'The Fosters' Season 4 Spoilers: Hayden Byerly Reveals Jude's Continuing Struggles [EXCLUSIVE]
Hayden Byerly began acting professionally when he was 10-years-old with appearances in shows like Disney's Zeke and Luther and NBC's Parenthood.
These days the 15-year-old is one of the main actors on The Fosters, the hit Freeform (formerly ABC Family) drama about a lesbian couple raising a blended multi-ethnic family with biological, adopted and foster children. The show is famous for tackling LGBT issues, especially related to Byerly's character Jude, whose burgeoning homosexuality has developed into a thoroughly dramatic love life. There was the complicated, yet heartfelt, relationship with Connor (played by Gavin MacIntosh), which resulted in the youngest gay kiss in TV history, before MacIntosh's character eventually moved away. And then there was the potential romance with Jack, a foster kid taken in by Jude's family, that was dashed before it really began when Jack was killed. The death sparked a new interest in religion for Jude, leading to more issues for him to deal with over his sexuality.
Enstars recently caught up with Byerly at the Voice Awards, a yearly Hollywood occasion to honor members of the LGBT community for their humanitarianism, and talked about what brought him to this event, how it relates to playing Jude and the struggles his character will face when The Fosters returns on Monday, June 20 at 8 p.m. ET.
Enstars: This is your second year attending this event. What's the draw for you to be here tonight?
Hayden Byerly: I came last year mostly because there's some amazing, incredible and talented singers that are here, and so just to hear their voices is unbelievable. But as well as the fact that my character on The Fosters as Jude is a young gay male and so he is going through a lot of struggles and dealing with his sexuality. And so I think it's very important for me to attend events like these to support the community and try and do whatever I can to be there for everyone.
What do you think is the most positive benefit of the LGBT community?
I think the most positive benefit is that we all accept love each other. I think that's one issue in the world is that there's so much hate and anger and so much sadness, and I think we all need to band together as humans. At the end of the day we all have a heart, we've all got bones and blood and we're all made up of the same stuff.
Is the death of Jack going to continue to affect Jude on The Fosters?
Yes it does. Jude is affected by the death and we see that in the fourth season. You see how that kind of plays a toll on him and what happens and how that affects him.
Will Jude continue to struggle with his sexuality?
He'll continue to struggle with his balance between being religious and gay, and he'll try to find who he is and he's still going to struggle accepting who he is and come to terms with that. So we'll see that in the beginning right out of the gate actually and probably throughout most of the season.
Do you know if Connor will come back at all?
I'm not exactly sure. Gavin has said that he's moved on to other things. But as for myself and the writers and everyone else, [we] said that he's welcome to come back. I'm pretty sure if he said, "Hey, I want to come back for an episode," they would make that happen. So I stand behind The Fosters 100 percent and I wish him the best.