People.com Entertainment Movies 'School of Rock' Actor Brian Falduto Was Homophobic Toward Himself After Playing 'the Gay Kid' "I was denying it before I even had a notion of what [being gay] was," School of Rock actor Brian Falduto said of playing "the gay kid" in the 2003 movie By Glenn Garner Glenn Garner Instagram Twitter Glenn Garner is a Weekends Writer/Reporter who works heavily with PEOPLE's Movies and TV verticals. Since graduating from Northern Arizona University with a dual major in journalism and photography he got his professional start at OUT Magazine The Advocate and Teen Vogue and he's since consistently kept his finger on the pulse of the LGBTQ community. His first book The Guncle Guide was released in 2020 and was featured on Katie Couric's list of 100 recommended books of the year." People Editorial Guidelines Published on June 12, 2021 02:17 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Santiago Felipe/Getty Images; Paramount Pictures Brian Falduto has learned a lot about himself after getting an early education in School of Rock. The former child actor, 29, recently opened up about how playing "the gay kid" in the 2003 movie made it difficult for him to come to terms with his own sexuality. "I was in so much denial," he explained on the Cooper and Anthony podcast while discussing his sassy character Billy. "Think about it: I was in the fifth grade when this movie came out and I was called gay, and then someone told me that's not cool," Falduto continued. "So I was just like, 'Oh okay, then I'm not gay.'" School of Rock Cast Say They're 'Stunned and Saddened' by Costar Kevin Clark's Death at 32 He famously starred alongside Jack Black, Joan Cusack, Miranda Cosgrove, and a slew of other talented young actors in the musical comedy, playing Billy, a private school student with an eye for fashion who becomes the titular band's costume designer. His line, "You're tacky and I hate you," even became one of the movie's most memorable one-liners. "I was denying it before I even had a notion of what [being gay] was," Falduto recounted. "So by the time I realized I was potentially gay, I was already homophobic towards myself, essentially." Falduto previously opened up about both the negatives and positives of his experience in a personal essay for The Advocate. "Even though I denied them the chance to do so for 16 years, supporters who resonated with my work on screen at such a young age have wasted no time in reaching out and telling me what it meant to see someone like me on the big screen in 2003; in most cases, someone like them," he wrote in October. "I'll admit, the beautiful moments of connection that have come since embracing and sharing my story have made me feel silly for hiding," Falduto continued. "But I was 11 and it was a different time, and I had to do what I had to do to survive." RELATED VIDEO: VIDEO: Watch Jack Black's Rocking Movie Moments from 'Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny' to 'School of Rock' The actor — who's also added musician, filmmaker, and life coach to his résumé — has stayed in touch with Black over the years, as have many of the film's young stars. "I want to give him a shout out for being an awesome, awesome human," he said to Cooper and Anthony, noting that the Tenacious D member even helped him fund a music video.