I got a call from Ali Adler and Andrew Kreisberg, and they were saying, “Hey, we’d really love for you to come in and sit down so we can talk creative with you.” I was like, “Oh, okay, I didn’t realize we were going to do that, that’s great!” I was sitting in their office, and all of a sudden, they’re like, “So, we want to just tell you what we’re thinking, what we’re going to do, and wanted to get your take on it.” They had this funny little smile on their face, I’m like, “What’s going on?” They’re like, “Well, so this season, Alex is gay.” I was like, “Oh, what?” They just went into the whole story, explaining the why behind the what, and that it’s not like this thing that all of a sudden is just spilling out, it’s a discovery for her. That’s how we wanted to approach it. You have so many stories — shows and movies — where people are already established as gay, lesbian, bi[sexual]; these are people who are coming in like that. This was a great opportunity to show somebody who’s figuring it out, the light bulb moment and putting the puzzle pieces together.
When they were explaining it to me, I was like, “Wow, I wouldn’t have thought it,” because last season you just didn’t really see any of that side of Alex. When they originally said, “Hey, we’re thinking about a love interest,” but they didn’t say what the whole thing was, I was almost like, “Oh, I don’t know if we should do that yet,” because I don’t want it to become about Alex in a relationship, where we don’t get to see enough about her discovering more about who she is because so much of it was hidden last season. Then when they started to explain the whole idea, at first I was kind of taken back a little bit, not in a negative way, but just going, “Oh, okay.” Then the weight of it hit me, thinking, “Oooh, okay, we need to really, really do justice to this in a really beautiful way.” It was right around the time of the Orlando shooting, and I just all of a sudden was hit with this weight, because I knew that then I was going to be a face for the LGBT community, and I was like, “I gotta get this right. I don’t want to go out there and say one thing and then do something else. I just want to make sure that this is very respectful and tasteful and being done with sensitivity.”
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