Robert Sheehan shares how Umbrella Academy character was rewritten as queer after he was cast

The original Klaus was intended as a straight character, but changed following conversations between Sheehan and the creators.

A punky guy in a black fur coat smokes while holding a plastic umbrella

Irish actor, Robert Sheehan, star of the Netflix smash hit TV show Umbrella Academyhas shared how his character was originally conceived as straight, but was rewritten as queer following discussions with creators.

In an interview with Attitude, Sheehan, who describes his character as pansexual, revealed that while working on season one,  Klaus was meant to have “had a relationship with a Vietnamese woman, who has a child in the 1960’s, and then he goes to find a daughter who’d be quite old and make contact. Then it became, ‘Well, what if he had a gay relationship in Vietnam?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, definitely.’”

Conversations with the creators continued, described Sheehan; “You have to follow your nose to find the most interesting road to take. And I found that really, really interesting and quite subversive of the Vietnam that’s been depicted before.”

Having a character like Klaus as one of the lead roles in a major TV show is an amazing example of LGBT+ representation. Sheehan described the reactions of fans at comic conventions – “Certainly at the cons, you get a lot of younger people who identify in the LGBTQ bracket. Lovely, young, queer people coming up and saying lovely, meaningful things. People who are at the formative part of their lives. That’s very nice.”

The show also stars Ellen Page, the openly lesbian Oscar-nominated actress who made an appearance in the recent Netflix reboot of the much loved queer classic Tales Of The City.

Sheehan praised Umbrella Academy and its creators for its presentation of the characters, saying, “One thing I really do love about Umbrella Academy is that there aren’t any kind of finer points put on love and things like that. The show is delightfully and wonderfully and aspirationally non-prejudicial in that sense; it’s just about connection and love. That’s all it should be about.”

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