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Where You've Seen The Cast Of Bros Before

"Bros" has been billed by its creators and cast as the first same-sex romantic comedy from a major studio released in theaters. It tells the story of Bobby (Billy Eichner) and Aaron's (Luke Macfarlane) journey from flirtation to serious romance to rom-com complications and, perhaps, reconciliation. Written by Eichner and director Nicholas Stoller, the film inverts the usual Hollywood formula, refusing to cast just one or two LGBTQ+ actors in small supporting parts. Instead, it stocks the cast with queer performers in all the roles (except the celebrity cameos), even characters identified as straight.

The initial box office for "Bros" did not meet expectations, according to The New York Times. However, the film garnered a 90% audience score an 88% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 77 on Metacritic. Taken together, the three indicate critics and viewers had generally positive to highly positive reactions to the material. Given the still-evolving landscape of theatrical releases in a post-COVID era (via The New York Times) and that rom-coms were doing better on streaming even before the pandemic (via Quartz), it seems likely that "Bros" will find an ever-increasing audience as it becomes more widely available to home consumers. A big reason for this draw no doubt lies with the cast of strong comedic players who, while not big names, are likely to be recognizable to viewers. If you've watched "Bros" — or are wondering if you should check it out based on the cast — this who's-who should be a tremendous asset.

Billy Eichner

Billy Eichner plays the lead character, Bobby, a 40-something New Yorker who has built a life he loves but struggles to make long-term romantic connections. After years of seeking his place, Bobby has found a career as a podcaster and LGBTQ+ historian. Most recently, he's secured his dream position, a board member planning what is repeatedly referred to as the first national museum devoted to queer history in the United States. Unfortunately, his romance with the athletic Aaron has left the usually professional Bobby spinning out and distracted.

Eichner made his own success thanks to an element of his one-man show that ported over well to the internet at the dawn of YouTube's rise, "Billy on the Street." Typically referred to as a game show, it usually features Eichner running up to unsuspecting New Yorkers and yelling questions like "Name a woman!" for a dollar prize. As he has risen in stature, he often welcomes celebrity guests to help him with the show.

For those not as internet savvy, his role as Craig Middlebrooks, the yelling-inclined town employee on "Parks and Recreation," is likely his most recognizable role. He has also played Billy Epstein in the critically beloved series "Difficult People" and Matt Drudge in the "Impeachment" season of "American Crime Story."

If his face is unfamiliar, his voice might still ring a bell. Most recently, audiences have heard it as Timon in Disney's "live-action" "Lion King" remake, but he's logged the most airtime as the recurring character Mr. Ambrose on "Bob's Burgers."

Luke Macfarlane

As estate lawyer Aaron, Luke Macfarlane presents as the vanilla to Eichner's chocolate. Fit and handsome, Aaron seems to have no problem with finding the kind of physical relationships he desires. However, beneath the surface, he's desperately unhappy at work and still struggling with his self-perception after years of eschewing habits and interests that might have marked him as gay before he came out. In Bobby, he finds the first man capable of breaking him out of his rut and a partner who may be, perhaps, too challenging.

Macfarlane, in many ways, has a home-field advantage coming into this film. Since 2014, he has spent plenty of time on the Hallmark Channel in films like "Single All the Way" and "A Shoe Addict's Christmas." That's right — Macfarlane is starring in the same kind of holiday-themed romantic comedies "Bros" enjoys poking fun at. The ones that Bobby loses himself in after he and Aaron encounter some setbacks in their relationship could very well sport titles like the Macfarlane-featuring "The Mistletoe Promise" without at all feeling out of place.

Before finding a reliable niche with TV rom-coms, Macfarlane arguably broke through in the long-running family drama "Brothers and Sisters" in 2006. The sci-fi-inclined will probably recognize him from another multiseason part, that of talented soldier D'avin Jaqobis on the Syfy Channel original series "Killjoys."

Guy Branum

Even for those who have only seen the trailer for "Bros" and have not yet watched the film, Guy Branum has almost certainly made an impression. He plays Henry, Bobby's best friend and fellow clubgoer. He also happens to be the man who slept with the shirtless "sexy Santa" or "Dumbledore on steroids," depending on which nickname one may prefer.

While Branum finally found his way in front of the camera in "No Strings Attached," playing Emma's (Natalie Portman) friend and confidante, he started out as a writer behind the scenes of several shows on G4 during the network's early 2000s heyday. Subsequent writing gigs on "Chelsea Lately" and "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell" gave him opportunities to appear on those shows as well, including a recurring segment on "Totally Biased" that christened him "No More Mr. Nice Gay."

While only lasting two seasons on Tru TV, "Talk Show the Game Show" gave Branum his biggest stage to date, acting as both the host and executive producer of the series. Podcast fans may also know his voice and distinctive opinions as cohost of the Maximum Fun podcast "Pop Rocket," which ran for over four years.

Guillermo Diaz

Edgar, one-half of Bobby's straight friend couple, is played by Guillermo Diaz. Married to Tina (Monica Raymund) with whom he's raising their two children, "Bros" depicts Edgar as an important part of Bobby's social circle. In 2011, Diaz spoke to Out, explaining that he had been out for his entire acting career and nonetheless struggled more with being cast as a gang member than a gay man. His resume does indeed include several such roles, most prominently drug dealer and trafficker Guillermo from the early cable-era hit "Weeds."

Still, his breakthrough came as the sometimes-profane fast food cashier and marijuana enthusiast Scarface in the iconic stoner comedy "Half Baked." He would go on to be a recurring guest on co-star Dave Chappelle's "Chappelle's Show" five years later.

While he continues to appear in films, Diaz has achieved more noteworthy success on the small screen. After countless guest appearances and recurring roles on short-lived series following his work on "Weeds," Diaz was cast in "Scandal," appearing in 124 episodes over the course of seven seasons as Huck, an integral part of Olivia Pope's (Kerry Washington) team. Currently, he can be found in a recurring role as Sergeant Bill Brewster in "Law & Order: Organized Crime."

Monica Raymund

As the other member of Bobby's straight friend couple — alongside her husband Edgar — Tina is a helpful confidante and source of advice for Bobby, especially as his relationship with Aaron grows increasingly serious and more complex. It is her words that help the protagonist make the climactic decision about his relationship.

Monica Raymund plays Tina with a loose, playful quality that doesn't get in the way of her being supportive, honest, or earnest with her close friend when the situation calls for it. That ability to play it consequential and truthful was a skill she honed well on the "Chicago" television series — "Chicago Fire," Chicago Med," and "Chicago P.D." — as Gabriela Dawson. The paramedic-turned-firefighter appeared in 150 episodes across the three series over the course of five years.

Although Tina doesn't make the trip to Provincetown with Bobby and Aaron in "Bros," Raymund has been playing Jackie Quiñones, a National Marine Fisheries Service Agent based in the popular Cape Cord town on the show "Hightown" on Starz. The role may not be as well known as her "Chicago" character, but it puts her in the lead and has proven a critical hit with reviewers and audiences alike.

Jim Rash

Jim Rash plays Robert, the self-identified bisexual of Bobby's LGBTQ+ museum board, as a man consistently at odds with society and his peers' attitudes towards bisexuality. While never outright stated, it seems he feels pressured to speak up to get noticed, his romantic relationship making it easy to assume that he's straight.

Rash's career is a fascinating one. By far, his most high-profile role has been as Dean Pelton on the cult-favorite comedy series "Community." However, he began acting nearly 15 years before breaking through on that series. Along the way, he appeared in the last episode of "Friends" and had roles in one of 2002's biggest films, "Minority Report," and one of its biggest bombs, "S1m0ne." He was a cast member in promising network series that unfortunately didn't work, like "The Naked Truth" and "Help Me Help You." Rash also had recurring roles in long-running series "That '70s Show" and "Reno 911!" Finally, he's lent his voice to several animated projects, including current critics' darling "Harley Quinn" as The Riddler.

As a writer, on the other hand, Rash is an Academy Award-winner for co-writing the screenplay to 2011's George Clooney-starring "The Descendants." He has penned two other bittersweet comedies since — 2013's "The Way Way Back" and 2020's "Downhill." As detailed by Entertainment Weekly, he did use the occasion of his Academy Award speech to poke fun at Angelina Jolie's iconic leg flash at the same show, a moment that awards show fans will almost certainly remember him for.

Dot-Marie Jones

The leader of the LGBTQ+ Museum lesbians, Cherry is largely a stabilizing force on the board. Besides her one suggestion that the museum's final exhibit be an enormous Jodie Foster statue hung from the ceiling, she generally seems sensible. Dot-Marie Jones renders her with an unflappable sense of goodness. She's supportive of Bobby until he goes too far and then leaves him with little fanfare. Similarly, when he comes back to his senses, she appears quick to forgive and move on.

A multisport athlete in high school and college, Jones didn't really have acting on her radar. Even when she began appearing on television, it was because of her athletic prowess, booking a role on the competition show "Knights and Warriors" as Lady Battleaxe. Although she continued to compete in arm wrestling events after booking the role, she began to actively pursue further acting opportunities as well. Like Amanda Bearse, Jones snagged a role on "Married... with Children," albeit a smaller one. However, it was her first recurring gig on a series.

Where viewers recognize Jones from likely depends on their age. Gen X-ers and elder millennials may recall her from the "Married... with Children" role. Younger millennials, however, are far more likely to recognize her either as Coach Kelly from "Lizzie McGuire" or as Coach Beiste on multiple seasons of "Glee."

Eve Lindley

While it is never entirely clear if Eve Lindley's Tamara was brought on as the museum's social media manager or has simply decided to direct her energy in that direction, one thing is obvious: she's very committed to the task. She's also the one member of the board who seems largely unaffected by Bobby, even at his worst and rudest.

Lindley only began acting in 2016 but hit the showbiz ground running. First, she made her inaugural film role as a prominent character in "All We Had," Katie Holmes' feature directorial debut. Later that same year, in 2016, she had recurring roles in Season 2 of "Mr. Robot" and both seasons of the biker crime drama "Outsiders." Then, in 2020, she was cast as Simone, one of the lead characters in the cult series "Dispatches from Elsewhere."

Her film roles since "All We Had" have been comparatively small, including 2022 sci-fi drama "After Yang," with "Bros" being the largest since her debut. She is set to star in music video director Luke Gilford's feature debut, "National Anthem."

Miss Lawrence

Miss Lawrence, who told the Windy City Times that masculine and feminine pronouns were acceptable, is the museum board's most agreeable member, Wanda, in "Bros." She accomplishes this by essentially never taking a side on any issue, instead preferring to declare that she is listening and "reserving space" for others in the group. It's the sort of role that depends on the performer to make it work. Lawrence sells it, making Wanda feel authentic without squelching the comedy of a group member who absolutely refuses to provide their own opinion. Unless that opinion is about the quality of the television series "Schitt's Creek," of course.

Lawrence has built more of his career under her own name in reality shows like "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" — the Housewives frequently turned to Lawrence for hairstyling — and the panel show "Fashion Queens." She also played herself in the fictional hip-hop mogul series "Empire."

In 2016, Miss Lawrence made the jump to playing a character, albeit one very similar, in the Fox series "Star." As Miss Bruce, a "gay and genderfluid hairdresser," Lawrence was able to begin an acting career on very familiar ground. This continued in her next role as Miss Freddy in "The United States vs. Billie Holiday," where Lawrence once again played a hairstylist supporting character to the lead. It also gave Lawrence arguably the strongest scene the actor has had to portray to date, confronting FBI Agent Jimmy Fletcher (Trevante Rhodes), certain the agent means Billie Holiday harm.

TS Madison

Another museum board member, Angela asserts her place by being unafraid to roll her eyes at Bobby's excesses. She's also the only member who attempts to wrest the gay pride flag away from him when he has a bit of a tantrum regarding one of the museum's exhibits.

As with Miss Lawrence, TS Madison is most likely best known for her reality television work. She has hosted multiple series, including "Turnt Out with TS Madison" and "The Ts Madison Experience." She has also made numerous appearances, including as a guest judge, on "RuPaul's Drag Race."

Away from the world of reality television, Madison had a brief but eye-catching role in "Zola" as an exotic religious dancer who gets her fellow strippers ready for the night by leading them in earnest prayer. With two films and a TV series now in post-production and another film in pre-production, however, it seems Madison is very committed to making the jump to narrative fiction roles now.

Bowen Yang

Bowen Yang's Lawrence Grape is the final missing piece that will help make the LGBTQ+ Museum a reality. A fantastically wealthy film producer, he has definite suggestions for the museum, including a Hell House-esque ride through the low points of pride from the late 20th and early 21st century. Still, thanks to Aaron's unique way with the rich, he and Bobby are able to land Grape's all-important donation to make the museum a reality.

Yang has had a very busy past few years. They started with him breaking through with as commanding a freshman year at "Saturday Night Live" as any performer has boasted in recent memory. He continues to deliver as both a writer and actor on the show in his fourth year as on-air talent. He also appeared in 12 episodes of Awkwafina's Comedy Central series, "Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens."

In 2022, however, Yang really stepped up with memorable roles in three major films. Besides "Bros," he acted in another breakthrough gay romantic comedy, "Fire Island," playing Howie, one half of a pair of best friends. Their connection begins splintering as Noah (Joel Kim Booster) has decided to work out intensively and court a different kind of queer experience during their annual pilgrimage to the titular vacation spot. Howie, on the other hand, feels left behind, and Noah's focus on finding Howie someone to hook up with only makes things worse. Yang also has a small but scene-stealing performance in "The Lost City" as a moderator at author Loretta Sage's (Sandra Bullock) book signing.

Amanda Bearse

Aaron's mom, Anne, is a lovely retired school teacher who lovingly accepts her son's sexuality — and her other son Jason's (Jai Rodriguez) pending divorce. However, she has, perhaps, too easily siloed off those facts about them as not being integral to who they are and thus prevented both from fully expressing their feelings to her, each other, or themselves. There is an element of fun to seeing Anne played by Amanda Bearse, who came out as a lesbian in 1993 during arguably the most lucrative era of her career.

Her first breakthrough came in the original "Fright Night" as Amy Peterson, girlfriend to protagonist Jerry (Chris Sarandon). Her biggest and longest-running role followed two years later, playing the Bundy family's neighbor Marcy — first Rhoades and then D'Arcy — in "Married... with Children." She played the part from 1987 to 1997 in nearly 260 episodes of what was one of Fox's first true hits.

After "Married... with Children," Bearse continued to act occasionally but focused far more of her energy behind the lens. Since 1991, she has directed over 120 episodes of television for series that include "Veronica's Closet," "The Jamie Foxx Show," "Dharma & Greg," "MADtv," and, of course, "Married... with Children."

Jai Rodriguez

Aaron's brother Jason is experiencing the dissolution of his marriage just as his brother is committing to his first serious relationship. Unfortunately, neither is especially good at discussing or exploring their feelings, so each struggles to connect with and support the other during this period of transition for both of them.

While Jai Rodriguez began acting in 1993 and experienced early success in theatre, it would take him until 2003 to break through on television. He joined the cast of the reality television show "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," a then-groundbreaking series. It sent a team of queer men into the lives of straight men struggling with fashion, relationships, interior design, and cuisine. Despite most of these activities being stereotypically "unmasculine" endeavors, the guests nonetheless wanted to improve them for their spouses, girlfriends, friends, and family. While all the hosts helped across multiple arenas, Rodriguez was specifically noted as the "Cultural Expert." In the years since "Queer Eye," Rodriguez has made numerous guest and recurring appearances on shows as varied as "Nip/Tuck" and "Bosch: Legacy."

Harvey Fierstein

Harvey Fierstein appears only briefly as Louis, the bed and breakfast manager in Provincetown who makes Aaron and Bobby feel very welcome during their visit. Fierstein's role in LGBTQ+ artistic history, however, looms quite large. He both penned and starred in the original productions of the "Torch Song Trilogy," a groundbreaking set of plays about gay life in the 1970s and '80s. He remains involved in theater, writing the book for musicals like "La Cage aux Folles" (the inspiration for the movie "The Birdcage"), "Newsies," and "Kinky Boots" over the past 40 years, earning eight Tony nominations and four wins.

Given the limited opportunity to see live theater, however, most probably know Fierstein for his television and film appearances and his distinctive deep voice. His breakthrough came in "Mrs. Doubtfire" as Frank, best friend to Robin Williams' struggling father, Daniel. Frank's talent for makeup and prosthetics makes Daniel's Mrs. Doubtfire a working reality.

Soon after, Fierstein would have a memorable turn as David's (Jeff Goldblum) doomed colleague Marty in "Independence Day." He has since done live-action and voice work in everything from "Kull the Conqueror" to "Mulan" in film and "How I Met Your Mother" to "Big Mouth" on television, including putting his iconic voice to work in a supporting voice role across seven episodes of "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance." However, his arguably most prominent role in the 21st century was as Edna Turnblad in NBC's live production of "Hairspray" in 2016. While never getting the kinds of roles on television and in movies he found in theater, he has worked steadily since the mid-1990s and remains an easily recognizable and reliable supporting player.

Debra Messing

Debra Messing, playing herself, has the unfortunate timing to visit the fledgling museum just as Bobby reaches the top of his anxiety spiral about his relationship with Aaron. She's there to invest in the museum as a distraction from an apparently cancellable offense that the film cannily leaves to the viewers' imaginations. The museum, still short on the case needed to open, could absolutely use the check. Messing's name recognition won't hurt, either. But alas, Bobby's too consumed with romance questions to focus on the task at hand and ends up alienating the actor and chasing away her potential donation.

Why Bobby feels so comfortable unloading on her — and why she takes it so badly — is because of the place audiences are most likely to recognize her from, "Will & Grace." Messing played the titular Grace. After meeting Will (Eric McCormack) during their freshman year of college, they become lifelong best friends. The show focuses on the relationship between a straight woman (Grace), a gay man (Will), and the people in their social orbit.

The long-running sitcom debuted in 1998 and ran until 2006 before returning for a reboot from 2017 to 2020 was a breakthrough for depicting gay characters in significant roles on network television. While likely quaint by most people's standards today, it made a tremendous impact at the time (via The Washington Post).