Watch: Billy Eichner, Luke Macfarlane Talk 'Bros,' Breaking the Rom-Com Mold

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Friday September 23, 2022
Originally published on September 23, 2022

"Bros" star and co-writer Billy Eichner and co-star Luke Macfarlane stopped by "The Today Show" to talk about bringing gay audiences a rom-com of their own.

"Romantic comedy fans who have been craving a new addition to the canon that breaks the heteronormative mold will see their wish come true this month with 'Bros,' the first gay rom-com to premiere by a major studio," NBC News reported of the Universal Pictures feature, set for a Sept. 30 release.

"Eichner plays his typical self-deprecating, cynical protagonist, a podcast host named Bobby who has pretty much given up on finding anyone tolerable to date," NBC News detailed. "That's when he meets the gorgeous and seemingly perfect Aaron (Luke Macfarlane)."

The article went on to note that "Bros" "is also the first major studio film to have an entirely LGBTQ+ principal cast, featuring names like Ts Madison, Monica Raymund, Guillermo Díaz and others." Moreover, the show's host highlighted the fact that Eichner is the first out gay man to co-write and star in a major studio film.

Eichner spoke to that, saying that while "there's a responsibility" when it comes to creating representative entertainment, he hadn't really intended to "sit down to write a historic movie."

Rather, Eichner said, "Our goal was to just write a hilarious movie. We don't get many comedies in movie theaters any more." But the film's team includes Judd Apatow as producer and Nick Stoller as Eichner's co-writer. "Those guys really know how to make a laugh-out-loud movie," Eichner said.

While "Bros" is meant to be a more authentic look at gay dating and romance than has been seen on screen before, Eichner also acknowledged that he "pulled a lot from my personal life" in co-writing the movie.

"Gay comedians like me, we haven't had a real chance to tell our stories like this in a big way, on the big screen," Eichner said. "I wanted it to be personal, and it's all about being vulnerable and telling an honest story."

Macfarlane — whom the Today host recalled had a starring role as a gay man on "Brothers and Sisters," and has appeared in numerous Hallmark Channel movies, almost always playing straight characters — talked about how the hope is to appeal to straight audiences with the gay rom-com, much as straight rom-coms have found fans among gay audiences.

Macfarlane cited some of his own favorite films, including "Pretty Woman" and "Notting Hill." "As a gay man, I've watched those movies, and I cried and I laughed, and I took something away from it," Macfarlane said, going on to add: "I think that's what movies are all about, is not looking for ourselves in movies, but seeing how we relate to somebody who's maybe different than us."

To watch the clip, follow this link.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.