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Boyd Holbrook Says His Sandman Character Has A Buffet Of Queer Lovers

Boyd Holbrook Says His Sandman Character Has A Buffet Of Queer Lovers

Boyd Holbrook Says His Sandman Character Has A Buffet Of Queer Lovers
Courtesy of Netflix

Plus Vanesu Samunyai opens up about the power of representation in PRIDE’s interview with The Sandman’s cast.


In a vast cast of fascinating, supernatural, and occasionally mind-bending characters, Rose Walker still manages to be a stand-out in Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel series The Sandman. Without spoiling it for the uninitiated, her story is inextricably linked to Morpheus and makes her an unwitting danger to the Lord of Dreams along with, well, all of existence.

In the upcoming Netflix series, Rose is portrayed by newcomer Vanesu Samunyai, who perfectly embodies both her warmth and quiet strength. Her casting is also an example of how the Netflix series is seamlessly embracing inclusivity, a fact that is near and dear to Samunyai’s heart. “Representation is so important,” she tells PRIDE. “I think a lot of people don’t understand that. But to the underrepresented, you feel it very strongly.”

Tom Sturridge and Vanesu Samunyai in The SandmanThose seeking to see someone like themselves in the media they consume have a very good chance of finding it in The Sandman, which serves as a model of how to effortlessly introduce greater diversity of underrepresented people onscreen. “Minorities aren’t a monolith. And you can’t just represent that with one person, per minority doesn’t really work like that,” Samunyai adds. “So I’m really happy with the way they did this. And the variety [of representation in The Sandman] it’s a bit more reflective of the world that we live in today.”

Queerness is present throughout the cast of characters, including one of the series’s most iconic and unforgettable villains.

While many would view The Corinthian — a literal nightmare set loose on the world — as an evil-doer, the actor bringing him to life, Boyd Holbrook, had no trouble finding the humanity in the live-action version of this monster. “I felt like he was an outsider, something that I definitely can relate to. I’m sure many people can relate to a person that just wants to belong,” Holbrook tells PRIDE.

Boyd Holbrook The Sandman

Queer fans are going to find The Corinthian equally hard to resist. He’s charming, dangerous, and, let’s call it, sexually omnivorous (if you know, you know). Or at least that’s how Holbrook sees his character’s sexual conquests throughout the first season. “It’s per person,” he explains. “It’s not really any sort of set demographic, because he’s just so fascinated with humanity itself and all the different flavors and tastes that come along with that. I feel like he’s at a buffet, and he’s going back for seconds.” It’s an apt metaphor for the character who amounts to the ultimate maneater in the series.

That characters like Rose Walker and The Corinthian exist side by side in The Sandman is a testament to the unique and complex world that Gaiman created with his original comic series. That Netflix has managed to translate it so well to the screen feels like a miracle — or, more aptly, a dream come true. 

The Sandman debuts August 5 on Netflix. Watch PRIDE’s full interview with Holbrook and Samunyai below. 

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