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Bros’ Luke Macfarlane told ‘Superman can’t be gay’ and denied roles after coming out

The Brother and Sisters actor takes on a lead role in Billy Eichner's R-rated gay rom-com.

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Universal

One of the stars of the upcoming gay rom-com Bros, Luke Macfarlane, has said he was told by an agent that “Superman can’t be gay” and that he missed out on roles after he came out.

Luke, 42, is set to appear as Aaron in Billy Eichner’s film which is the first gay rom-com from a major Hollywood studio (Universal).

Before taking on the role Luke had won praise for his role as Scotty, one half of a gay couple in Brothers and Sisters, before taking on more than a dozen Hallmark movie roles, as well as Netflix’s Single All the Way.

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In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, the Canadian actor spoke of the impact that his 2008 coming out as gay had on his career. At the time he told The Globe and Mail: “I don’t know what will happen professionally … that is the fear, but I guess I can’t really be concerned about what will happen because it’s my truth.”

“I can literally remember an agent once saying to me, ‘Superman can’t be gay’—like just straight out,” he tells Vanity Fair.

He also admits to being frustrated “seeing other actors and straight guys my age—and I never want to make it about that, but—thinking, Why are they getting [the parts]? Why am I not getting them?”

He adds, “The post–Brothers & Sisters moment was scary, for sure. I was like, ‘Dude, I’m the perfect age for this stuff.’ And it wasn’t clicking, for whatever reason.”

After making a name for himself in the Hallmark movie scene he wonders to VF “if Hallmark even knew I was gay when they first started to put me in the movies,” and revealing he found the movies where he played straight characters “delightful”. 

He also shares that the bosses behind Bros and at Hallmark weren’t happy with him taking the role of James in the Michael Urie-led gay rom-com, Single All the Way, which allowed him to play an openly gay man.

“I had to say yes because there is a part of me that goes, ‘I’ve done a lot of these Hallmark movies where I play a straight man. I’d like to tip the hat to something,’” he says.

On the subject of who should play certain roles, be they queer or straight, he tells Vanity Fair, “I have not arrived on an opinion. On one level, I’m here because of the commitment by the studio and Billy and Nick and [producer] Judd [Apatow] to cast me, but also, I don’t like telling anybody that they’re not allowed to play something.

“I’m so excited to see Leonard Bernstein played by Bradley Cooper. I can’t think of another person I’d like to see do that.”

Bros will see Luke’s Aaron meet Eichner’s Bobby and the two figure out their compatibility with one another. 

It also stars Drag Race‘s Symone, Saturday Night Live‘s Bowen Yang, T.S. Madison Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein and more.

Check out the trailer below:

Bros is set for release on 28 October in the UK. 

The Attitude September/October issue is out now.