Former teen heartthrob Ryan Phillippe is opening up about how going gay-for-pay early in his acting career caused his parents to freak out and practically “disown” him.
You might not remember, but Phillippe played the first openly gay character on daytime television when he was cast as Billy Douglas on ABC’s One Life To Live in 1992.
Phillippe was just a teenager at the time and the role was pretty controversial for the early ’90s. Looking back, he says, taking the part did serious harm to his personal life.
“I had grown up going to, like, Baptist school and Christian school,” the 46-year-old tells Female First. “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.”
He continues, “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.”
A few years later, Phillippe landed the role of Sebastian Valmont in Cruel Intentions, a film that dealt with themes of sex, drugs, incest, and same-sex attraction.
That, too, caused a rift in his family.
“I thought my parents were going to disown me,” he recalls.
They eventually got over it, but Phillippe says he hasn’t played a super sexualized role like that like that since.
“I’ve still never played a character like that,” he says, adding, “I want to get back to playing a character like Sebastian.”
We’re sure there are many, many others who wouldn’t mind him going back to it either.
Scroll down for some pics from Phillippe’s Instagram page…