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Rosie O’Donnell Reveals ‘Now and Then’ Character’s Lesbian Sexuality Erased from Film

NOTE: This article is 1 year old and may not include the most recent information.

In a recent episode of the Now What? podcast hosted by Brooke Shields, Rosie O’Donnell shared that her character’s lesbian sexuality was removed from the final version of the 1995 comedy, Now and Then. O’Donnell expressed her desire for a sequel and revealed that her character was originally a lesbian in the film, which was subsequently altered by the studio.

O’Donnell played the older version of Christina Ricci’s character, Roberta Martin, in the movie that followed a group of friends navigating life together. At the time of the film’s production, O’Donnell had not yet publicly come out as a lesbian.

O’Donnell explained to Shields, “You know what’s funny about the movie Now and Then? My character was gay. She was a lesbian. And in the film, I’m very close to Rita Wilson’s character and I’m a gynecologist and I’m delivering her baby. And then I look up from catching the baby and I say to her, ‘I love you.’ You know, just friends, not as a lover. And when they showed the film, the producer said, ‘Let’s take out that she’s gay.’ And they took every little, tiny thing that I had done to build the character into an accurate gay woman and made her straight.”

She mentioned that this decision to remove her character’s sexuality happened before Will and Grace and Ellen DeGeneres came out, making it a more controversial time for gay representation. O’Donnell was shocked when she found out that the studio decided to remove any reference to her character’s sexuality.

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Despite receiving mostly negative reviews from critics, Now and Then has since gained a cult following nearly 30 years after its initial release.

Trevor Decker
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