Luke Macfarlane Spills The Tea About His Experience On LGBTQ RomCom Bros

Just how many Hallmark movies has Luke Macfarlane starred in? His first was in 2014, per IMDb, and since then, he's starred in 13 with number 14, "A Magical Christmas Village," premiering November 4. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Macfarlane shared one of his favorite parts of playing a Hallmark leading man. "[I]t's really fun to flirt," he shared. "It's fun to play that energy on camera, where relationships are at their best in those early times. I guess Hallmark has given me a lot of flirting lessons."

Those lessons have certainly paid off, though Macfarlane had already trained at Juilliard before transitioning to on-screen roles, per the outlet. The Hallmark Channel has also played a pivotal role in the actor's career trajectory. "I came out in 2008 and I think that freaked out a lot of people that might offer me jobs," he told Variety. "Hallmark gave me jobs for a long time. And not only just the gay best friend — they let me be a leading man. I'm always going to be very grateful to them for that."

Macfarlane has since starred in Netflix's 2021 Christmas movie "Single All The Way," as "Ugly Betty" alum Michael Urie's potential love interest. And the actor made his box office debut opposite Billy Eichner in "Bros," a romantic comedy that's the first to star an entirely queer principal cast, per the Los Angeles Times. 

During the film's press tour, Macfarlane shared details of his experience filming "Bros," reflecting on the rom-com's impact on LGBTQ representation in Hollywood.

The all-LGBTQ cast made a major difference on set

The movie "Bros" presented Luke Macfarlane with an exciting career opportunity. "I can't actually remember another time that I had an audition for a studio film," the actor told the Los Angeles Times. He joked, "I don't think studio executives are saying, 'Get me the gay guy from 'Brothers and Sisters' who does all those Hallmark films.'" 

Despite the added pressure, the actor felt an instant connection to his character. "I identified with Aaron. So many of his hang-ups were things that I understood and saw in my life and in my friends: how we hide parts of ourselves in order to appear a certain way to the world."

In an interview with IndieWire, the actor also described the difference the movie's LGBTQ lens made for his experience. "[A] feature studio film, I didn't know if that was ever going to come around for me. So the fact that they did make it for LGBTQ people was my foot in the door."

Having an all-LGBTQ cast also made a tremendous difference in the tone on set, Macfarlane told the LA Times. "I've been on a lot of sets, and the thing that was so unique about this set — aside from the fact that we had a little bit more in common with each other — was that there was no apathy." He added, "It was a bunch of people going, 'Wow, we're here and we're so grateful. We're going to work really hard because you gave us a shot.'"

The actor was intimidated when he first stepped on set

Initially, Luke Macfarlane was unsure of how to approach his "Bros" co-star Billy Eichner. "Billy is intimidating," he told the Los Angeles Times. "He's very intelligent and has famously made a career out of yelling truths at people and freaking them out." Eichner's comedic style also contributed to the actor's nerves, as well as having the actor's co-writer Nick Stoller and famed producer Judd Apatow on set.

Luckily, Macfarlane had already won Stoller over in his original audition. "It's totally crazy that he's not really famous," Stoller said of the Juilliard alum. "He's so good-looking but he's also a really good actor and he's very funny. And for someone who's so good-looking, he's weirdly relatable."

One highlight of filming the movie was "Saturday Night Live" cast member Bowen Yang's appearance, Macfarlane told Vulture. He had even listened to Yang's podcast "Las Culturistas" to get into character, since Eichner's character, Bobby, was meant to host a similar podcast. "Bowen was great," Macfarlane shared. "I think he's one of the funniest guys out there. It was so fun that our movie literally goes from Harvey Fierstein to Bowen Yang, bookmarks of queer representation in culture."

His character experiences growth throughout the film

When describing the "Bros" shoot to Vulture, Luke Macfarlane revealed, "The beginning of the movie was the hardest part to film." He explained that this was because his character was supposed to read as "boring" at first glance. "Boring people tend to not talk a lot," he told the outlet. "There were definitely conversations where I said, 'I think I should say less.' I asked to have lines removed, which most actors do not do."

There was another acting challenge he encountered when inhabiting his character Aaron. "Something that happens at the beginning of the movie, too, is that he drops his voice a lot," he shared. "Rewatching the movie, I was like, 'Oh my God, my voice is so low.' He's trying so hard to be this regular, masc, kind of boring guy."

The actor told IndieWire what he ultimately hopes audiences see in his character. "I hope that Aaron is taken with as much sensitivity as he deserves because I think he weirdly has the most to learn in this movie." He added, "I think he has the least experience in the community and he, like maybe some of our audience members will, [learns] that you don't actually need to be so afraid of it."