Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane star in the groundbreaking gay rom-com, which puts its own stamp on the genre.
A self-proclaimed lifelong fan of romantic comedies, Billy Eichner channeled years of watching those films -- either not seeing himself reflected onscreen or always pushed to the sidelines -- into Bros, the hilarious new R-rated gay rom-com co-written by and starring the former host of Billy on the Street.
Ahead of its theatrical debut this weekend, ET’s Rachel Smith tested Eichner, who plays Bobby, and his co-star, Luke Macfarlane, who shares the screen as his love interest, Aaron, on just how well they know each other after making the film.
So, who is pickier about who they date? “Billy,” Macfarlane says, while Eichner pushes back and says, “[Luke]’ll day anything… He found three guys when we were walking into this bar.”
OK, then who has the bigger… A-lister stored in their phone? “I thought you were going to go somewhere totally different with that,” Macfarlane reacts with laughter. “Totally different with that question.”
That said, he says that Eichner “definitely” has more stars in his contacts, while making reference to his Emmy-nominated variety series. “He made a career running around New York City with them.”
“I don’t want to name drop: Michelle Obama, Mariah Carey, Chris Evans, Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey,” Eichner then shares. “It’s just not like me to do that, yeah.”
As the quiz continued, the questions became more personal, with Macfarlane being asked, “What was the first thought you had of Billy when you first met him?” His response? “Very tall… Billy is very tall,” he says of his 6’3" co-star.
The script was then flipped on Macfarlane, with Eichner asking the same question. “Intimidating,” the actor says, quickly adding, “He’s very handsome.”
The two were also tested on their rom-com knowledge, being asked to name the films where iconic lines came from, like Jerry Maguire, Bridget Jones's Diary and 27 Dresses, just three of the many, many straight movies that fans have come to adore over the years.
“We just don’t get movies like that anymore,” Eichner says, citing When Harry Met Sally, Moonstruck and My Best Friend’s Wedding as some of the best examples of the genre. “And I love them.”
And after decades of heteronormative narratives, it’s time for a new spin on the old classics. That’s why Bros is putting its own stamp on the genre, which in this case, is to tell a story that is “authentic and real and truthful,” Eichner says.
And here, that’s putting the LGBTQ community front and center as Bobby and Aaron navigate a would-be relationship against the backdrop of one of the hardest places to date -- New York City. “You really go through every stage of our relationship in the movie,” Eichner says.
It also brilliantly skewers the general concept about a girl who meets a boy and then falls in love and gets married. (Not only that, but every major character, straight or otherwise, is played by an out and proud member of the community.)
“We started out with this idea of what happens when two people who really really pride themselves on not needing a relationship and not wanting intimacy and romance in that way, and what happens when they fall for someone. You know, how do they navigate that? And that’s really interesting,” Eichner says. “We thought that could be very funny and also very moving.”
As a result, the movie mixes very universal moments with real genuine experiences. “The truth is, we learn to fall in love and understand and laugh and cry with these straight couples falling in love,” Macfarlane says.
And with Bros, he adds, “I think straight audiences are maybe gonna have the same experience about watching a gay couple fall in love, and see that it’s kind of similar in a lot of ways.”
Why Billy Eichner Is Proud of 'Bros': 'We're Telling a Story Unlike Any We've Ever Seen' (Exclusive)