‘Love, Victor’ Stars Michael Cimino And George Sear On The Show’s Impact And Their Message For LGBTQ Youth

Two years and three seasons later, it is time to bid farewell to the modern storytelling world of Love, Victor. Before it takes its final bow, however, this beloved Hulu series is spreading its inclusive LGBTQ message even further by simultaneously premiering its final season (and two previous seasons) on Disney Plus, recent news that has brought much excitement to two of its leading actors, Michael Cimino and George Sear.

I think that’s like so amazing,” says Cimino, who plays Victor on the expanding streaming series. “It’s kind of a full circle moment. I’m really excited to kind of see how the world receives it.”

“I think it’s amazing,” says Sear, who plays Benji on Love, Victor. “I think it’s great that it is going to be going out to a bigger audience. That’s really wonderful. Whenever you work on something and you’re passionate about it, naturally, you want that to happen.”

Inspired by the 2018 film Love, Simon, grossing approximately $66 million at the worldwide box office, its theatrical success was a clear indicator that a large part of our society was ready for more stories like this. So, with Love, Simon screenplay writers Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger continuing on to write Love, Victor within the same universe as Love, Simon, the series premiered on Hulu on June 17, 2020, becoming the most-watched drama on the streaming platform during its first week out.

Centered around a diverse group of three-dimensional high school characters striving to understand their own unique identities in a world that does not always embrace change so easily, one of the most engaging storylines has revolved around the love story between Victor and Benji. So, I asked the actors behind these performances why they think Love, Victor fans continue to vocally support and celebrate this same-sex on-screen couple.

“I think it’s just because it is really relatable,” Cimino continues. “So many people fall in love with their first loves and really do see a future with them and I think that’s a universal thing. I think that Victor and Benji have this chemistry that is very sweet and undeniable and it’s not like tainted by anyone else. It’s in their own bubble and I think that’s something that’s very beautiful in itself, as well.”

“I think the kind of the success, the impact the show has had really speaks to the demand that there is for these LGBTQ stories,” Sear continues. “I think that’s a big part of it, especially with LGBT youth in particular. I get so many messages from people who really connect to the show and identify with these characters on-screen and that’s a beautiful thing.”

During this time of Pride celebrations happening all across the world, I wondered how Sear and Cimino would define what Pride means to them and if their outlooks have changed at all due to their experiences working on Love, Victor.

Sear starts off by saying, “I think Pride to me is all about celebrating who you are and just being yourself – and it’s all about love, as well. All the Pride events I’ve been to in LA here or in London have just been an amazing time and there’s so much love and you can feel it. It’s all about community, too. Has it changed with the show? I think it probably has. Being involved in the show, it means I’ve heard a lot more from the community and people tell me things like they wish they had a show like this growing up and I’m really proud that the show has had that impact.”

Cimino adds, “I think I just didn’t understand the scope of what Pride meant before. Now as I get older, I understand that there is such a sense of community with Pride. It’s being proud of who you are, number one. And number two, it’s also like being surrounded by people who are supportive of who you are. As unfortunate as it is, there’s so many people that don’t really understand what being gay is or being part of the LGBT community is and they shun it. When you surround yourself with people that embrace you and love you for who you are, that is so validating and I feel like that is so needed.”

Now after three seasons of fully embodying Victor and Benji on-screen, I asked Cimino and Sear what advice or comforting words they would say to their evolving Love, Victor characters, if only they could.

Cimino first responds with, “Obviously, Victor doesn’t know the scope of what he has done to help other people, but I’d just be like Keep being brave because you’re inspiring people and that would be the thing I’d say to him.”

“That’s an interesting question,” Sear says before sharing his words for Benji. “I think I would give him a hug and I would just tell him that I’m proud of him for the things he’s gone through and the healing he’s done and I would wish him all the best, especially with his relationship with Victor.”

As I wrapped up my very open conversation with these two young men, I wondered what message they might have for people in the real world struggling with their own identity and have found comfort in watching the inclusive world that Love, Victor has created over these three seasons.

Sear begins by saying, “I would say that I know it’s hard, but there are people out there who will love you for who you are. If you can embrace yourself, there will be people out there. We can’t always choose our family and things like that, but there are people out there that will love you.”

Cimino concludes with, “It takes time. It took Victor a whole three seasons to figure that out and I feel like finally at the last few episodes, he’s really connected to who he is as a person and makes decisive decisions, even though he might make the wrong ones. Even then, there’s still so much more growing that Victor has to do. If you never stop growing, you’re doing something wrong. It’s always a constant evolution.”

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