Arts·Here & Queer

Come at us, Bros: Billy Eichner opens up about his big gay Hollywood rom com (that's very, very good)

The film's star and co-writer sits down with Peter Knegt at the Toronto International Film Festival for the first edition of our new video series Here & Queer.

The film's star and co-writer sits down with Peter Knegt for our new video series, Here & Queer

Peter Knegt (left) and Billy Eichner talk about Bros during the Toronto International Film Festival. (CBC Arts)

Here & Queer is an interview series hosted by Peter Knegt that celebrates and amplifies the work of LGBTQ artists though unfiltered conversations.

Of the unprecedented amount of LGBTQ-centric films that made their way to this year's Toronto International Film Festival, none of them quite had as much riding on them as Bros. While the festival regularly screens plenty of queer films every year, Bros — starring and co-written by Billy Eichner — would mark the first time a Hollywood-produced comedy about queer people had made their way to TIFF since 1997, when In & Out became the only other example to do so. In fact, in those 25 years Hollywood hasn't released any comedy with LGBTQ leads until Bros and Fire Island, the latter of which came out just earlier this year.

Understandably, those of us rooting for more queer representation on the big screen were a little nervous that Bros might not deliver on the ridiculous amount of things a film in its position is expected to be: funny enough, thoughtful enough and most importantly, queer enough. And thankfully, Bros more than succeeds on all three counts. (It's also a far cry from In & Out, which had cast of entirely straight actors. Every major character in Bros — even the straight ones — is played by an LGBTQ actor.) 

All of this made it quite the honour to have Eichner join me as the inaugural guest on a new video series: Here & Queer. The series will feature notable LGBTQ guests (and maybe a few of our most worthy allies) sitting down with me to discuss many a queer topic. Which certainly was what happened with Eichner, who candidly discussed the state of queer representation in Hollywood, his film's depiction of gay sex, and how he himself related to the plights of Bros' main character in his getting the film produced. 

Watch below:

Bros will be released in theatres across North America on September 30, 2022. You can watch the trailer here

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Peter Knegt (he/him) has worked for CBC Arts since 2016, writing the LGBTQ-culture column Queeries (winner of the 2019 Digital Publishing Award for best digital column in Canada and nominated again this year) and hosting the video interview series Here & Queer. He's also spearheaded the launch and production of series Canada's a Drag, variety special Queer Pride Inside, and interactive projects Superqueeroes and The 2010s: The Decade Canadian Artists Stopped Saying Sorry. Collectively, these projects have won Knegt four Canadian Screen Awards. Beyond CBC, Knegt is also the filmmaker of numerous short films, the author of the book About Canada: Queer Rights and the host of the monthly film series Queer Cinema Club at Toronto's Paradise Theatre. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter with the same obvious handle: @peterknegt.

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