Billy Eichner says the romantic scenes of him and Luke McFarlane from the upcoming romantic comedy Bros are reminiscent of the Nora Ephron movies he loved growing up.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Eichner said:
“We’re not doing a sitcom. This is not as simple as doing When Harry Met Sally or some Hallmark Christmas movies and just swapping in two gay guys for the straight couple and having everything play out the same way. In my experience and the experience of my friends, that’s not how it works. There’s some overlap in gay and straight relationships, but there’s a lot that’s different.”
Featured as part of their pride issue Eichner added: “You have scenes where Luke and I are walking around on the Upper West Side, on what really felt like a scene out of a Nora Ephron rom-com that I grew up loving, but were never about gay couples… We weren’t even on the sidelines in most of those movies — there wasn’t even a gay best friend at that point. To think that there was this huge crew and a major studio budget that wasn’t enormous, but was much more than what LGBTQ people have gotten in the past…to know we had sweeping crane shots of me and Luke walking hand-in-hand on Central Park West, the way Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan did, was so moving for me.”
Speaking to the movies all queer cast, a first for a major Hollywood studio, he said: “We must’ve read every single openly LGBTQ actor for this movie. What was astonishing is that Nick and I kept looking at the audition tapes and watching auditions thinking, my God, there’s so much queer talent out there that has never been properly given the opportunities they deserve.”
One of the biggest challenges they faced was finding their lead, saying he hoped to “correct an imbalance.”
Eichner: “I just assumed that my love interest had to be played by a big movie star, which would mean a straight man because we don’t have any openly gay movie stars in America. We have TV stars, a lot of openly gay actors, but a movie star, we’ve never had an openly gay Ryan Reynolds, or an openly gay Paul Rudd, or an openly gay Kevin Hart, they just do not exist. Hollywood did not allow for it. When we all started talking about it, we all decided that that wouldn’t be the right thing to do for this movie, it wouldn’t be the right thing ethically, the right thing creatively, we’re doing a movie where you have this through-line about how LGBTQ people have been erased from history, so it would be so hypocritical.”
Watch the trailer below.
By keeping the relationship honest and unsanitized he said, “Gay relationships we see played out in TV and in the media often are very sweet and a little bit two-dimensional and very not threatening. We’re wearing cutesy little outfits, strolling hand-in-hand, and it’s very sweet and asexual. They seem very sexless to me in a way that I don’t recognize as being real — or, we’re promiscuous and completely obsessed with sex and drugs, it’s the other extreme. We’re soulless, we have no romance, we’re just nightlife creatures. No, we’re all of these things because we’re multi-dimensional humans who want all of these things depending on the day, depending on the night.”
Bros stars Eichner, McFarlane, Ts Madison, Miss Lawrence, RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Symone, Bowen Yang, and Harvey Fierstein. among others It opens in theaters September 30, 2022.