They/Them's Darwin Del Fabro Shares What He Hopes Viewers Take Away From The Film
August 9, 2022
by Cynthia Vinney
Peacock's new slasher film "They/Them" takes place at a gay conversion camp, and with its rustic setting and masked murderer stalking the characters, the story has unmistakable "Friday the 13th" vibes. However, the bloodshed in "They/Them" is also designed to make a point about the horror of gay conversion and those who fail to embrace members of the LGBTQ+ community for who they are. The story is empowering, even cathartic, and demonstrates how entertainment can present new perspectives and help change the cultural conversation.
The movie also introduces a group of compelling young actors as the kids who've been relegated to the camp. Some are there hoping to change who they are, some are there to appease angry parents, and then there's Darwin Del Fabro's Gabriel, who recounts heartbreaking discrimination during the campers' first group counseling session but soon reveals he's there for reasons no one could have anticipated. Brazilian actor Del Fabro is thrilled to be making his Hollywood debut with "They/Them," and in an interview with Looper, he explained what he hopes viewers take away from the film.
An opportunity to inspire and empower
When Darwin Del Fabro read the script for "They/Them," its unique take on slasher movies made a big impression. "The most important thing that really attracted me to this story specifically was having queer kids as a center of this story and treated as protagonists," he noted. "We usually see queer actors [playing] the best friend, or those small roles [where] sometimes you do not care as much. [Writer and director] John Logan made this beautiful movie where we were being celebrated."
Del Fabro hopes that by foregrounding LGBTQ+ characters and showing how strong each of them is, the movie will inspire viewers to feel more empowered and confident in themselves. "I hope people understand that your uniqueness is your strength, that there's nothing wrong with you, that you're powerful just the way you are, and this is not a choice," he observed. "We're born this way and we're beautiful the way we are, and we need to celebrate that as much as possible. If I can, [through] my art, remind you [of] that and help you keep on track ... it makes my day."
In addition, Del Fabro has another more personal hope for the movie. He moved to New York from Brazil a mere four years ago and hopes his story will encourage other Brazilian actors to follow in his footsteps. "I always wanted to make an international career as an actor, but I never saw myself here, portrayed [in a Hollywood film]. The inspirations were not there," he said. "[Being] in John Logan's movie ... means that there's hope in this industry for uniqueness and the celebration of that. That's what I hope for in my career, but also I hope to serve as inspiration for others that, like me, will grow up now in Brazil and have the thought of, 'This is possible. I can do it because Darwin did it.'"
"They/Them" is streaming on Peacock.