Actor Kevin McHale plays AIDS Activist Bobbi Campbell in ABC's miniseries When We Rise.

The 7-part miniseries from Gus Van Sant and Dustin Lance Black takes a look at the people and events that shaped the modern LGBT rights movement. It premiered Monday.

The 28-year-old McHale is best known for playing Artie Abrams for six seasons on Fox's musical dramedy Glee.

He talked to Hollywood Today Live about attending a private screening of the miniseries with veteran activists at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco.

“It was very emotional and heavy being in the room with all those people,” McHale said. “Even if they’re not portrayed in the show, the community was still involved in the movement, so little places would come up on screen and people would be cheering, and people would be booing at certain characters. I think it was the best way to experience that.”

He also talked about playing Campbell, the 16th person in San Francisco to be diagnosed with Kaposi's sarcoma, at the time a proxy for an AIDS diagnosis.

“[Campbell] was a trained nurse, so he was very vocal about [AIDS] and was really trying to figure out what was going on,” McHale said. “And he wasn’t living in shame and hiding it. A lot of people were really scared, but he was sort of living out loud with it and trying to be an activist.”

Campbell was a co-founder of the People With AIDS (PWA) Self-Empowerment Movement. The best known example of a continuing PWA group is AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power (ACT-UP), a powerful voice in forcing politicians and other leaders to acknowledge the AIDS crisis.