Why Billy Eichner Is Proud of 'Bros': 'We're Telling a Story Unlike Any We've Ever Seen' (Exclusive)

Billy Eichner
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Eichner co-wrote and stars in the first gay rom-com to be released by a major movie studio.

“It’s been really quite an adventure,” Billy Eichner tells ET’s Kevin Frazier at CinemaCon 2022’s Big Screen Achievement Awards, where he was named Comedy Star of the Year. The recognition comes as Eichner -- who has gone from the breakout star of Billy on the Street to one of Ryan Murphy’s ensemble players -- takes the lead in Bros, the first gay romantic comedy released by a major studio. 

Not only that, but the upcoming R-rated comedy co-written by Eichner and Nicholas Stoller, who also directs, features a cast entirely made up of out LGBTQ actors, from Luke Macfarlane to Harvey Fierstein to Bowen Yang.  

Bros means so much to me. It’s the thing I’m most proud of that I’ve ever done,” Eichner says, explaining that “it’s just telling a story unlike any we’ve ever seen in a rom-com at this level. And I think, judging by the early reactions we’ve got and the early screening we’ve done, it’s really special.”

He adds, “It’s honestly even taken me by surprise how much people are loving the movie. Also, they’re very moved by the movie in ways I didn’t even expect.” 

Some of those reactions Eichner is referring to are from attendees of CinemaCon, where Universal Pictures previewed the first trailer for the film, which is slated for a theatrical release on Sept. 30. After seeing it, ET’s own Meredith Kile wrote, “The BROS trailer is super cute and meta, featuring a TON of your faves. Excited for straight people everywhere to learn the ‘Bottom Dance.’” 

And considering the types of movies that are in theaters now, including “two movies about a talking hedgehog,” which is something Eichner jokingly pointed out at CinemaCon, it’s amazing this movie was even made. “It’s rare to have a comedy that’s genuinely funny,” he says now, especially given how “people have gone out of their way to go see a big Marvel movie.”  

Luckily for Eichner, he had the backing of Judd Apatow, who serves as a producer alongside Stoller. “[Judd] has a long history of making great comedies,” the actor says, explaining that both “guys really know how to make a big studio comedy even though they’ve never done one about a gay couple before.” 

And it was with their help that Eichner was able to land Bros at Universal. “To have them teach me how to frame the movie for a big studio was very helpful,” he says. “But I have to say, I was so scared to go in and pitch this to Universal. I just assumed they would respectfully pass on it and we would go make it for a streamer or for an indie company, which would have been great.”

“But from the beginning,” he continues, “everyone at Universal was so supportive and said, ‘We’ve been wanting to make this movie for a really long time. We just haven’t found a story or a script or a team of people that we could get really excited about.’” 

In the end, the studio, like Eichner, who grew up loving romantic comedies but just never saw himself reflected onscreen or always on the sidelines, just wanted to make a movie that was “authentic and real and truthful,” he says, adding, “And it is. And I’m really proud of that and really grateful.”