Adamo Ruggiero gets personal with eTalk
Updated Fri. Jan. 18 2008 4:41 PM ET
Despite playing gay teen Marco on “Degrassi,” actor Adamo Ruggiero has never publicly addressed his own sexuality.
On Wednesday night, the star sat down with eTalk’s Tanya Kim and discussed the parallels between his own life and his on-screen character’s life for the first time.
“It was interesting, I was growing up at the exact same time as my character was growing up, and he was questioning things that I was questioning, and I was just a kid,” says Ruggiero.
“It was a little overwhelming in the sense that the things I was feeling were being broadcast to the world, and in a way kind of made me revert back almost because I didn’t know how to confront it myself.”
Ruggiero has decided to go public with his homosexuality, and will be posing for the cover of “fab Magazine,” Canada’s leading guide to gay culture.
On-screen, Ruggiero’s Marco Del Rossi has had a challenging time coming out to his friends and family, even announcing his lifestyle to his entire school at a public assembly.
Feeling that his character’s arc is coming to an end on the series, Ruggiero thinks that this is the right time to talk about his own sexuality.
“The thing with ‘Degrassi,’ is it’s not the role we’re playing — we’ve become these role models and spokespeople for these issues. And I thought, you know, I was learning and I learned, and I thought what better way to share my knowledge than right now.”
Ruggiero says that the interesting thing about his own journey to self discovery is how closely his “coming-out” experiences mirrored Marco’s.
“The funny thing is, every time Marco did it, I did it. Marco came out to his mom in his room on the bed, and I did the exact same thing, with my mother, in my bedroom. And Marco confronted his dad in the kitchen, and I did the same thing, with my dad in my kitchen. And I didn’t even plan it that way,” says Ruggiero.
“Maybe it’s life imitating art, or maybe that’s what ‘Degrassi’ intended to do. I feel like I’m living proof of what the show wanted to accomplish.”
Born and raised in Mississauga, Ontario, and a first-generation Canadian, Ruggiero isn’t concerned about the impact that coming out could have on his career. He hopes that others can follow his example and not be afraid to talk about gay issues.
“Degrassi: The Next Generation” is currently in its seventh season on CTV, and airs Monday nights at 7:30 p.m. ET.