'The Eternals' Will Feature Marvel's 'Beautiful' First Gay Kiss: 'Everyone Cried On Set'

"It's a beautiful, very moving kiss," said star Haaz Sleiman

Even superheroes cry sometimes.

On Thursday, actor Haaz Sleiman teased his upcoming on-screen kiss with costar Brian Tyree Henry, telling NewNowNext that filming the Eternals love scene — Marvel’s first LGBTQ smooch — was emotional for everyone on set.

“It’s a beautiful, very moving kiss,” said Sleiman, 43. “Everyone cried on set.”

In the upcoming blockbuster — which also stars Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, Kit Harrington and a recently ripped Kumail Nanjiani — Sleiman plays the husband of Henry’s Phastos, the first openly gay superhero for Marvel after more than a decade of tentpole Avengers films.

“For me, it’s very important to show how loving and beautiful a queer family can be,” Sleiman said. “Brian Tyree Henry is such a tremendous actor and brought so much beauty into this part, and at one point I saw a child in his eyes, and I think it’s important for the world to be reminded that we in the queer community were all children at one point.”

He continued: “We forget that because we’re always depicted as sexual or rebellious; we forget to connect on that human part.”

Haaz Sleiman Brian Tyree Henry
Haaz Sleiman and Brian Tyree Henry play Marvel's first gay couple on screen in Eternals. MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty; Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Sleiman previously appeared in television series like Jack Ryan and Nurse Jackie, while Henry, 37, is recognizable for his roles in Widows and TV’s Atlanta.

Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, previously confirmed that The Eternals would include substantial representation for the LGBTQ community, saying in August that the character would be married and have a family — “and that is just part of who he is.”

The Eternals is also set to break new ground with Marvel’s first deaf character, who will be played by Lauren Ridloff.

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Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, Lia McHugh, <a href="https://people.com/tag/angelina-jolie/" data-inlink="true">Angelina Jolie</a>, Don Lee and Lauren Ridloff of Marvel Studios' 'The Eternals' at the San Diego Comic-Con International
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Inclusion of a same-sex romance storyline in The Eternals comes after Marvel has been criticized for touting LGBTQ representation in past films without delivering more than a brief, negligible scene.

Ahead of 2019’s smash-hit Avengers: Endgame, the film’s directors, the Russo Brothers, hyped that one of the characters in the movie would be gay. The character — listed in the credits as “Grieving Man” — turned out to be played by one of the directors in a single scene where he mentions losing his male partner.

Other major big-screen franchises have inspired disappointed fans who wanted more LGBTQ inclusion, including the latest Star Wars film, also a Disney release, in which fans were promised a same-sex kiss and given a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it lesbian embrace in the background of one shot.

The Eternals is in theaters on Nov. 6, 2020.

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