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Queerty: Luke Macfarlane talks ‘Bros’ box office & why he turned down ‘Barbie’

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Luke MacfarlaneLuke Macfarlane (Photo: Shutterstock)

Actor and new dad Luke Macfarlane, 43, has chatted with The Hollywood Reporter about his career and upcoming projects.

During the conversation, he revealed he was offered a small role in the upcoming Barbie movie. Regretfully, he felt compelled to turn it down.

Around the same time, director Nick Stoller offered him an ongoing role on the show, Platonic, playing the husband of Rose Byrne. It’s now streaming on Apple TV+.

“I had auditioned for a small part in Barbie and got it. And then I got an email from Nick [Stoller, Bros director] that was like, ‘I think you’d be really great in this part [in Platonic].’ I was like, ‘Great. I have this offer for Barbie, so you gotta let me know.’ We tried to make it work, and I was like, ‘You know what? I really, really wanted to work on this show.’ Careers are funny things — you never really know. When I read about the character on the page, I was like, ‘This is somebody I understand.’”

He added that passing on Barbie was “one of those brutal things.”

“Yeah, the timing couldn’t work out for both. I’m not trying to sound boastful. It was a small, little part, but I’ve never been part of some beautiful, big, cool thing like that. It would have been cool to be able to do both,” he said.


Macfarlane starred opposite Billy Eichner last year in Bros, the first big rom-com from a major studio. The movie performed poorly at the box office, despite positive reviews.

Image Credit: ‘Bros,’ Universal Pictures

Macfarlane said he was still proud of the movie and believed it would stand the test of time.

He said the initial box office takings left him “disappointed.”

“But it’s OK. I really felt super proud about the movie. I can’t think of anything that I felt was a big mistake in making it, so it’s disappointing,” he explained. “Billy is so, so, so talented, so funny, so creative, has such a big heart. So it’s disappointing, but this is a business. And I think people are gonna find it.

“A guy came up to me in the gym the other day and was like, ‘I came home, my 17-year-old son was watching Bros. And I was like, I know that guy’ — and he knew me from the gym. He sat down and watched it. Hopefully, people will discover it that way. There’s a long tradition of films that don’t kill it in the box office but stand the test of time, and I believe Bros will be like that.”

Macfarlane said he was due to star in another Hallmark Chrismas movie. He joked that he was happy to continue his reign as the king of genre at the channel.

Last month, Macfarlane announced that he and his partner, Hig Roberts, had become parents for the first time. Their daughter, Tess Eleanor Macfarlane, was born June 4th, via a surrogate.


‘Bros’ director addresses film’s disappointing box office: “People don’t know what’s good for them”

“I think the industry has trained people to not go to the theaters for comedy.” – ‘Bros’ director Nicholas Stoller

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