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‘Bros’ Cast on How Its LGBTQ Representation On and Offscreen Provided a More Comfortable Creative Experience

Much of the discussion surrounding the release of the romantic comedy starring Billy Eichner and produced by Judd Apatow brothers it has been about the semantics of its historical nature.

Yes, it is one of the first major studio movies to star two gay leads played by two openly gay actors. Yes, it’s part of a small but growing handful of LGBTQ-inclusive movies that upend the conventional rom-com genre. But it’s another detail, frequently ignored during the film’s press tour as a sign of its innovative nature, that perhaps makes the film all the more remarkable. And that’s it, openly LGBTQ+ cast.

It was a decision, said star and co-writer Eichner the hollywood reporter during the premiere of the film on the red carpet in New York, he believed that he was important from the field.

“One of the first things I said to [co-writer] Nick [Stoller] Y [producer] Judd [Apatow] was that my love interest must be an openly gay actor because the whole movie is about that. It would have been so hypocritical,” he recalled. “So I said, the whole cast should be openly LGBTQ.”

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It’s a story the actor and other cast members have frequently told ahead of the film’s theatrical release, which began Friday. But it’s the real-world implications beyond being just another bullet point in a list of the movie’s accomplishments or “firsts” that speak best for why a movie like brothers it is, in fact, important.

That’s because the film’s LGBTQ-led cast was also supported by members of the off-screen LGBTQ crew, creating the kind of inclusive environment that several of the film’s stars had yet to experience, as they did. , in brothers.

“To show up on set and there were so many queer people, so many LGBTQIA-plus people, all the letter people, I felt very comfortable,” explained star TS Madison, who plays LGBTQ museum board member Angela. “I’ve been in a few situations where I worked on a set where it was very uncomfortable. I couldn’t really be myself. Where it was like he was going to tear this place apart. But when we show up for work we feel like we’re home with our family. This was a breath of fresh air.”

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Madison’s co-star Miss Lawrence, who plays Wanda, another board member at the LGBTQ museum headed by Eichner’s Bobby, says stripping away the typical symbolic experience he’s had on the sets has helped him focus more on his craft and less on his craft. how it was being. perceived.

“I have done some projects, but I have always been one or one or two people in the LGBTQ community. This time, being able to be part of a cast made up of each of those letters, in front of the lens and behind the lens, the production team, whatever, I didn’t have to carry that. imposter syndrome with me when I went to work this time,” Lawrence shared. “I walk into a space, usually, and I feel like I have to over-perform, over-project, or try too hard because I feel like a lot of people don’t think I belong there. I didn’t feel that this time.”

That, then, maybe it’s a thing that does brothers interesting in the broader canon of major studio movies, which works alongside a long history of queer, indie, and smaller studio rom-coms and romances.

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Universal Bros Still 2

From left to right: Jim Rash, Dot-Marie Jones, Miss Lawrence Billy Eichner and TS Madison in ‘Bros.’ from Universal.

While Eichner drew on his own experiences to play Bobby, a famed LGBTQ+ podcaster, author and museum director, Eichner’s co-star Guy Branum said the writer-actor “really tried to keep his arms open as much as he could when tell a story. about telling his own story.”

The result was the kind of work environment that is rare in Hollywood, where creative talent from various corners of the LGBTQ+ community can be present and visible, even though its leads are two white men.

“Billy and Nick, they’re two white guys, they went to Universal and they showed the movie with Bobby in the lead surrounded by a cast of other LGBTQIA people,” Madison said. “They knew they had a duty and an obligation to bring people of color and other diverse identities to the table and they did. They couldn’t have done that. Billy got the job.”

For Monica Raymund, who plays Bobby’s straight friend Tina, it also resulted in her not being afraid to speak up about how her identity speaks to her craft and her role, as well as playing in the film’s comedic sandbox. .

“I feel like I’m represented in front of and behind the camera, and automatically, there’s a comfort in that,” she said. THR. “It’s not so much permission as reassurance and feeling liberated and free to be who I am and then being public about how I know this point of view as a queer person. This is my story and how I can relate to the character.”

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“Sometimes I keep it to myself on certain projects,” Raymund added. “So to be able to share a bit of my personal life, which is a very significant part of my life, is a pleasure. I am very grateful for it”.

While Eichner noted that the decision to feature an all-LGBTQ+ cast helped the film avoid “hypocrisy,” for the film’s co-writer and star, it was also about creating more opportunities for workplace equality.

“Big studio movies like this are big business. They make a lot of money. So it’s not just about art. It’s about fairness — financial fairness, equal opportunity when it comes to employment, health insurance takes a hit,” she explained. “So I thought, this is an opportunity not only for me to have a platform to make a film about my story, but I also want to attract as many LGBTQ artists as I can and give them that opportunity as well.”

As for his own personal experience on set, the comedian and actor described his time with the cast and crew as a rare and special moment in entertainment.

“We are not identical. Some have had much more challenges than others, and yet we are united by being part of this community that I have always loved,” he told THR. “I think every day we look around and look at each other like, this is our moment, finally. I think we were all very grateful for it, and I think we’re very proud to be a part of it. I know who I am.”

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