Say hello to your new TV crush, The Umbrella Academy's Klaus Hargreeves. He’s got a wild sense of style, enjoys a good bubble bath, and he’s trying to get his life on track as best he can — but that’s often hindered by the fact that he and his siblings are trying to save the world. Also, he can talk to ghosts. Klaus has become the standout favorite character from Netflix’s latest original series, The Umbrella Academy, and with good reason, and a lot of it is due to the actor behind the tortured soul Klaus. Now that you’re obsessed with him on screen, it’s time to become obsessed with Klaus actor Robert Sheehan off screen, because we love a man who’s vocal and open about his character’s sexuality, and also his own.
In Umbrella Academy, Klaus is gay and mid-way through the season we see him start a relationship with a man named Dave (however, this is a relationship in the past, as Klaus has accidentally time traveled, but even in the present the memory of Dave is still strong). Speaking to Digital Spy about the character, Sheehan explained that originally Klaus wasn’t gay, but that change was made as they went along with production.
“I suppose I brought a character to the table who they could envision being probably gay-er than they originally envisioned,” He said. “They had a storyline in mind which involves time travel where it’s a very, very sci-fi, very strange storyline. But at the core of it it’s just about a dude who fell in love and lost his love.”
Though it’s never stated in the show, Sheehan also describes Klaus as pansexual, continuing, “Maybe young people who are embarrassed about the fact that they’re gay and they’re keeping it to themselves, can feel a little less uncomfortable about it by seeing a character like Klaus who is very out there and very colorful and unashamed about the fact that he is pansexual, or whatever you want to call it.”
He reiterated this statement again to The Independent, calling Klaus, “Not necessarily a man, he's kind of just this creature that's not bound by traditional societal norms like 'man', 'woman', 'masculinity', 'femininity'. He just sort of… is.”
In real life, this trait has carried over for Sheehan who doesn’t like to conform to the “perimeters of things like 'menswear' and 'womenswear.' It's not something that I really give much credence to when I'm buying clothes. I buy mostly ladies clothes. I think to be yourself, first and foremost, that's the easiest way to think about it," he said in the same interview.
If you need a solid example of this, Sheehan showed up to the red carpet premiere of Umbrella Academy in all white, wearing a long dress-like shirt, and something that can only be described as a white raincoat with multiple belts.
Though Sheehan doesn’t conform to gender-norms when it comes to clothing, he identifies as straight, even though he has questioned his sexuality in the past. In an interview in late 2018 with Hot Press, he said, “I think it would be irresponsible not to question [my sexuality]. I had a couple of experiences when I was younger with dudes where I tried it, experimented, to see if it did anything for me. And it didn’t.”
From 2014 to 2017, Sheehan was in a relationship with Sofia Boutella, but because of busy schedules and long distance, they parted ways. Currently, Sheehan isn’t dating anyone at the moment — or, at least he hasn’t stated he’s dating anyone at the moment. Since Boutella, he hasn’t been linked to anyone.
Now, with his newfound Netflix star status, it’s only a matter of time before the rumors start swirling as to who he’s dating next. Whoever the lucky person is, they better be a-okay with Sheehan’s loud and colorful, non-conforming sense of style (and all his new fans, too).