entertainment

Disney star 'feels the pressure' of playing first openly gay character

16-year-old Joshua Rush plays gay teen Cyrus on Disney Channel's 'Andi Mack'.

2018-02-24

The teen star at the centre of Disney Channel's historic gay storyline says he 'feels pressure' to do his role justice.

Andi Mack star Joshua Rush says he spent a lot of time preparing for his character's coming out scene, which took place during the second season of teen comedy-drama last year.

The 16-year-old actor, who plays middle school student Cyrus Goodman on the show, told People: “I feel the pressure, and I also don’t. I think the most important thing for me when I got this part was to do it right.”

“I knew that I wanted to do it justice, because I knew that people were gonna end up seeing this and being like, ‘Wow that’s me, I identify with that [and] I can be who I am now,’ but I also wanted to make sure that it’s not all-encompassing. Like that’s not all of Cyrus’ personality.” 

Rush, whose first major TV role came in US TV drama Heroes playing a younger version of Zachary Quinto's character Sylar, said that his role on Andi Mack would help gay adolescents struggling to accept their sexuality and also their peers.

“I think this storyline is definitely going to help a lot of my peers. I was the first person that one of my good friends came out to, and I think that if I had someone like Buffy on TV, I think I would’ve done a better job and had been a better friend in that situation. I’m glad that I can be a part of this,” he said.

"I hope that more shows will follow in Disney’s footsteps with Cyrus’ storyline. Really, I look forward to the day that it’s not an unusual occurrence.

"I hope everyone can one day see that our differences are beautiful and that love is love.”