entertainment

'Mean Girls' stars Jonathan Bennett and Daniel Franzese secretly came out to each other on set

"We both were sharing in our little private misery of being in the closet."

2019-04-03

Together they appeared in one of the most beloved cult comedies of the noughties, but as two young actors attempting to keep their sexuality a secret from the public and those around them, both Jonathan Bennett and Daniel Franzese were privately struggling during the filming of 2004's Mean Girls.

The pair scored breakout roles in Tina Fey's hit high school comedy-drama as Aaron 'man candy' Samuels and Damian 'too gay too function' Leigh, but though it would be another decade before either felt confident enought to come out publicly, Franzese has revealed the actors did confide in one another about their sexuality on set.

"We both were sharing in our little private misery of having to be in the closet," Franzese told Gay Star News.

"We definitely confided in each other."

Franzese, 40, would eventually come out publicly in 2014, before landing the role of HIV-positive Eddie in the second season of HBO's Looking, but it would be another three years before Bennett did the same.

The Cake Wars host, who was accidentally outed by Dancing with the Stars judge Julianne Hough in 2014, first publicly acknowledged his sexuality when he confirmed his relationship with TV host Jaymes Vaughn in late 2017.

"When I came out, I urged [Jonathan] to come out," Franzese recalled. "He just wasn’t ready at the time."

He added: "I’m glad now he’s at a place in his life where he can feel free to be himself.

"I’m proud of him."