Billy Eichner Talks Worries With Bros That Julia Roberts And George Clooney’s Rom-Com Would Never Have To Deal With

Billy Eichner in Bros' trailer
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Romantic comedies are a tried and true genre in the film world, often making tons of money and becoming quotable parts of pop culture. There’s a new type of rom-com hitting theaters this fall in the form of Billy Eichner’s Bros, which is making history for its cast of LGBTQ+ actors. And Eichcner recently talked about worries with Bros that George Clooney and Julia Roberts’ rom-com would never have to deal with.

Rom-Com fans were delighted to learn that Julia Roberts and George Clooney would be returning to the genre with Ticket to Paradise. But first up is the Bros movie, which makes history as a queer love story that’s getting a full theatrical release. Billy Eichner recently spoke to Variety about the work he put into the movie as a writer, actor, and executive producer, where he opened up about the unique worries that go into telling mainstream LGBTQ+ stories. As he put it,

Universal has a rom-com with George Clooney and Julia Roberts [‘Ticket to Paradise’] coming out a month after Bros. I love Julia Roberts more than life itself, but no one is going to ask Julia Roberts and George Clooney, ‘Are you worried that gay people are going to relate?’ No straight movie star or straight director in major studio history has ever sat there and worried, ‘God, I hope gay people show up in droves.’

He’s got a point. Because projects like Bros are breaking into new territory, there’s no doubt pressure from studio heads that it actually makes money. And in that quest, there’s seemingly been some talks about whether or not the script is universal enough to include straight audiences. But as Billy Eichner explains, this is a unique pressure to projects like his upcoming romantic comedy.

The conversation surrounding representation in TV and movies has been ongoing for the last few years, as it becomes clear how powerful it is to see one’s self on screen. The past few months have seen queer stories like raunchy rom-com Fire Island and Kevin Bacon’s horror flick They/Them released via streaming services with authentic LGBTQ+ talent. But Bros has the added pressure of a full theatrical release.

While Billy Eichner has had unique worries in regard to Bros, it doesn’t sound like he’s had to pull back his vision for the project too much. In that same interview with Variety, Eichner revealed how he expected more push back from the studio regarding the movie’s contents, but that hasn’t happened. In his words,

To this day, I’m waiting for someone at the studio to call me and go, ‘You know, now that we think about it, you’ve gone too far.’ But it never happened. There’s part of me that realized some of this would be eye-opening for certain people in the audience, and I loved that too. I was like, ‘Great! Let’s surprise people. Let’s shock them.’ Sacha Baron Cohen doesn’t worry about that — why should I?

Touche. Comedy is known for pushing boundaries, and Bros should be no exception in that regard, just because the situation might be more familiar to queer audience members. You can see some of dialogue that Billy Eichner helped to write in the movie’s trailer below, 

Aside from being a queer romantic comedy, Bros has been getting a ton of attention for the LGBTQ+ talent that helps to make up its cast. In addition to Billy Eichner and his co-star Luke Macfarlane, other familiar faces include the legendary Harvey Firestein, viral sensation TS Madison, Scandal’s Guillermo Diaz, SNL’s Bowen Yang, and Glee’s Dot-Marie Jones. Notable allies with roles include Kristin Chenoweth and Debra Messing.

Luckily for romantic comedy fans, the wait for Bros is nearly over. After it first premiers at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival, the movie will have its wide theatrical release on September 30th. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.