Our Swoon-Worthy Man of the Week: ‘Breaking Fast’ and ‘Eternals’ Actor Haaz Sleiman
Haaz Sleiman! A man who’s bringing us representation and great performances left and right. In the past year or two, actor Haaz Sleiman’s star has been shining especially bright in Hollywood. He has gone from small roles on TV like Nurse Jackie and small voice acting parts to getting leading roles in gay film and big, representative parts in big-budget franchises like the MCU.
But who is sexy actor Haaz Sleiman and what do we know about him? Take a look at what we’ve compiled below.
Actor Haaz Sleiman: Basic Facts
Date of Birth: July 1, 1976
Birthplace: Beitut, Lebanon
Zodiac Sign: Cancer
Height: 5 feet 11 inches (1.8 m)
Weight: 75 kg (165 lbs)
Education: Graduated from Wayne State University
And here’s more about our swoon-worthy man of the week, actor Haaz Sleiman:
1. He had a rough childhood.
Life is looking up for Hollywood actor Haaz Sleiman, but it wasn’t always so easy. In fact, his beginnings were a fight for survival. As he shared with Variety in 2020, his upbringing was a lot like that of his character Rafiq in Little America.
“I could relate a lot to his journey,” he said. “I’ve never been physically violated or abused like he was, but I went through that mental, emotional abuse and isolated childhood. I really lived a very solitary childhood, so his journey feeling isolated, alone and disconnected from his family — that fear of being rejected by his family — all of that I lived. And I actually escaped Lebanon, not because I was escaping persecution, but because I thought I couldn’t survive living there — that I would die if I had to stay there. It was the same reason, but obviously different circumstances.”
2. Actor Haaz Sleiman is openly gay and has no problem proclaiming ‘I’m a bottom!’
While there are still many discussions around sexual identities in Hollywood — whether straight actors should play gay roles, for instance – more and more talents are coming out as LGBTQ by the day. Sleiman is one such talent who came out as gay through a Facebook video back in 2017.
“Part of me wanted to [come out] this way to create dialogue. Wake up!” he told Hornet at the time. “Let’s talk about this for a second. This film. This is my power. That’s where I am powerful. You better believe I am going all the way with this.”
Sleiman expressed to us he was sad to see that he received backlash from gay people for making a comment about being a bottom.
“What saddens me is how people attacked me,” he told us. “Some gay men were like, ‘You’re just trying to find tops.’ I can find men. I prefer to be in relationships. I’m personally not into one-night stands,” before adding, “But tops are idiots.”
“Not just globally but within the community, bottoms are looked down upon,” he continued. “They are considered less than. There are so many bottoms, and it’s so disrespectful how they are treated. My reasoning is to say to the world, ‘Just because I’m a bottom doesn’t mean you can fuck with me.’”
3. Coming out affected his relationship with his father.
Coming out did lead to some estrangement from actor Haaz Sleiman’s loved ones, specifically his father, though Sleiman says the two eventually made up before his father’s death.
“Two months prior to him dying, my dad actually was telling me over the phone that he accepts me for who I am and he’d stand with me [and] he’d fight for me against any family member — which is something I never dreamed of,” Sleiman told Variety. “My father was very machismo and it was a very patriarchal society. And so for me, I had a very bad relationship with my dad for so many decades, but then having him tell me that and then him passing away, it made me want to dedicate the [Little America} episode to him. It kicked it off in the right place in the sense of almost overwhelming loss.”
4. Actor Haaz Sleiman gives us gay Muslim representation.
Sleiman doesn’t consider himself Muslim, Christian or anything else, just “spiritual.” But he’s happy to bring representation to Muslim people, especially LGBTQ Muslims. That includes his role in the gay Ramadan romantic comedy Breaking Fast. In it, he plays Mo, a practicing Muslim living in L.A.’s gayborhood. Mo is getting over a breakup and then meets Kai (Michael Cassidy), an actor who decides to spend the month breaking fast with Mo. The two grow closer as they honor the holiday.
This goes along Sleiman’s own work to create representation for gay men from Muslim and/or Middle Eastern communities. “I am writing a film,” he told Hornet. “I’m going to shoot in Lebanon a very special movie that is going to empower gay communities across the globe. That is how important it’s going to be. The story is very precious to me. I suffered in my life enough to get it. I am going to make people around the world who may not be gay cry and care about LGBT people with my movie. That is my goal.”
5. He’s (fictionally) married to a Marvel superhero.
His work as a gay Muslim isn’t the only representation he’s giving us! Actor Haaz Sleiman is slated to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And while he won’t be a hero himself, he’ll appear in the upcoming Eternals as the husband of Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos. The two will reportedly be fathers and will share a kiss on-screen!
“It’s a beautiful, very moving kiss,” Sleiman has said. “Everyone cried on set. For me it’s very important to show how loving and beautiful a queer family can be. Brian Tyree Henry is such a tremendous actor and brought so much beauty into this part, and at one point I saw a child in his eyes, and I think it’s important for the world to be reminded that we in the queer community, we’re all children at one point. We forget that because we’re always depicted as sexual or rebellious. We forget to connect on that human part.”
6. Most important of all, he believes in being a good person.
While Sleiman isn’t religious, his time working on Killing Jesus and playing the titular character helped him to reconnect with teachings of peace and love. As he told the Christian Broadcasting Network, he’s in love with the phrase “Love thy neighbor.”
“One of the most powerful things about when He says, ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ Just that statement is incredible, because it is one simple thing, [an] idea that is as vast as the universe, limitless, has no limit whatsoever, and it’s so inclusive of everyone. That to me on its own, that concept probably was the most transformative concept for me regarding having him affect me and influence my life, because it changed how I treated myself and it changed how I treated others. As a result, it just made me more open and less judgmental, and really a happier person.”