After starring as Klaus Hargreeves in Netflix’s heroic sci-fi series The Umbrella Academy, Irish actor Robert Sheehan catapulted to prominence. His character Hargreeves, who has the superhuman capacity to communicate with the dead, is openly gay, and his siblings call him “The Seance.”
Robert’s LGBT characters
In addition to Luba, a pansexual escort in Netflix’s Mute, the actor has played LGBT roles in several other productions. Since he has portrayed queer characters on screen, many fans have speculated about the actor’s sexuality and taken to the internet to see if he is gay in real life.
Sheehan sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Hot Press magazine in October 2018 to address his followers’ questions and worries. In the interview, he said that he had sexual encounters with males to determine if he was sexually attracted to them.
It would be irresponsible of me not to consider my sexuality. When I was younger, I had a handful of experiences with males where I tried it out and experimented with it to see if it worked for me.
The ‘experiments,’ on the other hand, were in vain. “And it [gay experiences] didn’t,” the actor remarked when asked if the tryouts helped him.
This statement reaffirms his non-gay status in real life. However, he divulged more details about his personal life, which verified his sexuality. Sheehan also admitted that he wasn’t dating Sofia Boutella at the time, but the two remained friends. Boutella is an Algerian actress and model who has starred in films such as Atomic Blonde, Star Trek Beyond, and Kingsman: The Secret Service.
The actor remarked,
“We still adore each other.”
“You know, we still acknowledge that,”
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They first met on the set of the 2016 film Jet Trash, in which they co-starred, and subsequently began dating.
Returning to his role in The Umbrella Academy, Sheehan told Digital Spy in 2019 that he hoped audiences would see Hargreeves for more than his sexuality. With the labelling of sexuality, he claims, a character’s other identity as a whole diminishes.
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Whether you want it or not, if your character is labelled as a “gay character,” that label becomes defining, reducing all other aspects of the character. As a result, you’re doing the character a disservice.
He went on to say that Hargreeves was not introduced as gay or had any LGBT tendencies when the show first started. However, as the plot progressed, the character was forced to represent LGBTQ+.
“[Klaus] wasn’t even gay when we started,” he claimed. Or he wasn’t gay when we started dating. But when we created the persona, that type of thing happened. “Things weren’t always like this.”
In a short period, the 33-year-old actor cemented his place in the entertainment industry. He has been in significant projects such as Misfits, Love/Hate, Mortal Engines, and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones since his debut in the early 2000s.