Joel Kim Booster’s love interest 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 rom-com streaming on Hulu, and it’s truly hilarious, adorable, and heartwarming. Let’s take a look at some of the behind-the-scenes facts that went into making the movie:
Just in case you somehow didn’t know, comedian Joel Kim Booster, who plays the lead 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 movie. However, the first time he read the Jane Austen book was when he vacationed on Fire Island.
While reading the book, Booster noticed many similarities between how class and cliques work in the novel and how they work on Fire Island.
The project was originally titled trip and was supposed to be a series on Quibi.
In March 2020, Quibi put in a series order for trip, and in December 2020, Quibi shut down. Searchlight Pictures was interested in picking up the project if Booster rewrote it as a feature film.
It wasn’t hard for him to make that change. Booster explained, “Even when I was writing it at Quibi, it was always structured like a movie, just broken up into 10 chapters. I removed those chapter breaks, and we sent it out as a full screenplay.”
Originally, Stephen Dunn was set to direct the series on Quibi, but after Searchlight purchased the project, Andrew Ahn was brought on as the director.
Many of the cast members were good friends before the movie. Booster said that Bowen Yang and Matt Rogers are two of his closest friends.
Booster said, “I didn’t know Tomas [Matos] when we started filming, but Tomás changed the way we all spoke by the end of the six weeks. We were all aping their vocal pattern because they are so funny and specific.”
Yang chose “Sometimes” by Britney Spears as the song to sing in the karaoke scene.
It was always written in the script that Yang’s character would sing karaoke at that moment in the film. Booster said, “I asked Bowen for a list of songs he’d be comfortable singing, and ‘Sometimes’ was sort of the top choice. And we were able to get it.”
Matos and Rogers were added to the karaoke performance later on and created their choreography without telling anyone. Booster said, “It was a shock and surprise to everybody 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 read, Conrad flustered Joel, and I loved seeing that,” Ahn said.
Booster had never been in a relationship when he started writing the movie. When the movie went into production, he met video game producer John-Michael Kelly and started dating him.
Booster then used real conversations he had with Kelly to rewrite some scenes that he had with Ricamora.
Margaret Cho joined the cast after a male actor dropped out of the film.
And lastly, the cast actually lived together in a Fire Island house during filming.
Booster explained, “The week we got to shoot on Fire Island and stay in the same house together was unbelievable. It was so silly. So much of shooting in New York or LA is punching in and then punching out and going home. But being able to end the shoot day and say, ‘What kind of pizza are we getting? It felt like summer camp.”
Looking for more ways to get involved? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s posts celebrating Pride 2022.
My Fake Boyfriend, a new LGBTQ rom-com 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 so you’re ready to watch.