Joel Kim’s love interest Booster was originally written for a non-Asian person of color, but the role went to Filipino American actor Conrad Ricamora.
Fire Island is a new gay romantic comedy streaming on Hulu, and it’s truly hilarious, adorable, and heartwarming. Let’s take a look at some of the hidden facts that went into making the film:
Just in case you didn’t know, comedian Joel Kim Booster, who stars in the film, also wrote and produced it.
The film’s cast is made up of LGBTQ actors.
The film is a take on Pride and Prejudice. Booster grew up watching the Pride and Prejudice miniseries and loved the 2005 film. However, the first time he read Jane Austen’s book was when he was vacationing on Fire Island.
While reading the book, Booster noticed many similarities between how classes and cliques work in the novel and how they work on Fire Island.
The project was originally called Travel and was supposed to be a series on Quibi.
In March 2020, Quibi placed a mass order for Travel, and in December 2020, Quibi shut down. Searchlight Pictures was interested in taking over the project if Booster rewrote it as a feature film.
It was not difficult for him to make this change. Booster explained, “Even when I was writing it at Quibi, it was still structured like a movie, just broken up into 10 chapters. I removed those chapter breaks and we sent it out as a full script.”
Originally, Stephen Dunn was set to direct the series on Quibi, but after Searchlight bought the project, Andrew Ahn was named director.
Many of the cast members were good friends before the film. Booster said Bowen Yang and Matt Rogers are two of his closest friends.
Booster said: “I didn’t know Tomás [Matos] when we started filming, but Tomás changed our way of speaking at the end of the six weeks. We all aped their vocal pattern because they’re so funny and specific.”
Yang chose Britney Spears’ “Sometimes” as the song to sing in the karaoke scene.
It was still written in the script that Yang’s character would sing karaoke at this point in the film. Booster said, “I asked Bowen for a list of songs he would be comfortable singing, and ‘Sometimes’ was kind of the top choice. And we were able to get it. »
Matos and Rogers were added to the karaoke performance later and created their choreography without telling anyone. Booster said, “It was a shock and a surprise to everyone when we started shooting it.”
Booster’s love interest was originally written for a non-Asian person of color, but the role went to Filipino American actor Conrad Ricamora.
“In the chemistry reading, Conrad confused Joel, and I loved seeing that,” Ahn said.
Booster had never been in a relationship when he began writing the film. When the film entered production, he met video game producer John-Michael Kelly and began dating him.
Booster then used real conversations he had with Kelly to rewrite some scenes he had with Ricamora.
Margaret Cho joined the cast after a male actor dropped out of the film.
And finally, the actors lived together in a house on Fire Island during filming.
Booster explained, “The week we were able to shoot on Fire Island and stay together in the same house was amazing. It was so silly. A lot of filming in New York or Los Angeles is walking in and then walking out. and go home. But being able to end the day of shooting and say, ‘What kind of pizza are we going to eat? What movie are we going to watch tonight?” It was like summer camp.”
Looking for other ways to get involved? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s posts celebrating Pride 2022.
my fake boyfriend, a new LGBTQ romantic comedy from BuzzFeed Studios starring Keiynan Lonsdale, Dylan Sprouse and Sarah Hyland, is out June 17 in the US, just in time for Pride! Sign up for Prime Video now to be ready to watch.