In 2018, romantic comedy Love, Simon was released in cinemas, delighting audiences with the heartwarming story of a closeted gay teenager called Simon (Nick Robinson) who forms a connection with an anonymous online pen pal.
A couple of years later, Love, Victor – a TV spin-off set in the same world as Simon’s story – premiered on American TV network Hulu, starring Michael Cimino as the lead.
While the first season of Love, Victor was originally released last year, it is now coming to Star on Disney Plus, introducing more viewers around the world to Victor as he discovers who he is while seeking out Simon for guidance.
In November, filming on the second season of the show officially began.
So what are the main differences between Simon and Victor and what else have the actors who portray the characters starred in?
Who is Simon from Love, Simon?
In Love, Simon, the titular character is introduced as living a charmed life in Atlanta, Georgia, with his younger sister Nora (Talitha Bateman) and parents Emily (Jennifer Garner) and Jack (Josh Duhamel).
Simon has a strong friendship group, which is made up of Leah (Katherine Langford), Nick (Jorge Lendeborg Jr) and Abby (Alexandra Shipp).
After learning that a student at his high school has written an anonymous confession online coming out as gay, signed as the pseudonym Blue, Simon decides to reach out to him.
As Simon starts to develop feelings for Blue, he tries to figure out who he could be, all the while struggling with being open with others about his own identity.
What is the connection between Simon and Victor?
Love, Victor is set in the same high school as Love, Simon, albeit a couple of years later when Simon is no longer a student there.
While there are a few familiar faces who crop up in the TV series, the cast predominantly consists of new characters.
Who is Victor from Love, Victor?
15-year-old Victor Salazar, the lead in Love, Victor, is a new student at Creekwood High School, having recently moved to Atlanta from Texas with his family – sister Pilar (Isabella Ferreira), brother Adrian (Mateo Fernandez) and parents Isabel (Ana Ortiz) and Armando (James Martinez).
As the series begins, Victor seems excited to be starting a new chapter in his life. However, as he explains to Simon, his story is ‘confusing’.
‘Dear Simon. You don’t know me, but my family just moved to Atlanta. I was excited to start over. I thought I’d finally get the chance to be myself, or at least, figure out who that even is,’ Victor says in his message to Simon.
‘You’re very lucky Simon, for having the world’s most perfect, accepting parents, supportive friends. For some of us, it’s not that easy.’
As Victor embarks on a journey to figuring out his sexual orientation, he is also faced with the difficulties of fitting into a new school while also coping with challenges at home, as his parents’ marriage goes through a trying time.
What are the main differences between Simon and Victor?
During a recent interview with Metro.co.uk and other press, Love, Victor executive producer Brian Tanen said that while he would recommend that people watch Love, Simon, viewers don’t necessarily need to have seen the film to enjoy the series.
Brian outlined how Victor points out that while Simon had a ‘good coming out experience’, ‘for everyone else it’s not that easy’.
‘Even thought that movie is an absolute delight, there was a little bit of a feeling from the community – especially from people who had harder coming out experiences – that it didn’t reflect their journey,’ Brian said.
‘Here was an opportunity to tell a more nuanced, a harder coming out story, a character who is not as far along on his journey and just figuring it out. It’s messy, much like coming out is for a lot of people.’
Comparing Love, Simon to Love, Victor, Brian explained that when you first meet Simon in the film, ‘he knows exactly who he is, he just hasn’t said the words out loud yet’.
‘In our TV series, in Love, Victor, the character is at a much earlier stage in his journey. You, the audience, might know where he’s headed, because the second he sees that adorable boy at the water fountain, his heart stops and time slows down. But he is just starting to sort of think these things out loud and put them into writing.’
Brian added that creating the TV show provided the opportunity to tell a ‘multifaceted story’, which weaves in the struggles that other characters are going through as well.
Who plays Victor?
Love, Victor star Michael Cimino, 21, was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, moving to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career when he was 18 years old.
One of his previous roles included the character Bob Palmeri in the 2019 film Annabelle Comes Home, a sequel in The Conjuring film franchise.
During an interview with Gay Times Magazine, Michael spoke about how he based his performance as Victor on his cousin, who is gay.
‘I asked him about his story, and how it affected him, and we kind of went on a deep dive into what affected him in what ways, and so in the end we kind of based Victor on my cousin because I wanted to represent his struggle,’ Michael said.
‘I think my cousin is quite possibly my favourite person in the whole entire world, he’s my best friend and way more than a cousin, he’s like a brother. We do everything together. I respect him to the utmost degree and really appreciate him as a person.’
Who plays Simon?
Love, Simon star Nick Robinson, 25, is from Seattle, Washington.
He previously starred opposite Sabrina the Teenage Witch star Melissa Joan Hart in sitcom Melissa and Joey, in addition to acting in Disney Channel film Frenemies in 2012 alongside Zendaya and Bella Thorne.
Nick also starred in Boardwalk Empire and played the nephew of Bryce Dallas Howard’s character in the 2015 blockbuster Jurassic World.
In 2018, Nick appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show where he spoke about how his brother came out as gay around the same time that he started filming Love Simon.
‘I think that he had been dealing with this for a long time,’ Nick said, adding that he believes the timing was ‘coincidental’.
‘One of the best things that came out of this movie is just being able to talk to him. I think that’s the strength of a film like this is it starts conversations, a conversation starter. I hope that it can do that for more people and start a conversation that otherwise may not have been there,’ he said.
Season one of Love, Victor will be available to watch on Star on Disney Plus from Tuesday February 23.
Credit: Original article published here.