Robert Sheehan's Umbrella Academy character Klaus helped queer people come out

The Umbrella Academy’s Robert Sheehan has opened up on the effect his character, Klaus, has had on fans of the show – revealing his depiction even helped people come out.

Fans of the Netflix programme, centred on the gifted Hargreeves siblings, managed to relate to the characters on a profound level, with an ‘outpouring’ of emotion specifically saved for Robert’s Klaus who really hit a special note with viewers.

Now Robert, who plays the pansexual drug addict with the ability to communicate with the dead, has recalled the reaction to his portrayal of the character.

He told The Independent: ‘There was a beautiful outpouring of emotion from younger people and younger queer people, who said that the depiction of Klaus really helped them, helped them come out.

‘People derived great meaning from it, and you can’t ask for better than that as an actor.’

As we very eagerly anticipate the second season of the Netflix show landing, the actor has shared his thoughts on fame and the cult-like following of his character Klaus, which has evidently translated to a cult-like following of Robert.

He said: ‘It’s funny you should say that because before Umbrella Academy, nah, not so much. You’d show up to a premiere, but all of the screaming and the fan hysteria would be from the spectacle of the parade. But after Umbrella Academy, I did a couple of events in North America – one in Montreal and one in Chicago – and it was a bit like a cult, at times.’

He went on: ‘Not that it got culty. It wasn’t like people were trying to cast me as some kind of leader. But it got intense, and there were lots of teenage tears.’

Teasing what’s ahead to Metro.co.uk, the 32-year-old recently explained how the show manages to approach hard-hitting subjects, without making a huge political statement in doing so.

He said: ‘It’s tricky because there are shows out there that are performatively virtue signalling an agenda. The intelligence of [TUA] is to deal with those issues from sort of a character perspective, that doesn’t feel like the show was making a political statement.

‘It’s about the characters who are experiencing this stuff, which retrospectively is quite interesting because the actual execution of it cannot be through a political prism because I think that sort of broadcasts itself very much as virtue signalling.

‘That’s the stuff that I would want to avoid like plague.’

The Umbrella Academy season 2 launches on Netflix July 31.

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