Billy Eichner Explained Why "Sex Is Really Funny" In His New Movie "Bros," And 26 Other Things We Learned On Zoom With Him

Perhaps you've heard of the movie Bros because of its historic position as the first gay rom-com by a major studio. Or, perhaps it's because of the many posters of two men grabbing each other's denim-clad asses that have adorned the New York subway. Maybe it's the fact that the movie was co-written by and stars Billy Eichner. I don't know! I'm not a mind-reader!

27 Things We Learned on Zoom with Billy Eichner
BuzzFeed / Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

No matter how you first stumbled upon it, Bros is sure to delight you. So, BuzzFeed sat down with Billy to find out everything about Bros and beyond:

1.Describe how you’re feeling about the release of Bros in one word.

Billy Eichner: "Thrilled."

2.A lot of the movie is filmed on location — what’s one quintessentially New York memory you have from shooting?

Screenshot from "Bros"

BE: "Shooting with Luke [Macfarlane], who plays my love interest Aaron, on the Upper West Side near Central Park. It reminded me of all the great romantic comedies I grew up loving — When Harry Met Sally..., Sleepless in Seattle, Tootsie, and Working Girl — but they were never about a gay couple. I love those movies, but I never saw myself in them. That's what's so special and exciting about Bros; it's a throwback to great romantic comedies like that — but we've never had one released at this scale about LGBTQ people. I'm very grateful for that."

Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

3.Who was your favorite celebrity cameo to shoot?

BE: "We have a bunch, I don't want to give them away. Debra Messing from Will & Grace comes, and she's spectacularly funny, and the audience bursts out into applause. I don't want to give it away, but she plays a very heightened version of herself and is truly hysterical."

4.What’s one thing about Luke Macfarlane that let you know he’d be the perfect Aaron?

Screenshot from "Bros"

BE: "Underneath the handsome, tough exterior, he has a lot of vulnerability, and that's what the character needed. His journey in the movie is to work up the courage to reveal all of that."

Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

5.What’s the biggest similarity between you and Bobby?

BE: "Confidence."

6.What’s the biggest difference between you and your character, Bobby?

Screenshot from "Bros"

BE: "He's more insecure about whether or not he's projecting enough masculinity to the world."

Universal Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

7.What’s something folks might not notice about Bros in the first watch?

BE: "There's a ton of jokes and a lot of physical comedy. I've noticed that when we have big screenings full of people, which are hugely fun and exciting — it's so fun to watch a comedy in a movie theater again, and to laugh with other people — but sometimes people are laughing so much that the next joke gets lost. So, it might require a rewatch just to keep up with all of the jokes in the movie."

8.What’s the key to shooting a good sex scene?

Screenshot from "Bros"

BE: "Being comfortable with the other actor and a willingness to just dive in and commit to what's funny, what's sexy, what's romantic — whatever is required. Some of the sex scenes of the movie are more romantic, but most of them are there for physical comedy. I think sex is really funny. Judd Apatow produced this movie, of course, Nick Stoller directed it. Their movies have a long history of hilarious physical comedy and awkwardly funny sex scenes — Bridesmaids, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Trainwreck. I think it's cool to be able to do the gay version of that, as we've really never gotten that before. Those scenes are hilarious; they get some of the biggest laughs in the movie."

Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

9.If you could say one thing to Eugene Levy, what would it be?

BE: "Oh, he's a legend. I mean, I grew up loving Eugene Levy. He's so, so funny. That's all I would say: I worship you."

10.You reference Carrie Underwood blocking you on Twitter in Bros — who’s another celebrity that’s blocked you on Twitter?

Screenshot from "Bros"

BE: "Meghan McCain. I'm sure there are others, but those are two of my favorites."

Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

11.You reference Queer Eye in the movie — did you try to get the actual Queer Eye team to make a cameo?

BE: "No. I'm friends with a lot of those guys, and they're fantastic, but we didn't try to get the real ones. That probably would have been very tough to schedule around their shooting schedule and our shooting schedule. I think it's fun that we got the B-list version of them."

12.What’s one queer story you’d love to see told on screen?

Screenshot from "Bros"

BE: "I want to see more comedies. Historically, on the rare occasions that we had LGBTQ characters at the center of a big Hollywood movie, the stories were often very tragic. It was about what's challenging or torturous about being gay, or how we've suffered or been victims. I do think those are important stories to tell; they're part of our history, and we need to keep telling them, but it's often the only version of queer life that we exposed straight audiences to. I want stories that have us the center of the story — where we're not just the wacky best friend, but we're allowed to be funny and moving and multidimensional and show us as the complicated human beings that we are."

Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

13.Let’s go back to Billy on the Street — was there a question you wanted to ask but never did?

BE: "Boy, I was pretty fearless on that show. I don't think I ever held back, for better or worse.

"I'm a huge Mariah Carey fan, and I'm a huge Madonna fan. I've gotten to shoot with both of them over the years, which was amazing. I once heard that Mariah wrote a song that Madonna recorded, and I wanted to ask Mariah about that — but I got scared! [The song] never got released, but I do think it exists. I'm curious!"

14.What do you make of the rise of TikTok on-the-street interviewers?

Screenshot from "Billy on the Street"

BE: "Well, I'm probably to blame for some of it — so, I apologize to the entire social media community. Billy on the Street took on a whole new life on TikTok, even though I don't really do it very much anymore. It's shocking to me how popular those clips still are. There are clips that go viral from Billy on the Street, which I shot so many years ago that the kids watching them on TikTok probably weren't even born. That's really wild, but people still love it. It gives a lot of people a lot of joy, some laughs throughout the day on their phone, and I'm happy about that."

billyonthestreettv / Via

15.Is there a question that you don’t get asked that you wish you did?

Billy Eichner on a Pride float

BE: "There's a lot of focus on the film being historic, for good reason. I think that whenever you have a movie that centers LGBTQ characters, it's so rare that you end up having a lot of very serious discussions about representation. And those are important discussions to have, and this is obviously a historic moment for major studios.

"At the same time, you don't sit down to write a historic movie, or even a gay movie — you sit down to write a hilarious, smart, and heartwarming movie. Sometimes, I get worried that that message gets lost that this is ultimately a big comedy. At the end of the day, it's wall-to-wall jokes and physical comedy — and there are some more thoughtful, poignant moments in it.

"Ultimately, our goal was to make a movie that really gave people a good reason to leave their house and go to the movie theater. That's because it's very rare to have a movie make you laugh out loud from start to finish. Whether you're straight or gay, or LGBTQ, whatever you are, no matter who's in the audience, that was our goal."

Nicole Rivelli / Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

16.Who from the Parks and Recreation cast made you laugh the most off-screen?

Screenshot from "Parks and Recreation"

BE: "Oh my God, that was a really spectacular cast. Aubrey Plaza is so dry and funny. I always found her so amusing, smart, and unique. But honestly, that was one of the best casts I've ever worked with. Everyone was just on top of their game. I entered the picture late — I was only there for the last couple of seasons, so by the time I got there, they all really knew what they were doing. It was really great to watch them."

Nbc / ©NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection

17.What’s the best thing about getting to voice Timon in The Lion King?

Seth Rogen, Beyoncé, and Billy Eichner

BE: "Oh, it was just a blast. The scale of those movies is so outrageously large and so much bigger than anything I've ever been involved with. Bros is also large, but you know, doing a huge Disney movie like that is a very unique experience. I mean, there's so much pomp and circumstance around the opening. There was a royal premiere in London, Harry and Meghan were there, Beyoncé and Jay Z, and Elton John. That's just not an environment I'm used to being in [laughs]. Seth Rogen and I kept looking at each other like, 'Oh, this is insane.' And that's a guy that starred in a lot of movies for many years! It's kind of old school, that type of release. It's a throwback to a Hollywood of years ago."

Gareth Cattermole / Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images for Disney

18.Who was your childhood celebrity crush?

Closeup of Keith Hernandez

BE: "The first two guys I had a crush on were Keith Hernandez, who was the first baseman for the 1986 New York Mets. I grew up in Queens, not far from where they played and won the World Series that year. Jon Bon Jovi was the other one. I named my cat Jovi and had a big Jon Bon Jovi poster and a big Madonna poster on my wall. It was no shock to my parents when I came out of the closet a few years later."

Focus On Sport / Getty Images, Paul Natkin / Getty Images

19.What’s a dream role that you’d love to play?

BE: "I'm working on a couple of scripts now. I can't talk about them. One of them is really a dream role. I hope it happens — but we have a long way to go.

"I grew up in New York City, and my first love was singing, which I get to do a little bit of in Bros. My first dream was to be on Broadway or Off Broadway, just to do theater in New York. I'm not exactly sure what the role is, but I would love to do a great play or a musical. That's something I think would be really exciting and challenging."

20.Who was the last person to message you?

Olivia Wilde and Billy Eichner on "Billy on the Street"

BE: "That you would know? I did exchange emails with Olivia Wilde this morning. We're friends. I offered her a screener of Bros, and she said, 'Great, can I send you a screening of Don't Worry Darling?'

I said, 'Yeah, of course,' because our movies come out on consecutive weekends. I've known Olivia a while; she was a guest on Billy on the Street. She was hilarious. She's been a fan of mine for a long time. So, that truly is the most recent person I've emailed with."

truTV / Via

21.Is there a role you auditioned for that people might be surprised to hear you didn’t get?

BE: "Pretty much every role I ever auditioned for. I never did well auditioning, and then, I basically stopped auditioning. It's been a really long time since I auditioned for anything. Partially because the casting world and Hollywood got to know me enough based on my work so at a certain point, you don't have to audition as much anymore — which is a very privileged place to be in.

"At the same time, I was never that good at it. Even when I was good at it, no one knew what to do with me. My best work was either created for me by me or a close friend of mine created it for me specifically. I'm getting used to that — being the writer and the producer gives you a lot of creative control that you don't get if you're simply an actor walking onto set, unless maybe you're some huge movie star. I really lost out on most roles that I auditioned for."

22.What is your current iPhone wallpaper?

BE: "I am boring. I have just whatever it comes with. I'm not someone who makes it special. I don't have a pet. I don't have a baby. What's going to be on there? A picture of Meryl Streep? I don't know."

23.What’s the weirdest gift you’ve ever received?

The poster for "Bros"

BE: "It's not a weird gift, it was very nice — but Universal sent me a giant framed Bros poster, framed. It's enormous. It's also a picture of me and Luke grabbing each other's asses. So, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with that. Like, I can't really put that up in my apartment. It's gigantic. Even I am not enough of a narcissist to put that up in my apartment."

Universal Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

24.What’s your favorite curse word?

BE: "Fuck. It's a good one. That was Stephen Sondheim's favorite curse word when he did Inside the Actor's Studio, so I'll say that, too."

25.What’s a perfect first date look like to you?

BE: "Fucking. No, I'm just kidding. Go for a drink and good conversation. Being with, like, a smart, funny, normal person is actually kind of rare. I think that's a good first date, nothing too crazy."

26.If anyone could play you in a movie, who would you pick?

Luke Macfarlane and Billy Eichner

BE: "Luke Macfarlane, because he's so handsome [laughs]. And he's gotten to know me well. I don't think there's much of a resemblance there. It's one of those roles he could do to win an Oscar where he transformed himself, like Nicole Kidman playing Virginia Woolf."

Kristina Bumphrey / Getty Images

27.What’s next?

BE: "First, I need a little bit of a break, because I've been going hard with Bros for years. It means so much to me. But there are a couple of other scripts that I'm co-writing and developing — I'm writing a movie with Paul Rudnick that Greg Berlanti is producing, called Ex-Husbands. It's the other side of Bros. It's about a big, funny gay divorce. Kind of like a gay War of the Roses.

"I'm very much a one-project-at-a-time type of person. I'm not a great multitasker when it comes to writing. So, my focus is very much Bros right now. Hopefully, people — everyone, straight people, gay people, LGBTQ people, anyone who wants to laugh a lot — make their way into the movie theater to see it and support it. And I'll get to make more movies, and other LGBTQ folks will get to make more movies. That's what it's going to take to make that happen."

Thank you for talking to us, Billy! Bros is out in movie theaters now.

Note: Quotes have been condensed for clarity and/or length.