Comedian Billy Eichner's upcoming gay rom-com “Bros” already holds a historic place in the annals of Hollywood history, but such a move wouldn't be complete without going just a little bit deliciously extra.
The principal cast for the film, the first explicitly gay romantical comedy from a major Hollywood studio, is now set and it is a powerful list of LGBTQ performers. But what puts it over the top is that all principal heterosexual characters in the film will be portrayed by LGBTQ actors, flipping a historic tradition of casting straight actors in queer or queer-coded roles.
“I could not be more proud or excited about the historic nature of the all openly LGBTQ+ cast of Bros. After queer actors have spent decades watching straight actors capitalize both artistically and professionally by playing LGBTQ+ characters, it is a long overdue dream come true to be able to assemble this remarkable, hilarious cast,” Eichner told The Hollywood Reporter.
The announced cast of “Bros” includes Eichner and Luke McFarlane (“Killjoys”) as the leads, two gay men possibly looking for love in between their busy schedules. Other cast members include “RuPaul's Drag Race” season 13 winner Symone, Guillermo Diaz (“Half Baked,” “Weeds”), gender non-conforming performer Miss Lawrence (“United States vs. Billie Holliday”), trans author/performer TS Madison (“Light Through The Shade: An Autobiography of a Queen,” “Zola”) and former “Billy on the Street” writer Guy Branum (“Talk Show the Game Show”).
The chaotic comedian celebrated the historic casting decisions on Twitter. “This is the best thing ever! I could not possibly be more excited to tell you the entire main cast for my rom-com ‘Bros' will be all openly LGBTQ+ actors,” he said. “Yes, even in all the straight roles … Let's make history!”
He also harkened back to one of the more memorable segments from “Billy on the Street” while celebrating the news. “I have to say this once for my ‘Billy on the Street' fans: Let's go lesbians, let's go,” he exclaimed.
Eichner also holds multiple roles behind the scenes, co-writing the script alongside director Nicholas Stoller. The two previously worked together on the Netflix series “Friends From College.” Eichner and Stoller will also executive produce the project alongside Judd Apatow and Josh Church. Eichner's work on the film makes him the first out gay man to write and star in his own major studio film.
First Of Many
With “Bros” representing so many firsts for LGBTQ artists working with top Hollywood studios, Eichner wants the film to be the first step in more meaningful openness from film executives to work with LGBTQ artists and phase out sterotypical attitudes toward queer inclusion in film.
“While Bros may be the first of its kind in several ways, my real hope is that it is only the first of many opportunities for openly LGBTQ+ ensembles to shine and show the world all we are capable of as actors, beyond just being the wacky sidekick, token queer or a straight movie star's ‘gay best friend,'” Eichner told The Hollywood Reporter. “And beyond all of that, this cast is fucking hysterical and you're going to love them.”
To that end, Eichner himself is already continuing that push. Along with “Bros,” the former “Parks and Recreation” regular is also working on the film “Ex-Husbands,” a “big, gay divorce comedy' a la “War of the Roses,” for Amazon and is set to star in the upcoming Fred Lynde biopic “Man in the Box.”
“Bros” is slated for an Aug. 12, 2022 release from Universal Pictures.
Billy Eichner: previously on Towleroad
Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Yahoo News