For a show that initially appears to be targeting a straight male audience, the return of Fox’s Prison Break will feature an abundance of queer representation.
Wentworth Miller returned as the lead of the Fox series on Tuesday, but this time, as an openly gay actor. Since the show went off the air in 2009, Miller has come out of the closet and used his celebrity status to shut down homophobes and body-shaming trolls online.
Another gay addition to the cast of the revival is Augustus Prew, who recently got engaged to actor and writer Jeffery Self. Prew plays the cellmate of Miller’s character, Michael, on the show’s current fifth season.
Amin El Gamal also joins the cast as one of the main villains in the reboot, and the Muslim actor recently spoke with Advocate about why it is important to him to be out of the closet, even if it puts his career in jeopardy in the process.
“If I can’t be true to who I am and set an example for other queer kids who come from an Arab background, what’s the point?” El Gamal asked. “What’s the point in me being a public figure and trying to be authentic and entertain people if I can’t try to change things a bit?”
El Gamal went on to explain that having other out actors on set was extremely comforting, especially due to the material and shooting environment. Much of the series was filmed in North Africa, focusing on an escape from a Yemen prison, and the actor teased that a storyline will feature the detention of a queer character as well.
“Especially in some of the harsh and violent situations and environments that we were in, it just felt very comforting to have someone who was there who was like, I see you, I understand your concern,” he told Advocate.
Prison Break: Sequel began its nine-episode run on April 4 on Fox.