Bros’ Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane point out double standard for queer film

Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane at a dinner table, laughing with cutlery raised mid-gesture, in Bros

Since Bros was released, there’s been intense discourse online surrounding the film and its marketing efforts.

Much was made of the fact Bros is the first major studio rom-com with an all-LGBTQ+ cast. And with the weight of LGBTQ+ history on its shoulders, the film opened in the US to disappointing box office numbers.

Eichner blamed homophobia, saying straight Americans “didn’t show up for Bros“. His words launched hot take after hot take – was he right? Was he wrong? Had Eichner, the studio, and the internet at large overcomplicated what is, at its heart a fairly straight-forward rom-com?

Speaking to PinkNews ahead of the film’s UK release, Eichner acknowledged the discourse.

“I think it’s part of the world we live in,” he said.

“I think LGBTQ+ or gay male-driven stories can sometimes attract a disproportionate amount of discourse. I also think there’s a certain pressure on things about marginalised groups of people to perform in a certain way. And you know, that is sort of the nature of the beast on Twitter.

Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane naked in bed, covered by a duvet

Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane don’t shy away from sex scenes in Bros. (Universal)

“But, you know, for me, the discourse is not the movie. I would say probably 90 per cent of it comes from people who probably haven’t seen the movie. Then it becomes discourse about discourse. I’m more than happy to talk to people about the movie, if they’ve seen the movie!”

He said that because the LGBTQ+ community hasn’t had “a lot of movies like this, which have been marketed this aggressively”, over-analysis is natural.

“When you haven’t gotten a lot of something, there’s there’ll be a part of the community that really wants to celebrate it and there’ll be a part of the community which thinks: ‘Well, I don’t know, you know, I don’t see myself in this exactly’, so feel a bit alienated by it, or kind of angry.”

Co-star Luke Macfarlane added: “There is this particular pressure, though, of making this kind of movie, because we have so few of them.

“I’ve said this before, but like no one said of Julia Roberts and George Clooney, ‘that’s not an accurate portrayal of a recently divorced couple’, right? But we have to do that, because we have so few opportunities.”

Billy Eichner also admitted that he felt pressure to deliver with the film, and to represent an entire community, but that ultimately he decided to just focus on the story at hand.

“You can’t speak to the existence of every single LGBTQ+ person,” he said.

Bros is in cinemas now.