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Atypical's Gay Romance Fulfilled Brigette Lundy-Paine's Lifelong Dream

Atypical's Gay Romance Fulfilled Brigette Lundy-Paine's Lifelong Dream

Atypical's Gay Romance Fulfilled Brigette Lundy-Paine's Lifelong Dream

The star talks #Cazzie, favorite memories, and queer love ahead of the final season premiering today on Netflix in our exclusive interview.

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The fourth and final season of Atypical is here, and actor Brigette Lundy-Paine is just as emotional about it as we are. 

Since it first premiered on Netflix in 2017, the show's charm, humor, and groundbreaking storylines have garnered it critical acclaim and a devoted following, one that's already mourning its conclusion on the day of the last season's release. 

Atypical follows Sam Garnder, a teen balancing his Autism with family, a love-life, and scholastic ambitions. It's been praised for exploring the many human shades of autism with love and honesty, as well as its LGBTQ+ inclusivity. His little sister Casey, played by nonbinary actor Lundy-Paine, goes through her own groundbreaking arc on the series. While she's dating the boy-next-door, Casey develops a crush on her classmate Izzie and at first struggles to understand her same-gender attractions until last season, when the two girls finally shared their feelings for each other.

So what lies ahead for Casey and Izzie? 

PRIDE sat down with Lundy-Paine to chat about how they helped shape the iconic character, the #Cazzie fandom, being recognized by LGBTQ+ folks on the street, and what Atypical means to them as it's coming to a close.

PRIDE: What can fans expect from Atypical's fourth season?

Lundy-Paine: It's the last season and a lot of loose ends are tied up. I think people are going to be happy. Casey deals with anxiety this season and that's new for her because we've seen her as this really confident sort of take-no-shit character. This is the first time she questions everything. It's going to be a fun ending for fans to watch. 

As a queer person, what was it like to play Casey who goes through this very queer journey of self-discovery throughout the series?

It's been a huge honor in every way. Being able to be on a show that has gotten to this level. I'm in France right now, in Paris walking down the street, and it's amazing. It's the way I wish life would've been all along. Every queer person smiles, like I know who's queer because they're like, "Casey!" 

That is a great honor to have this broach of connectivity with all of the queer world through Casey. But also just to have the honor of helping shape who Casey is. She wasn't written originally as a queer character and Robia [Rashid], the creator, and I really worked together to make her who she is. That was so special, on my first show to have myself and my experience be a part of the character. 

 

What were your favorite moments from this last season? 

I already did all this when we were shooting. [laughs] So many moments of friendship. Atypical, to me, is about friendship. Everyone on the show is a dear, dear friend. Every member of the cast, every member of the crew. All the moments we spent messing around, laughing.

Jess, who is the prop manager, and I had so many ridiculous moments. She was the one on this season who had to spray our hands between every take. She would just literally have to come over and spray our hands and it was just the most ridiculous, most intimate thing. We felt like dogs, like she was scrubbing the ticks behind our ear. We just laughed so much. 

I think my favorite moments with all of Atypical have been with Kier [Gilchrist]. Kier and I have a really wonderful and intimate friendship that we really see each other when we're shooting. He's someone I look up to so much. He's such a warrior of justice in every area of his life. Nik [Dodani] as well.  They're both my heroes and dear, dear friends. Being able to work with them and do scenes with the two of them is always such a fun time. Just learning from them, the way they navigate that world, and the intimacy of those moments. 

Even if Casey's storyline never happened, the show feels very queer because it's from the perspective of an outsider. Is that what originally drew you to Atypical

Stories about love through the perspective of disability have always been important to me. My mom was a sign language teacher for many years, she's retired from that now. She also worked with kids on the spectrum and worked with teaching language to younger kids. I was really drawn to the show because it had been a big part of my life growing up. 

There's just a language of the Autism community that I really connect to. The way that people relate to the world is often through honesty that we do not get anywhere else. There's such a veil of constantly fronting to each other and people in the Autism community don't do that. There's a queerness to that love language. 

I loved all of Sam's scenes when I first read the pilot, that was a huge reason why I wanted to do it. I loved that that grew and we got to work with so many actors on the spectrum.

The Izzie and Casey fandom is so beautiful and intense. Do you have any funny moments or interactions with stans you want to share?  

It feels great. It's a lifelong dream to be a part of a queer fandom. It's just so special. I mean, I love Cazzie. Fivel [Stewart] and I are really close friends and to be able to do this with her is... I mean, she is such a badass in every area of her life. She's so completely earnest and smart and strong-willed and I've learned so much from her as a performer and the way she carries herself on set. She's been in this business since she was a kid because her dad was a stunt coordinator so her and her brother were on sets from the time they were infants. She's so at home on set and this was my first show. Getting to work with her and getting close to her made me feel more comfortable with work feeling like home.

I think that's why the Cazzy relationship feels so organic because we were so relaxed doing it. Even in the last two weeks, I've had couples come up to me and offer me sushi. These two girls in the park the other day gave me a rainbow gummy. I just cant tell you, it's been so beautiful to meet queer people all the time anywhere in the world. I'm grateful. 

The fourth and final season of Atypical is on Netflix now. Watch the trailer below:

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Taylor Henderson

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one! 

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one!