I was in so much denial," Falduto, 29, said. "Think about it: I was in the fifth grade when this movie came out, and I was called gay, and then someone told me that's not cool. So I was just like, 'Oh okay, then I'm not gay."

Falduto continued: "I was denying it before I even had a notion of what it was. So by the time I realized I was potentially gay, I was already homophobic towards myself, essentially."

In 2018, Falduto wrote about being labeled "the gay kid" after the film in a touching essay for The Advocate.

"Then, from 2004 onward, I spent about ten years building up reservations about myself. Often they didn't even have to do with sexuality," he wrote at the time. "I had shut down the idea that I could be gay so early on in my life that I eventually believed I wasn't. But the damage was already done. My self-doubt was so ingrained in me that I was subject to everyone's opinions all the time."

Now, Falduto is a life coach for the LGBTQ community whose experiences have shaped his understanding.

"It's so fascinating to me how the mind works and how it locks into these different conditioning and behavior patterns just because of one thing you told yourself 14 years ago," said Falduto.

Falduto was among several cast members who paid tribute to Kevin Clark, a former castmate who died in May after being killed by a driver.

"We will miss you, Kevin. Thank you for finally forgiving me (in 2016) for making you wear spandex & heels. So, so much love to you, you wickedly talented & wonderfully kind man," Falduto wrote.

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