Washington: American comedian-actor Billy Eichner is grateful to social media for launching his career.
‘The Lion King’ actor can thank Twitter DMs for major milestones in his acting career. In an interview with Vanity Fair, the 40-year-old comedian opened up about his previous roles as an actor, during which he also acknowledged the significance of social media, reported Page Six.
“I would not have a career without social media,” Eichner said.
Eichner, who most recently lent his voice for Timon in 2019’s ‘The Lion King’, began his career with appearances in ‘Saturday Night Live’ and ‘What Happens in Vegas’.
However, it wasn’t until his overly passionate persona in American game show ‘Billy on the Street’ took off which led to his career trajectory making a significant change.
“I had been developing, kind of organically, this larger-than-life, irrationally passionate stage persona of this guy who was very intensely into the entertainment industry to an extreme, absurd degree,” he said.
Eichner ultimately conceived the idea to take this manic idea outside and record his interactions with everyday New Yorkers, which he would project onto the screens in theatres of his comedy shows and later post to YouTube.
“Eventually, they went viral,” he said.
After his online presence grew and ‘Billy on the Street’ was picked up as a series in 2011, he was cast in ‘Parks And Recreation’ after series creator Michael Schur DMed him on Twitter.
“I have agents and managers and lawyers, but Twitter ultimately is how the deal went down. Twitter can be a horrible, anxiety-inducing war zone, but in many ways, it’s also helped me,” he said.
He has over 2 million followers on the micro-blogging website and over 300,000 on YouTube.
Eichner even scored a role in ‘The Angry Birds Movie’ thanks to an impassioned plea on an episode of ‘Billy on the Street’.
“The best part was how it came about. I was like, ‘Oh that’s how I get cast? I just have to go on ‘Billy on the Street’ and say what role I want and then I get it?” he said.
On the work front, he will be next seen in the TV series ‘Desus And Mero’ and comedy film ‘Noelle’.