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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > December 2018 > Lion heart

Lion heart

Comedian, actor and political activist Billy Eichner is a man to be reckoned with and, true to his New York City roots, he isn’t afraid to get up in your face

Billy Eichner

When Attitude meets Billy Eichner for his photoshoot in LA, it’s his 40th birthday and the morning after this year’s Emmy Awards — a combination that perhaps accounts for him not quite being the loud and larger-than-life character we’re more used to seeing on his sketch-come-gameshow, Billy on the Street. Part of his act since his live show in the early to mid-noughties, BoTS sees the US comic frantically running around the streets of New York — his home town — with mega A-listers in tow, asking unsuspecting members of the public questions such as: “Do gay people care about John Oliver?” or “Who is most famous on Sean Hayes’ phone?” and “For a dollar, would you have sex with Paul Rudd?”

The show’s success — clips online rack up millions of views each — has been instrumental in his rise from the city’s “alt-comedy” scene to being one of America’s few mainstream openly gay comedians.

Having majored in acting at university, Billy’s success in the comedy world has also allowed him to combine the two. His role as the highly strung Craig Middlebrooks gave the final two seasons of sitcom Parks and Recreation some of its funniest moments, and he had a lead role in Julie Klausner’s Hulu series Difficult People. Last year, he explored the darker side and joined Ryan Murphy’s ever-growing battalion of actors for American Horror Story: Cult, and appears in the show’s current season, Apocalypse. Next year, he tackles perhaps his biggest role yet, as half of one of film’s greatest comedy double-acts: Timon in Jon Favreau’s The Lion King remake, alongside Seth Rogen as Pumbaa.

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Double cover special! Will & Grace star Sean Hayes, plus the world’s biggest girl band Little Mix. Also in this issue: Milan Christopher, Billy Eichner, and more.