In September, Billy Eichner will star in the gay rom-com “Bros,” which has made headlines for featuring an all-LGBTQ cast of actors. On the MTV Movie & TV Awards red carpet in Santa Monica on Sunday, Eichner talked with Variety about why having an all-queer cast for the Universal film was so “important” to him.
“So often in Hollywood, a lot of the great LGBTQ roles historically have gone to straight actors, and they win awards for it. And they get a lot of acclaim and they use it to show people their range,” Eichner told Variety. “And the casting of ‘Bros’ is not to say that straight should only play straight and gay should only play gay. We’re not making strict rules like that. But what we’re trying to do is, we’re trying to correct an imbalance.”
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“Bros” features LGBTQ actors in every role of the film, including several straight and cisgender parts. Along with Eichner, the cast includes Luke Macfarlane, Ts Madison, Monica Raymund, Guillermo Díaz, Jim Rash, Harvey Fierstein and Symone. “It’s about equity,” said Eichner, who co-wrote the script with director Nicholas Stoller. “It’s about showing people, it’s great that a straight actor can win an Oscar for playing gay, but look how funny and hilarious and warm and delightful LGBTQ actors can be in a wide variety of roles that we don’t normally get to play.”
Beyond the broader reasons for an all-LGBTQ cast, Eichner also told Variety that “Bros” ended up a stronger film because of it.
“Honestly, I think it makes the movie better, because we all bring our lived experiences as LGBTQ people who had to navigate the world,” Eichner said.
“I can’t wait for people to see it; it’s really unlike anything you’ve ever seen in a movie theater,” he added. “I can honestly say that. And I wouldn’t say that about everything because it wouldn’t be true. But it’s true with this.”
One of the actors in “Bros” is “Saturday Night Live” player Bowen Yang, who also stars in another LGBTQ rom-com with an all-queer cast, Searchlight Pictures’ recently released “Fire Island,” with Joel Kim Booster. On the carpet, Eichner said he hasn’t had a chance to watch the film yet.
“I will absolutely watch, I love Joel,” Eichner said. “Joel reminded me that ‘Billy on the Street’ was his first real TV job, writing for ‘Billy on the Street.’ I didn’t even know. So I love Joel, and Bowen is in ‘Fire Island’ and also in ‘Bros.’ We’re all friends and I’m so excited for them.”
“Bros” hits theaters on Sept. 30.
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