‘Bros’ star and songwriter Billy Eichner and composer Marc Shaiman explain why ‘Love is Not Love’ [WATCH]

“A gay rom-com? I’m the king of rom-coms and I’m gayer than a goose, who else are you going to hire?” remembered composer Marc Shaiman about coming onboard Billy Eichner‘s romantic comedy “Bros,” which opened September 30. Shaiman and Eichner took part in a Q&A following a special screening of their film at New York City’s Whitby Hotel on October 5. Watch their discussion above (includes some spoilers).

“Having him involved in any way is truly beyond my wildest dreams for the movie,” said Eichner about the Tony winner and seven-time Oscar nominee, whose scores have ranged from “Sleepless in Seattle” and “The American President” to “South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut.” And not only did Shaiman contribute the score to “Bros,” he also collaborated with Eichner on writing the original song “Love is Not Love,” whose title is a riff on the gay rights slogan “Love is love.” “On a fundamental, very simplified level, sure, love is love is love. The love that we feel for each other is the same. The emotion is the same,” Eichner explained. “But our lives are not identical. Our relationships do look different, and our sex lives can be different sometimes.”

The idea for the song came late in the process of making the movie and was needed as a “grand gesture” on the part of Eichner’s usually romance-averse character Bobby. “We don’t get many love songs from one man to another, that are explicitly about one man very openly professing love for another man,” so he “kinda just started writing it while we were in the middle of production.” He sent the song to Shaiman, “and he literally came overnight and worked on it with me and started to orchestrate it.” Now it’s in the film and available for listeners on streaming services, “and [Shaiman] did, along with his team, a really remarkable job. It’s beautiful.”

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