In a recent podcast, Ryan Phillippe
said that his classmates were not happy about him playing gay teen
Billy Douglas on the ABC daytime soap opera One Life to Live.
Phillippe's character was lauded for
breaking new ground for LGBT representation on television. While the
character lasted only one year (1992-93), Billy's arrival rocked the
fictional town of Llanview. Some townspeople were openly hostile to
gays and when Billy came out to his father, he rejected his son. The
NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt came to Llanview. The character was
written off with Billy heading off to college with a new boyfriend.
During an appearance on Barstool
Sports' KFC Radio podcast, Phillippe said that he was
“shunned” by classmates at his Christian high school for taking
“I had grown up going to, like,
Baptist school and Christian school,” Phillippe, 46, said.
“When I was a senior in high school,
I played the first gay character on a soap opera – first gay
teenager ever – and so I was shunned at that point.”
“I mean, this was 1992, and I was
playing a gay teenager and I was in a Christian school. They weren't
happy about it,” he
Phillippe played bisexual bartender
Shane O'Shea in the 1998 film 54, a fictionalized version of
the rise and fall of New York City's iconic discotheque Studio 54.