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Daniel Franzese says he ‘wasn’t allowed straight roles’ after Mean Girls

April 30, 2019
Daniel Franzese as Damian in Mean Girls.

Daniel Franzese as Damian in Mean Girls.

Mean Girls actor Daniel Franzese has opened up about his struggles after starring in the movie and how it left him hitting “the gay glass ceiling” of Hollywood.

Franzese, who played gay character Damian Leigh in the classic teen movie, told LGBT online publication Them he wasn’t allowed to audition for straight roles after the film.

“I had become famous for playing one thing, but Hollywood, a very What-Have-You-Done-For-Me-Lately town, just didn’t think my talent could go beyond that,” he said.

“As soon as the movie was over, I kept meeting the gay glass ceiling. They wouldn’t let me audition for straight roles,” Franzese said.

“I stayed unemployed for many years after Mean Girls because I refused to go backwards on the movement,” the 40-year-old star added.

Daniel Franzese turned down gay roles because they were stereotypical

The actor said he turned down many film roles playing gay men because of the way they were being portrayed.

“Damian wasn’t made fun of; he was celebrated. I prayed about it a bit and if I was going to do a gay role, it was going to be this one,” he explained, “but then, immediately after, I was offered all these other gay parts that were all so stereotypical — just making fun of gays. I was like, ‘You know what? I can’t.'”

Daniel Franzese opens up about Mean Girls.
Daniel Franzese opens up about playing Damien on Mean Girls.

The actor, who has since played a gay role in HBO’s Looking, also spoke about the financial pressures of turning down work.

“I turned down a lot of money as my fame was rising. And to be famous and not have money? It’s a very weird thing to be famous and not be able to pay your rent,” Franzese said.

“But I felt that there was a progression in gaysploitation in cinema. I felt myself pushing the envelope, so if I held out, out something worthy would come along,” he added.

 

More: damien, daniel franzese, gay actor, gay roles, Hollywood, mean girls

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