50ºF

Why Michael Cimino Is the Breakout Star of the Summer

photo

Michael Cimino is stealing hearts as Victor Salazar! Just days after Love, Victor premiered on Hulu, its leading man has landed onto the scene with a splash.

While he got his big-screen break in the 2019 flick Annabelle Comes Home, it's Love, Victor that's sure to make him a household name.

The 20-year-old actor brings charm, heart and sincerity to his role as a gay teenager struggling to find himself and come out to his religious family. 

"I definitely want [viewers] to know that Victor is outgoing and kind and also kind of a fixer. He always puts other people’s issues over his own," Cimino recently told ET's Leanne Aguilera of his character. "But also, at the same token, this is a story about his journey of self-discovery."

It's not just his acting chops that will make viewers fall in love, though. Keep reading for five more reasons that make Cimino the breakout star of the summer.

He's multi-talented

When he's not making you laugh or cry as Victor, Cimino will make you swoon even more by breaking out his guitar and delighting you with a song. Most recently, Cimino took to Instagram to share a video of him covering H.E.R and Daniel Caesar's 2017 track, "Best Part." His smooth vocals and guitar skills are sure to impress.

He loves his family

Cimino recently took to Twitter to share that he "can't wait" for his cousin to see Love, Victor "more than anyone in the world."

"I wouldn’t be who I am without him and I just want to hear what he thinks," he added.

During an interview with Good Morning America, Cimino expanded on the tweet, revealing that his cousin, who's gay, made him want to get involved with the project.

"I was really drawn to the role because my cousin's gay and I really wanted to kind of be that voice he didn't have, and for the other kids who are or were in his position," he said. "That was a really big driving force for me, as well as I have a lot of friends that are gay."

It's not just his cousin that's in his corner, though. In fact, Cimino told ET that his mom had an emotional reaction to the teaser for the series.

"My mom cried when the teaser came out, like this really overtly sexual teaser," he said. "She was crying her eyes out. It was hilarious. I’m like, 'Mom, geez.'"

He's humble

Despite his many talents, Cimino insisted he's "just a kid from Vegas" in a tweet leading up to the release of the series. 

"I am so grateful. So many dreams came true throughout this experience and I just want to say this. I am not special," he wrote. "I’m 'Just a kid from Vegas.' anyone can achieve their dreams if they work hard enough so please go for them."

After the show dropped, Cimino took to Instagram to reflect on "one of the most surreal moments of my life."

"I’m so grateful for the amazing cast and crew. Thank you all for working so hard. Thank you all for the long nights. And all the stories shared over coffee and tea. All of these things are what made this show so special. I love you all," he wrote. "And I appreciate every single person that has had their hand in this project, even the ones I haven’t met."

He appreciates his fans

Take a quick scroll through Cimino's Twitter feed and you'll see lots of retweets from fans enjoying the series. He also makes a point to respond to fans on social media, expressing his appreciation for their support. In fact, when ET spoke with the actor, he was quick to say that the best part of being involved with Love, Victor had nothing to do with his time on set.

"Probably the most rewarding part hasn’t really come yet. I can’t wait to see how much this show affects people's lives," he said. "And you know, I know it’s changed my life so much and I hope it has that kind of effect on other people."

He's passionate

In addition to fan appreciation, Cimino's tweets also make known his position on lots of social justice issues. He advises his followers how to be safe at protests, expresses his support for Black Lives Matter, and celebrates Pride. When ET spoke with Cimino, he emphasized the importance of Love, Victor's LGBTQ representation in the current political climate.

"We are in a time where we have so many people [that] are accepted, but also so many people are on the complete opposite spectrum of that," he said. "We need to be working to get everyone to be accepted just for who they are. Because it doesn’t really matter what your sexuality is, how you identify yourself as a person. You just need to be yourself authentically. I think that's the most important thing."

He also encouraged viewers of the series to watch it with an open heart and an open mind. 

"Just go into this with an open mind to try to gain perspective on the struggle that the people that are a part of the LGBTQ community go through every single day," he said.

RELATED CONTENT:

'Love, Victor': The Story Behind That 'Love, Simon' Cameo (Exclusive)

'Love, Victor': All of Your Biggest Season 1 Questions, Answered

How Criticism of 'Love, Simon' Inspired 'Love, Victor' (Exclusive)