What/If actor Juan Castano says playing a gay character ‘solidified’ his fluid sexuality

Juan Castano has opened about how his role in Netflix thriller What/If has helped him embrace his sexuality.

In a recent interview with NewNowNext, the actor – who plays gay character Marcos Ruiz opposite Jane Levy and Renée Zellweger – said that he identified as straight for most of his life but as he got older, his “sexual preference has gotten more fluid.”

“I am, as my friends say, on the spectrum,” he told the publication.


Juan Castano (L) and the rest of the ‘What/If’ cast including Jane Levy, Renée Zellweger and Blake Jenner (centre) (Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix)

Perhaps better known for his stage work, Castano explained that while portraying Marcos isn’t the first time he’s “played gay,” it was his most significant queer role to date.

Throughout the new series, lawyer Marcos has relationships with both Lionel (John Clarence Stewart), his estate agent boyfriend, and dancer Kevin (Derek Smith).

“When I first had to kiss another man,it was in a play in New York six or seven years ago, Minotaur,” Castano began. “I kissed this guy, and you’re rehearsing over and over, and it didn’t feel that different from kissing a woman. Then on I Am Michael it was the same thing. It feels really nice.

Castano (L) and John Clarence Stewart in ‘What/If’ (Netflix/YouTube)

“I think what’s important is that as long as there is a connection with a human being that feels good it doesn’t make a difference if it’s a man or a woman. I would say playing Marcos solidified that for me simply because spending that much time with a character you fall in love with them and what they’re going through.”

What will Castano appear in next?

No stranger to Netflix originals, Castano featured in two episodes of sci-fi thriller series The OA and will next be seen as Flaco Ramirez in the streaming platform’s reboot of 90s show Tales of the City. Written by Orange is the New Black scribe Lauren Morelli, it follows Mary Ann Singleton (Laura Linney, reprising her original role), who returns home to San Francisco and reunites with the daughter and ex-husband she left to pursue her career two decades earlier.

A Fantastic Woman actor Daniela Vega, Russian Doll‘s Charlie Barnett and Ellen Page also star.