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Legacies Has a New Gay Love Story For Us to Stan

legacies

Love is in the Legacies air, as two characters on the show — Ben and Jed — are forming a new same-sex male pairing in the Vampire Diaries universe!

According to The Observer, this was always a plan executive producers Julie Plec and Brett Matthews had when they created the spinoff show Legacies. They knew they wanted to show a male-male romance, but needed the right characters to do it. And now they’ve found them.

One of the actors, Ben Levin, who plays Jed Tien, also had expressed interest in playing a queer character as an homage to real-life members of his family who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. 

The final piece of the puzzle came together when Matthews and Price Peterson, a writer on the show, decided they wanted an out gay actor to play the other queer character. They had recently auditioned Zane Phillips, who’s also starring in the gay rom-com Fire Island.

When Peterson reached out to his friend Joel Kim Booster, the writer of Fire Island, and asked him if he thought Phillips could play a gay demigod type, Booster said, “Well, not only is Zane that for sure, but I actually have willed this into existence. I’ve always said he should be on The CW. So this is perfect.”

All of this came together perfectly to give us Ben and Jed. Ben is actually the demigod Prometheus, who stole magic from the gods 5000 years ago and has been punished with eternal life and torture ever since. Jed is an Alpha werewolf. Together they make a new couple we absolutely love.

“I’ve heard not great things about actors who are in the queer love story, but they don’t really want to be,” Phillips told The Observer. “And for me, I just wanted to be open-hearted the entire time, and I could not have been more blessed to have Ben because I think he’s the ideal scene partner. He is so open, he is so responsive, and he wants the work to be good. He wants to have a personal relationship with me because I think it shows through in the characters. I do think we’re good friends now, and I adore him so much as a person already, so it’s not hard to have chemistry with him onscreen.”

Phillips also hopes that this relationship can battle what he sees as a “fundamental fear” many TV shows about showing a male-male romance.

“We want it to be a little defanged, we want it to be a little sexless, we want it to seem safe or funny or a joke,” he said. So, “to see two men come into their power through a relationship with each other—[they] are two very powerful forces coming together—is so, so cool. This idea that you don’t have to diminish yourself to pursue something with another man, you don’t have to pretend that you’re less than you are, which is a contrast to how we’re taught to grow up as queer men.”

To see Ben and Jed's romance unfold for yourself, check out Legacies on The CW, which airs Thursdays at 9/8c.

RELATED | Here's When All Your Favorite Queer CW Shows Will Air This Fall

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