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Queer audiences heading to theaters this week to catch the much-anticipated Candyman sequel are in for a surprisingly delicious treat. The Nia DaCosta directed and Jordan Peele produced film not only stars out actors Colman Domingo and Carl Clemmons-Hopkins, but also prominently includes a gay couple -- and (spoiler alert) despite this being a horror movie, it doesn't bury its gays.
The couple in question is Troy Cartwright -- the gay brother of Brianna (Teyonah Parris) -- and his partner Grady, played Nathan Stewart-Jarrett and Kyle Kaminsky, respectively.
While LGBTQ+ representation in horror is getting better (Freaky and Thelma are two recent examples of this), there's still a long way to go and Candyman is definitely a step in the right direction. And although Troy and Grady might not technically be main characters (they are in our hearts!), they do play a notable role in the action and provide audiences the opportunity to see a loving, authentic depiction of gay love. Also, Troy gets all the best lines and has become a fan favorite. Many who've seen the film and loved the couple took to social media to share their excitement.
\u201cCouple of hours removed from CANDYMAN.\n\nForgot to flag up the welcome queer representation through a lively Nathan Stewart-Jarrett.\n\nLoved that the film dabbled in politics of an informed queer POC/white privileged guy relationship + how the latter needs to scrub up on history.\u201d— Darryl Griffiths \ud83c\udf08\ud83c\udfa5 (@Darryl Griffiths \ud83c\udf08\ud83c\udfa5) 1630355549
\u201cOne of my favorite things about the latest Candyman is the gay couple that makes it through the movie just fine.\u201d— Charlie Stolz (@Charlie Stolz) 1630319481
\u201cMFW they But they don\u2019t\nhave gays in kill them\nCandyman\u2026\u201d— dan \ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08 (@dan \ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08) 1630041149
In an interview with Shock Ya!, Kaminsky shared how important it was to him that he and Stewart-Jarrett do the characters justice. "We talked about their background and history so that when we got to set, the characters seemed very lived in, and that was a really important part of the process," Kaminsky said. He also had nothing but praise for his co-star and on-screen love interest. "Nathan is a brilliant actor. He made me laugh so much that it was hard to stop laughing while I was on set. He made me feel so comfortable, and as I said, he's incredibly talented. Feeding off of his energy inspired a lot of the choices that I made," he shared. "Feeling like you're a part of a team that has the common goal of creating a really beautiful project was amazing."
The film, which picks up 30 years after the events of the original and contends with both the legacy of Candyman and the now torn-down, gentrified Cabrini Green setting, has been well-received by critics and audiences. It opened at No. 1 its opening weekend, ahead of box office projections, and Nia DaCosta made history as the first Black female director to have their film debut at the top of U.S. box office rankings.
This is all the more reason to check out Candyman, in theaters now!