At the world premiere for Marvel Studios’ “Eternals” on Oct. 18, Haaz Sleiman was beaming. The 45-year-old actor, who came out as gay in 2017, could scarcely believe he was on the red carpet for a massive studio movie in which his character, Ben, is the husband of one of the title superheroes, Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry).
It marks the first time a Marvel Studios film has showcased a same-sex couple — and one of the only times any superhero movie has included a title LGBTQ character. In a pop-culture landscape that has been dominated worldwide by superhero storytelling for over a decade, the impact that representation could have for the film’s expected global audience was very much on Sleiman’s mind.
“Beyond a dream come true, it’s life-saving,” the actor told Variety.