Deadpool's Brianna Hildebrand praises Ryan Reynolds for making her character Marvel's first openly gay superhero on film

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Oct 18, 2018, 4:28 PM EDT (Updated)

While the Merc with a Mouth is battling bad guys like Juggernaut, his real-life alter ego is doing some seriously good work on behalf of the gay community.

Deadpool 2 star Brianna Hildebrand is crediting Ryan Reynolds as the reason her X-Men hero Negasonic Teenage Warhead has a girlfriend in 20th Century Fox's summer hit, saying he suggested the idea in his capacity as a producer on the movie.

The decision made Negasonic the first superhero character to openly be in a same-sex relationship on the big screen, not to mention the MCU. And according to the 22-year-old actress, the decision garnered a great reception from fans.

"It was Ryan's idea," Hildebrand told The Hollywood Reporter. "I had already done a lot of work with It Gets Better, so I think maybe he had seen some of that. The response has been overwhelmingly positive."

The Deadpool sequel, released in May, finds our titular wisecracking mercenary reluctantly teaming up with a bunch of mutant trainees, among whom is Hildebrand's young goth girl Negasonic, who as audiences discover, is in a relationship with Yukio, played by Shioli Kutsuna.

GLAAD hailed the groundbreaking storyline as a "milestone in a genre that too often renders LGBTQ people invisible, and should send a message to other studios to follow this example of inclusive and smart storytelling." 

And that's just fine with Hildebrand, who identifies as gay. In fact, the Texas native told People a few months back that being in a same-sex romance hasn't always been acceptable in Hollywood.

“I remember going to a few different publicists and that being on the forefront of their mind, like, 'How would you like to go about this? We can keep this under wraps, if that’s what you would like,' " she recounted. “It just kind of surprised me a little bit because I was like, 'I didn’t suggest that.' I’m totally fine with who I am. I know that that’s how Hollywood used to work."

In any case, Hildebrand will have some company now that Orange Is the New Black's Ruby Rose has been cast as The CW's new Batwoman, aka Kate Kane, who's the first Jewish lesbian superhero to headline a live-action television series and will make her small-screen debut as part of mega-producer Greg Berlanti's Arrowverse.

As for Hildebrand, next up is a starring role in Netflix's Trinkets, based on the YA book about three teenage girls who meet at a Shoplifter's Anonymous meeting. Production on that series gets underway this week and, if all goes well, it's possible we might see her pop up in an untitled Deadpool flick slated for release in December that's said to be a more family-friendly PG-13-rated cut of Deadpool 2.