From Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain to Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet in Call Me by Your Name, straight actors have long been praised for playing LGBTQ characters. However, many have argued that straight actors’ performances in queer roles can be offensive or inauthentic.
Yet in Billy Eichner’s upcoming rom-com Bros, every main character — including the straight ones — will be played by an LGBTQ actor, proving that queer actors are capable of more than playing quirky GBFs.
“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!!!” tweeted Eichner on Sept. 23. “Yes, even in all the straight roles! This is a first for a major studio film. LET’S MAKE HISTORY!!!”
The film first made headlines for being the first gay rom-com from a major Hollywood studio, with Eichner set to become the first openly gay man to co-write and star in a major studio film.
Bros is about two gay men, played by Eichner and Luke Macfarlane, who are “maybe, possibly, probably, stumbling towards love,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“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 said in a statement to the Reporter.
Eichner hopes that Bros will be “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.’ And beyond all of that, this cast is fucking hysterical and you’re going to love them.”
While working on Bros in 2019, Eichner told People about the importance of queer representation in cinema.
“In a perfect world, gay actors can play gay roles and gay actors can play straight roles, and straight actors can play straight roles and play gay roles, and we’re all mixing and matching because part of the fun and the challenge of being an actor or an actress is to play someone who you’re not,” he said. “We can do it all.”
The Universal Pictures feature will star RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Symone, trans entertainer TS Madison, gender-nonconforming performer Miss Lawrence, gay actor Guillermo Diaz and gay comedian Guy Branum.
Eichner wrote Bros with Nicholas Stoller, who will also direct the film. Both are executive producers, as is Karl Frankenfield. Bros is scheduled to premiere Aug. 12, 2022.
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