Billy Eichner Opens Up About Playing Legendary Queer Icon Paul Lynde in the ‘Man in the Box’

Billy Eichner opened up in an interview about his intention to portray legendary Paul Lynde in the biopic he is developing entitled Man in the Box with producer Tom McNulty.

In the interview with Deadline Eichner explains why Lynde was a character and person he was drawn to enough to explore in this way, saying, “There’s some overlap, between Paul and I, in that we both had our breakthrough in the industry, as performers, presenting a rather larger-than-life, flamboyant, gay persona on screen. Even though I was always very out, Paul was never technically out. But he was as out as you could be, at that time, in that he was clearly leaning into a flamboyant persona. Unlike Rock Hudson, and Tab Hunter, and Cary Grant, and all these other actors, he wasn’t pretending to be straight. You didn’t see him getting set up on dates with women, or having phony relationships with women, to try to present to the world as a straight man. I think that was very admirable, for the time, and also, if you look at those jokes on Hollywood Squares, he comes as close to admitting he’s gay as you possibly can. He’s making thinly veiled, at best, references to gay sex, to finding men attractive, to swinging both ways. It’s not even subtle, and rather bold for the time. That wasn’t some underground, indie film being shot in New York; it was as mainstream as you can get. Hollywood Squares was a huge hit, always in the top 10 or  20 shows, for over a decade. It made him a very famous, wealthy person.”

Read the full interview here.