In addition to being the first major studio film with an all-LGBT cast, the upcoming rom-com “Bros” marks Billy Eichner’s first outing as a Hollywood leading man. It’s a departure from the confrontational man-on-the-street comedy that Eichner became known for on his popular game show “Billy on the Street.” But if Eichner gets his way, the change in personas will be a permanent one.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Eichner spoke about his desire to spend less time holding microphones in people’s faces in New York. He didn’t completely rule out resurrecting the “Billy on the Street” format someday, but made it very clear that its days as a regular TV show are over.
“In terms of the future of it, the vast majority of it is behind me,” Eichner said. “Maybe for special occasions we’ll bring it back. Obviously, it was not Covid-friendly. It’s a big part of my life, and it’s most likely why I’m getting the opportunities that I’m getting now, and I’m proud of it. But I’m never going to do half-hour episodes of ‘Billy on the Street’ again, and I don’t ever see it coming back as a regular thing. I’ve just moved beyond it creatively.”
While he appreciates the show’s success and the fame that it brought him, he never planned to be pigeonholed as a comedian. With “Bros” and his upcoming divorce comedy “Ex-Husbands,” Eichner hopes to establish himself as a more serious actor and writer.
“I never even considered myself a comedian,” he said. “I was a theater kid growing up in New York. I just wanted to do Broadway and off-Broadway. I was a really good singer, I wanted to do musicals. And I went to Northwestern, [where] I was a theater major doing Chekhov and Shakespeare and ‘Angels in America.’ When ‘Billy on the Street’ took off, people would describe me as ‘comedian Billy Eichner.’ And I always thought, ‘Comedian? I’m not a comedian.’ Now I’m used to it — and being a comedian is a fantastic thing. It’s just not what I was really going for. So I’m trying to get back to doing what I really wanted to do. And ‘Bros’ is a big part of that.”
“Bros” opens in theaters on September 30.
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