Juan Pablo Di Pace, star of Netflix sitcom Fuller House, has come out publicly as gay.
The Argentinian actor, who plays Fernando in the show, discussed his sexuality during a TedX talk in the Netherlands.
Di Pace revealed that he had faced anti-gay slurs when growing up in Buenos Aires, and a desire to be accepted led to him hiding his true self.
“Acceptance was my fuel, and when that is the case, like an addict, you do whatever it takes to get a fix,” he said. “I figured if I changed my fucking self, I could be in.”
The 39-year-old actor said that he started to accept himself after he attended college in a different country, and that his role as Jesus Christ in NBC’s 2013 miniseries A.D. The Bible Continues led to a personal revelation.
“Many years later and still justifying my being gay with my critic, I get offered the role of a lifetime: Jesus Christ,” Di Pace, who was raised Catholic, said. “Well, you know, of all the people in the world that could play this part, they gave it to me.
“So there I am, hanging on the cross… in Morocco… and I look up at the sky, and I think, ‘You could still strike me down with lightning. Are you sure you want me to play your son?'” he continued. “Instead, what I felt was an overwhelming feeling of love and acceptance and freedom that I could never even put into words. A message from God? Maybe.”
He added: “Words are like universes and we are musicians who can create universes with them.”
The fifth and final season of Fuller House will air later this year on Netflix.
Di Pace has been a main cast member since the show first started streaming in 2016, and has also starred in TNT’s revival of Dallas and in 2008 film Mamma Mia!.
In addition, the actor — who also sings and directs — appeared on the 27th season of Dancing With the Stars.
Watch Di Pace’s TedX talk below: