Words: Alastair James; pictures: Universal/Bros.
Billy Eichner is looking for somebody to love in the first-look trailer for his upcoming film, Bros.
The film, which is the first gay rom-com to be produced by a major Hollywood studio (Universal) sees Eichner's character, Bobby Leiber, explore gay relationships as he's asked to write a film about gay men that "a straight man might even like and watch with his girlfriend".
Bros was co-written by Eichner (along with the film's director Nick Stoller) making him the first openly gay man to write and star in a major Hollywood movie.
Speaking to Attitude ahead of the trailer's release Billy said it was important to him that the film was "an authentic reflection of my life, of our [LGBTQ] lives in a funny way of course, but something that felt real and grounded and that didn't feel like a sitcom."
Following on from previous comments he's made about how Hollywood was able to create two movies about a talking hedgehog (Sonic, we presume) Billy told Attitude he was equal parts surprised and not surprised it had taken Hollywood till 2022 to create a gay rom-com.
"I'm surprised but I'm not surprised because Hollywood has often been such a hypocritical and LGBTQ phobic place. But I'm happy that we're here now.
"And it is a really big sign of progress that the same studio releasing Jurassic World and the Fast and the Furious movies and all these huge global franchises are releasing this very R-rated gay rom-com with as much enthusiasm and passion as they released those movies. That's a really big step."
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The trailer gives us a glimpse of some of the film's sex scenes, which Billy has said he didn't want to feel "cartoonish".
On those scenes, which gave helped give the film its R-rating, Bill says there was never any pushback from Universal or any creatives.
"I didn't want to put anything out into the world that didn't feel authentic and didn't feel like we were capturing the complexity of being a gay adult. That's a complicated, fun, hilarious, exciting, and emotional experience to have, to live as a gay man.
Continuing he says: "I had to educate Nick [Stoller] and Judd [Apatow - producer] on some of the specifics of gay culture, and gay dating and gay sex, but they were always very open to it. They agreed that it has to be truthful and authentic.
"Because that's what's going to make it moving to people. That's what's going to make it relatable to people, not just gay people, but to straight people, because the truth is always the most compelling thing."
He adds, "I was very direct with everyone from the beginning. I said, if you're looking to do something that's very soft and palatable and sit-com-y then you're working with the wrong guy. I'm not making a Hallmark movie. That's not what we're doing here."
The film also stars an entirely LGBTQ principal cast, including for the straight roles. Alongside Eichner, it will star Luke Macfarlane, Drag Race's Symone, Saturday Night Live's Bowen Yang, T.S. Madison (pictured below) Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein and more.
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Working with such a diverse cast was one of the most exciting things for Billy.
Comparing being on set to other projects he's worked on where he can sometimes be the only gay man around he says, "to look around and be surrounded by this all-LGBTQ cast, and there was so much diversity in terms of race, gender identity and sexual orientation, it was very important to me because the movie is about LGBTQ people and I wanted it to be a time for me to give everyone in the community an opportunity.
"I knew how lucky I was to be getting this opportunity. And I wanted to give other people that opportunity."
Bros is set for release on 28 October in the UK.
The Attitude May/June issue is out now.