‘Love, Victor’s Michael Cimino on That Final Moment, Benji & Season 2 Hopes
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 1 of Love, Victor.]
Hulu’s Love, Victor introduced a new Creekwood High teen’s journey of self-discovery after Victor (Michael Cimino) and his Latino family moved to a new city and he started at a new school.
Victor then met Benji (George Sear) but as he struggled with his sexuality, began dating Mia (Rachel Naomi Hilson). A trip to New York—during which he ultimately was able to embrace himself—to visit Simon (the 2018 movie’s Nick Robinson) after exchanging messages over Instagram was “a really big turning point in his life, to be proud and feel empowered by his sexuality,” Cimino told TV Insider.
If Victor hadn’t made that trip and met Simon, Simon’s boyfriend Bram (Keiynan Lonsdale), and their roommates, “the rest of the season wouldn’t have ended up like it [did],” he continued. “Victor wouldn’t be the person he’s become.”
While in New York, he learned that Simon had told his roommates all about him, and it wasn’t just the Creekwood High graduate who was the source of the advice he’d received. That “made [Victor] feel like Simon was a normal person,” Cimino explained. “Simon was like his light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, to try to give him perspective, but once that happened, Victor realized, ‘I am my own person. I need to make my own decisions, and I need to come out of this better from my own perspective.'”
Victor hesitated to talk to his religious family about his sexuality, but despite his parents revealing they were separating just as he was ready to, he went through with his plan and came out in the season’s final moments. “Victor was like, ‘Every time I wait, I mess something up, so I’m tired of waiting and I’m just going to do it and trust my gut,'” Cimino said of his character in that moment. “He came back to tell them, and no matter what the news he received was, the message that he needed to be said needed to be said.” Still, his “head was spinning,” he added, which made it “really, really tough for him to continuously be brave and continuously wear is heart on his sleeve.”
The finale set up quite a bit for Season 2 to explore, especially considering where it left Victor and Benji. Though Victor had wanted to wait to tell Mia he was gay until after the dance, it was during the school event that he and Benji kissed. (As tends to happen, Mia saw them.) “I would like to see how [Victor and Benji’s] relationship flourishes [and] how his family copes with the relationship and how they feel about it” in Season 2, Cimino shared, adding he’s looking forward to seeing “how Victor copes with having a relationship while his parents” don’t.
He considers the “very intimate scene” of Victor and Benji talking in the car in Episode 7 when they took a road trip to get a broken espresso machine fixed for work as his favorite. While the two bonded on their way there, coming back was a different story: after Victor kissed Benji for the first time, Benji pulled away because of his relationship with Derek. “I feel like Victor is really sticking his neck out and making a brash decision but if he didn’t do that, he wouldn’t be where he is at the end of the season,” Cimino said. “By the end of the season, Victor’s beyond happy that he did look his biggest fear right in the face and conquer it.”
Another key relationship in Victor’s life throughout Season 1 was his friendship with his neighbor, Felix (Anthony Turpel), whom he brushed off early on. “I don’t think Victor really thought that this kid that lives in his building was going to be someone that becomes so integral to his life,” Cimino said. “It was very serendipitous that they met because without Felix, Victor would not have the courage to be who he is.”
In fact, Victor came out to Felix after his trip to New York, and Cimino shared a fun fact about that scene (above). “I literally did not sleep the night before. I was awake all night for some reason,” he said. “When I went to set that day, I was like, ‘I really want to nail this scene because it’s so important to me.’ I feel like Anthony and I really tried our best, and luckily we had a great director for that episode.”
All 10 episodes of the first season are now available, and the writers’ room for the second has already opened.
Love, Victor, Season 1, Streaming Now, Hulu