Actor Ronen Rubinstein turned bisexual after playing a gay lead character for two seasons in the procedural thriller 9-1-1: Lone Star.
The 27-year-old opened up about his sexuality in an interview with Variety published Wednesday, telling the publication, “I completely identify as bisexual.”
“I literally got goosebumps saying that,” Rubinstein said via Zoom interview from his home in LA. “It feels so good to talk about it, it feels so good to finally feel comfortable with it.”
Sharing His Truth: The 9-1-1: Lone Star actor Ronen Rubinstein came out as bisexual in an interview with Variety on Wednesday; pictured in February 2020 in West Hollywood
Rubinstein spoke of his concerns about how his character would be received by his friends and family in his native Staten Island in New York City.
Although he said he played TK Strand, the gay son of Rob Lowe’s main character, he was afraid to say that his character had a passionate kiss scene with Agent Carlos Reyes, played by the openly gay actor Rafael L. Silva.
“Carlos and I have a huge make-out scene where, like, we storm in the door and take off our clothes,” Rubinstein said. ‘It’s super hot and it goes on and on. It just won’t stop. We hit the walls, and then we end up on the couch. I warned my parents and my friends for months.
‘I said,’ Listen, I understand, if you guys don’t want to look at it, I understand that you are probably saying really ignorant, narrow-minded things, or you might not want to look at it and I understand that, ” he recalled herself.
Inspired: Rubinstein plays series leader Rob Lowe’s gay son, and his steamy scenes with his costar Rafael L. Silva forced him to face his repressed sexuality; still from 9-1-1: Lone Star
But regardless of their feelings, the on-screen romance was well received by fans, who quickly gave them the name ‘Tarlos’.
Rubinstein wasn’t gone at the time, but he said his character took him on a “ journey ” that helped him work through his attraction to both men and women, feelings he’d been trying to keep under the surface for years.
‘The most important thing to me is where I’m from, it’s like people like me and people who have identified themselves as bisexual or gay or as part of the community, you’re just not welcome. It’s as brutally fair as that, ‘he said.
It’s either you’ve been dealing with insane amounts of profanity, like the F word was thrown around all the time, or you’d get kicked a ** if you were gay. So there was definitely a fear of embracing how I felt. I was definitely more aware of it in high school. I was aware of my feelings and how I started to look at men, but I couldn’t talk to anyone about it. ‘
It’s a hit: he was worried his friends and family in Staten Island wouldn’t approve, but his fans overwhelmed them with their love of the characters, whom they called “Tarlos”; seen January 2020 in LA
But thanks to his role on 9-1-1: Lone Star, a spin-off from Ryan Murphy-produced series 9-1-1, and the character’s positive reception, he felt ready to embrace his true self.
‘The fans, especially the Tarlos fans, it’s one of the biggest reasons why I finally felt safe and comfortable talking about it and finally embracing it and being happy with it,’ he explained.
Rubinstein received a lot of support from his stage partner Silva and from Murphy, along with his actress-girlfriend Jessica Parker Kennedy, best known for her starring roles in Black Sails and The Flash for The CW.
“She’s actually one of the first people to call me out respectfully about it,” Rubinstein said. She says, “Is there anything we need to talk about?” And I said, “Maybe.” I didn’t know how that conversation would go, ”he said, although“ it probably went the best it could. ”
She certainly encouraged me to talk about it just to live my truth. She says, “I love you just the way you are, your full self and people will love you for who you are and for yourself.”
Going Strong: Rubinstein got a lot of support from his actress-girlfriend Jessica Parker Kennedy, and he clarified that their relationship is as strong as ever; seen with Rob Lowe in the series
Laughing: ‘She sometimes jokes:’ Don’t leave me for Harry Styles, ‘said Rubinstein; photo with Kennedy in 2018 in LA
Rubinstein clarified that his relationship with Kennedy after coming out was as great as ever, although she could still laugh about it.
She sometimes jokes, “Don’t leave me for Harry Styles.”
In addition to starring in the 9-1-1 spin-off, the actor directed the slasher film The Smiley Face Killers last year, which was written by American psycho-novelist Bret Easton Ellis, and he previously appeared in season three of Netflix’s Orange Is The New black.
Rubinstein, who was born in Israel before moving to New York City as a child, concluded his interview by explaining that he hoped coming out as bisexual could help other LGBTQ youth who don’t feel accepted.
“I want people to know that this is a hopeful and happy story,” he said. ‘I want people to know that they are not alone, and that’s certainly okay. Believe me, I know it’s not easy. My path has not been easy at all, but it is one more thing I can share with people to help them and let them know that I am here for them. ‘
“I want people to know that this is a hopeful and happy story,” he said. “I want people to know they’re not alone, and that’s certainly okay,” he said; still from 9-1-1: Lone Star