Billy Eichner Expected The Studio To Tell Him Bros Had 'Gone Too Far'

It goes to show how much Hollywood has procrastinated telling Queer stories for a wide audience that the arrival of the upcoming comedy "Bros" feels like a breath of fresh air. The Nicholas Stoller-directed rom-com stars "Billy on the Street" host Billy Eichner as Bobby, a 40-something gay man who operates his own at-home podcast, while trying to fulfill his duties for the upcoming national LGBTQ+ museum. It doesn't help that in the middle of everything, the self-professed loner starts to show feelings for Aaron (Luke Macfarlane), a beefy lawyer who is essentially everything Bobby isn't. I wonder if a great deal of flirty conflict is on the horizon for the at-odds couple.

"Bros" aims to break down the barriers between the kinds of high-profile movies speaking to Queer audiences that either go to streaming, gain notoriety in the indie circuit, or just don't get made at all. Eichner has spent most of this press tour, touting the notion that "Bros" is the first mainstream gay rom-com released by a major studio, despite the fact that Searchlight's "Fire Island" came out just a few months ago. But there is something to be said about the glaring omission of Queer movies receiving a mainstream theatrical release.

"Bros" is a landmark achievement, however, in that the entire cast, including those embodying straight roles, is made up of Queer actors. There was one aspect of the film's production that Eichner was prepared to hear some studio notes on.

Eichner hopes the depiction of Queer sex will be eye-opening to audiences

In a profile with Variety, Eichner talks about how most of the heterosexual rom-coms he had been accustomed to were often coy about expressing the sexual tension between the lead couple. When it came to putting "Bros," Eichner wanted to show unabashed Queer sex in all its many forms, whether it's a casual fling or a polyamorous throuple situation.

Even with less than a month to go before the film's wide release, the "Billy on the Street" ringleader still believes there was a small chance of Universal's halting the brakes on some of the film's more intimate moments:

"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.'"

When you think of all the ways in which mainstream Hollywood filmmaking have depicted Queer sex, what Eichner describes sounds like a refreshing change of pace in the pantheon of heterosexual sex dominating the big screen. There is still this stigmatization around it, and I'm looking forward to seeing how "Bros" breaks those boundaries. The strides towards Queer representation, both in front of and behind the camera, have been a long battle in which there's still a long way to go. Hopefully "Bros" signals the dawn of a new age in theatrically distributed Queer media.

"Bros" is set to hit theaters on September 30, 2022.