Billy Eichner wrote and stars in “Bros,” the first major studio film with an all-LGBTQ cast. Best known for his “Billy on the Street” show, he returned to the frantic format to promote his latest movie ― and brought Paul Rudd with him.
The Nicholas Stoller film, produced by Judd Apatow, centers on a gay New Yorker who’s given up hope of finding a partner. In a new “Billy on the Street” video, Eichner and Rudd dash around town dressed in promotional t-shirts for the film to “round up straight people” into seeing it.
“This is Billy. I’m out here back on the street with famous and beloved straight man Paul Rudd,” Eichner says in the video. “We’re gonna spread the word about my new movie, ‘Bros.’ You ready, Paul? Let’s Bro!”
Eichner and Rudd first approach two men who appear excited about a film called “Bros” and convince them to buy tickets, only for Eichner to disclose: “Lotta gay sex in it.” The men suddenly appear to lose interest, and Eichner and Rudd leave them in the dust.
This is precisely why Eichner wrote “Bros” in the first place, of course, as romantic comedies almost always focus on straight relationships. Eichner and his onscreen love interest, co-star Luke Macfarlane, told the “Today” show they hoped “Bros” would be welcomed into the genre.
“As a gay man, I’ve watched those movies, and I cried and I laughed, and I took something away from it,” Macfarlane told the show of movies that center on straight couples. “So I think maybe asking some of our straight friends to watch a gay couple fall in love and cry and laugh and take something from it, too. I think that’s what movies are all about, is not looking for ourselves in movies, but seeing how we relate to somebody who’s maybe different than us.”
That also comes with some pressure, Eichner told Variety.
“I feel a responsibility for it to do well,” he said. “I’ve worked so hard on it, I care so much about it, and I want it do well for the sake of the LGBTQ stories getting greenlit. So there’s a burden I feel, much as I want to sit here and just talk about how funny the movie is.”
In his video with Rudd, they encounter many people who are excited about an honest portrayal of the gay dating scene. One woman says she loves the idea. In classic Rudd fashion, he then asks her about who manufactured her glasses — leading her on a deathly dull tangent.
“I got a movie to sell, alright?” Eichner moans while walking away.
Eichner then tells someone, “Paul Rudd demands that you see ‘Bros.’” After promising he will, the man asks Rudd if he can “physically carry me there.”
Rudd not only tries but succeeds — spurring Eichner to scream, “Oh! We’re carrying this man to ‘Bros!’”
After recruiting “a pack of wild lesbians ready to spread the word” and running down the street with them, Eichner finds a pair of Gen-Z youths who are disinterested in the film because rapper Playboi Carti’s music isn’t in it. They call out Eichner for not knowing who that is.
“I know who that is,” Eichner fired back. “I can’t name a song. Name one song by Barbra Streisand, bitch!”
Bros hits theaters Sept. 30.