‘Deadpool 2’ Star Brianna Hildebrand Talks Playing First Big Screen LGBTQ Superhero

Deadpool 2 star Brianna Hildebrand “felt a lot of responsibility” in portraying Negasonic Teenage Warhead for a second time — this time as the genre’s first openly gay superhero on the big screen.

“[Star and co-writer Ryan Reynolds] sent me an email about it while they were in the writing process asking if I would mind if they gave Negasonic a girlfriend, and I was like, ‘Mind? I’m ecstatic about that,’” Hildebrand told Red Carpet News TV.

“I just asked him to not make it — which I knew he wouldn’t, obviously, and the writers [Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick] — but I just felt it would be more impactful maybe if it was just kind of mentioned, if it wasn’t just like, ‘Negasonic’s gay now, and now that’s what we’re gonna focus on.’ So yeah, I think he and the writers did it beautifully and it definitely worked out the way I had wanted it to.”

Hildebrand said the relationship between Negasonic and fellow X-Man-in-training Yukio (Shiori Kutsuna) has encouraged members of the LGBTQ community to share their stories with the actress and be more open with their sexuality.

“Each person that’s come up to me expressing how important Negasonic is to them has been an individual story that’s been really special,” Hildebrand said. “One girl in particular told me that after she saw [the movie] and [saw] Negasonic and Yukio together, that she came out to her dad, which I thought was super cool and really nice.”

The 22-year-old actress belongs to the LGBTQ community herself and stressed it’s especially “super important” for younger viewers to have representation in the form of superheroes that better reflect the real world.

“Maybe if I, growing up, had seen an openly gay or queer character as a superhero, maybe I would have come out sooner, or maybe I would have felt more empowered about the things that I am able to do and [felt] more comfortable in my own skin. I think those things are really important,” she said.

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“And it’s something I didn’t really realize was important before I actually started coming to these conventions and realizing how much superheroes really affect people who feel vulnerable, people of all types. I think it’s really important to have that kind of representation.”

Deadpool 2 is available to own on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD August 21.