As the first gay adult romantic comedy from a major Hollywood studio, Bros marks a watershed moment for queer cinema. Written by Billy Eichner and Nicholas Stoller, with the latter also directing the film, Bros has broke new ground for LGBTQ+ representation with a principal queer cast; even the straight roles are played by actors of the LGBTQ+ experience. Upon release, the film received universal critical acclaim from critics who praised Eichner for “reinvigorating” the genre, its hilarious script and – because the straights have dominated rom-coms throughout history – its originality.
“I realised that we are just so hungry as LGBTQ+ people, as gay men, to see accurate, multi-dimensional and genuinely funny and genuinely smart depictions of ourselves that we don’t get,” Eichner told GAY TIMES earlier this year, adding that it was crucial for him to depict gay people as “funny, sad, lonely, extremely confident, messy, brave, horny and hypocritical adult human beings”.
As well as providing some much-needed LGBTQ+ visibility on the big screen, the star-studded cast of Bros are finally receiving recognition for their incomparable contributions to popular culture. From the Beyoncé-approved Ts Madison to Amanda Bearse, one of the first mainstream actresses to publicly come out as LGBTQ+, get to know the cast of Bros below.
Billy Eichner memorably rose to prominence with Billy on the Street, for which he received three nominations at the Emmy Awards. Following Eichner as he walks the streets of New York City and questions pedestrians about popular culture, the game show featured special guest stars such as Chris Evans, Mariah Carey, P!nk, Maya Rudolph and Debra Messing (you gays!). Eichner later became notable as an actor in Parks and Recreation, American Horror Story and American Crime Story, as well as for voicing Timon in The Lion King, which grossed over $1.6 billion at the worldwide box office. He will reprise the latter role in the upcoming prequel Mufasa: The Lion King and has been confirmed to write and star in a “big, gay divorce comedy” for Prime Video.
Canadian-American actor Luke Macfarlane is best known for his five-year stint on the ABC drama Brothers & Sisters as Scotty Wendell, whose romance with Kevin Walker (Matthew Rhys) is often regarded as one of the greatest in television history. The star – who plays Bobby Lieber’s central love interest, Aaron – came out as gay in 2008, the same year Scotty and Kevin tied the knot. Following the series’ conclusion, Macfarlane led the science-fiction series Killjoys for five seasons as D’avin Jaqobis, a former soldier and RAC bounty hunter. More recently, the actor has been hailed as the king of Hallmark television movies – appearing in 13 to date such as The Mistletoe Promise, Sense, Sensibility and Snowmen and A Magical Christmas Village. Macfarlane will next star opposite Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen in Apple TV’s upcoming comedy series Platonic.
A prominent fixture within the LGBTQ+ community, Ts Madison recently broke through the mainstream with a small role in the acclaimed black comedy Zola and as a recurring judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Last year, she made herstory as the first Black trans woman to star in and executive produce her own reality series, The Ts Madison Experience. Madison’s profile skyrocketed in 2022 when her voice was sampled on Beyoncé’s track Cozy, taken from her ballroom-inspired seventh studio album Renaissance; following its release, the pioneer – and producer Honey Dijon – became the first Black trans women to land a top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. You can next catch Madison as the host of WOW Presents Plus’ series Bring Back My Girls and, as an actor, opposite Gabrielle Union in Netflix’s romantic comedy The Perfect Find. In Bros, Madison plays Angela, one of the curators at the National LGBTQ+ History Museum in Manhattan.
After securing a lead role in Lee Daniels’ cult musical drama Star, where they played the gay, genderfluid hairdresser and close friend to Queen Latifah’s character, Miss Lawrence made their cinema debut opposite Oscar nominee Andra Day in The United States vs Billie Holiday. In 2013, the entertainer co-hosted Bravo Network’s Fashion Queens and, between 2008 and 2017, made sporadic appearances on The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Also a recurring guest on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Lawrence is known within the community for their LGBTQ+ advocacy – particularly in regards to homophobia within Black spaces – and currently serves as a member of The City of Atlanta’s LGBTQ+ advisory board.
The star behind Angela, the scene-stealing LGBTQ+ History Museum curator who had a pivotal role in naming Beyoncé’s sixth album Lemonade, Eve Lindley rose to fame in 2016 with recurring roles on two major American dramas: Prime Video’s Emmy Award-winning Mr Robot and WGN America’s short-lived Outsiders. She attained a larger following after serving as a main cast member on AMC’s Dispatches from Elsewhere opposite Jason Segel, Sally Field, Andre Benjamin and Richard E. Grant. Despite overwhelmingly positive reviews, the GLAAD-nominated drama was cancelled after just one season.
Jim Rash’s film and TV credits are extensive. Boasting guest appearances in shows such as Friends, That 70s Show, Will & Grace, Glee, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, as well as a breakout role on Community, which earned him a Critics’ Choice Television Award, Rash won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2012 for his work on The Descendants. Four years later, he made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Captain America: Civil War as the Dean of M.I.T., a role he will reprise next year in the Disney Plus series Ironheart. It was also recently confirmed that Rash will return as Dean Craig Pelton in the long-awaited – we repeat, long-awaited – film adaptation of Community. Six seasons and a movie? Prophecy fulfilled!
For her performance as Coach Beiste on Glee, Dot-Marie Jones received three nominations at the Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. To Disney Channel audiences, you’ll recognise the actress as the gym teacher and tormentor of Miranda and the title character in Lizzie McGuire, while Drag Race fans will remember her hilarious role as Svetlana in Hurricane Bianca 2: From Russia With Hate and her guest appearance on RuPaul’s Drag Race U. Later this year, Jones will star in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story and the 11th season of American Horror Story, subtitled ‘New York City’.
Monica Raymund has kept busy in small-screen crime dramas with main roles in Lie to Me (48 episodes), Chicago Fire (139 episodes!) and Hightown, the latter of which was recently renewed for a third season. The actress has also flexed her skills as a director on episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, FBI and Chicago P.D. Although she’s appeared in several short films and made cameo appearances in others, Bros marks Raymund’s first major cinematic role. In the comedy, the star plays Tina, one of Bobby’s best friends.
After years of guest stints on shows such as Touched by an Angel, The Shield and Without a Trace, Guillermo Díaz caught his big break as drug dealer Guillermo García Gómez on five seasons of Jenji Kohan’s dark comedy series Weeds. He later starred as a former assassin and close ally of Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) in all seven seasons of Shonda Rimes’ widely-acclaimed political thriller Scandal. Díaz’s film credits include the cult comedy Half Baked, the Tom Hanks-starring drama The Terminal and the buddy cop film Cop Out. Not only that, he’s appeared in music videos for Britney Spears (I Wanna Go) and Beyoncé and Jay-Z (Run). The actor currently stars in Law & Order: Organized Crime.
Bobby Lieber’s best friend Henry is played by comedian, writer and actor Guy Branum, the former head writer and sketch performer on Xplay. American audiences will remember Branum as a writer and regular panellist on Chelsea Lately and the host of TruTV’s Talk Show the Game Show. He released his first comedy album in 2015, Effable, while his first book was released three years later, A Memoir Through (Un)Popular Culture.
The winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 13, Symone became one of the most formidable players in the franchise’s entire run when she conquered four challenges, a feat only accomplished in the past by queens (on a regular US season) such as Sharon Needles, Shea Couleé and her drag sister, Gigi Goode. The star, who earned praise from the fandom for her innovative runway presentations, also made herstory with the most lip-sync wins in a single season, with seven. Bros marks Symone’s first acting role.
Playing the role of Aaron’s conservative mother Anne Shepard, Amanda Bearse is best known for her 11-year stint as Marcy Rhodes/D’Arcy on Fox’s iconic sitcom Married… with Children and as Amy Peterson in the supernatural horror Fright Night. Bearse came out as a lesbian in 1993, during the seventh season of Married… with Children, becoming one of the first celebrities on primetime television to do so. She later directed 31 episodes of the long-running comedy series, as well as Dharma & Greg and MadTV. In 2018, Bearse directed the Off-Broadway production Party Face and replaced original cast member Klea Blackhurst in the role of Bearnie in its final week.
Originally hired as a writer for Saturday Night Live (SNL), Bowen Yang made history as their first Chinese-American, first Austrasian-American, third openly gay male and fourth-ever cast member of Asian descent. He reached another milestone last year when he became SNL’s first ‘featured player’ to land a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. Yang’s TV and film credits include Girls5eva, The Other Two, Awkwafina is Nora from Queens, Isn’t It Romantic, Cicada and The Lost City. Fire Island, Joel Kim Booster’s acclaimed comedy set at the titular gay hotspot, marked the comedian’s first leading role. He currently co-hosts the pop-culture podcast Las Culturistas with his Fire Island co-star Matt Rogers.
One of the LGBTQ+ community’s most legendary actors and screenwriters, Harvey Fierstein is a four-time Tony Award winner for his work on the Torch Song Trilogy and Hairspray; for the latter, he became the first-ever male actor to win a Tony for playing a character of the opposite sex. The American Theater Hall of Fame inductee also wrote the book for musicals such as Kinky Boots, Newsies and A Catered Affair, and received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for his guest appearance on Cheers. In film, Fierstein has also been celebrated for roles in Mrs. Doubtfire and Independence Day, as well as the voice of Yao in Mulan and its sequel.
Jai Rodriguez was part of the original ‘Fab Five’ on Queer Eye – originally titled Queer Eye for the Straight Guy – as their culture expert alongside Ted Allen, Kyan Douglas, Thom Filicia and Carson Kressley. After its conclusion, Rodriguez guest starred in shows such as Nip/Tuck, How I Met Your Mother, Grey’s Anatomy and Uncoupled, although he’s mostly affiliated with his role as Jimmy on EastSiders and as Diego on Kingdom.
Bros hits UK cinemas on 28 October.