Billy Eichner wanted “Bros” to play an “openly gay Ryan Reynolds” guy

“It’s not as easy as doing ‘When Harry Met Sally’ or some Hallmark Christmas movies and just swapping out two gay guys for the straight couple and letting it all play out the same way.”

“Bros,” the all-queer meta-rom-com of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” wrote Billy Eichner and Nicholas Stoller, wanted to find the next “openly gay Ryan Reynolds or an openly gay Paul Rudd” to be the love interest opposite Eichner’s leading man to play .

Why?

“I just assumed that my love affair would have to be played by a big movie star, which would mean a straight man, because we don’t have openly gay movie stars in America,” Eichner told Entertainment Weekly of casting the film, which is due out in September turns 20. “We have TV stars, lots of openly gay actors, but one movie star…”

Eichner continued, “We’ve never had an openly gay Ryan Reynolds or an openly gay Paul Rudd or an openly gay Kevin Hart, they just don’t exist. Hollywood didn’t allow that.”

Starring an all LGTBQ+ cast, “Bros” revolves around Eichner, who plays a podcast host tasked with writing a romance film that appeals to a straight audience. Eventually, the jaded podcaster falls in love with Hallmark Channel alum Luke Macfarlane; The cast also includes Harvey Fierstein, Bowen Yang, Symone, Miss Lawrence, Guy Branum, Guillermo Diaz, Amanda Bearse and Ts Madison. The film is being produced by Judd Apatow.

Eichner added that hiring a straight male co-lead is not “ethically” or creatively the “right thing.” “We’re making a movie where you have this continuous text about how LGBTQ people have been erased from history, so it would be so hypocritical,” Eichner said.

“Bros” isn’t shy about showing real on-screen relationships either, in contrast to the “two-dimensional and very non-threatening” male gay romances on TV, which Eichner described as “genderless.” Or, in true vixen/virgo fashion, at the other extreme, gay men are portrayed as “totally obsessed with sex and drugs.”

“We don’t do sitcoms. It’s not as easy as doing ‘When Harry Met Sally’ or some Hallmark Christmas movies and just swapping out two gay guys for the straight couple and playing it all the same way,” explained the Billy on the Street star.

There’s a dash of classic rom-com sensibility, though: “There are scenes where Luke and I are walking around the Upper West Side, which really feels like a scene from a Nora Ephron rom-com, which I love.” growing up, but it was never about gay couples,” he continued. “We weren’t even on the sidelines in most of those movies — at that point, there wasn’t even a gay best friend.”

Eichner added, “To think that there was this huge crew and a big studio budget that wasn’t huge but was way more than what LGBTQ people have gotten in the past… knowing that we’re getting awesome crane shots of me.” and Luke walking hand-in-hand in Central Park West like Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan did was so moving to me.”

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https://www.indiewire.com/2022/06/billy-eichner-bros-gay-ryan-reynolds-type-1234730572/ Billy Eichner wanted “Bros” to play an “openly gay Ryan Reynolds” guy

Lindsay Lowe

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