Today, GLAAD’s Anthony Allen Ramos hosted two interviews with the cast of the new hilarious (and groundbreaking) gay rom-com, “Fire Island.” The film was written by Asian American comedian Joel Kim Booster, who also stars. Featuring an all queer cast lead by Asian American talent including Booster, Bowen Yang, Conrad Ricamora and Margaret Cho, “Fire Island” is a pioneer in the romantic comedy genre.
Booster kicks off the first interview stating his personal definition of queer joy. To him, “queer joy is joy without the weight of expectation from heteronormative society. It’s just actually feeling weightless in your joy as a queer person.” “Fire Island” explores just that.
Booster talks about how much of an impact it would have had on him when he was younger to have seen a film like “Fire Island.” “For me it would have been a little instructive in terms of how to navigate mostly white, gay spaces and feeling a lot more empowered earlier.” He goes on to say “I didn’t have people telling me I’m desirable or worth it. I wanted to tell a story about these two guys who find their own desirability and divorce that from the feelings and eyes of other people. This movie is a culmination of all of those lessons I’ve learned over the past 10 years.”
Booster hopes that “Fire Island” makes queer Asian-American feel represented while also showing the world that queer Asian-Americans are “not a monolith.” “I wanted to show how much variation there is within that subsect of the community.” He explains.
Like so many of his cast mates and the LGBTQ community at large, Margaret Cho was a huge inspiration for Booster growing up. He says that having her be a part of his film was very “full circle.” He reveals “I never even knew it was possible for me to do something like this until Margaret Cho existed in my life.”
Booster reflects on how lucky he was to be able to execute this project with Bowen Yang. “It was a real blessing to be able to do this with my best friend.” His love for his cast is so deep he even teases a “Just Like That” style sequel 20 years from now.
In an interview with the rest of the “Fire Island” team, Bowen Yang shares the same love for his cast as Booster. “It’s so wild that this was just a germ of an idea during our first trips there and now we’ve expanded the scope of our chosen family and it absolutely includes everyone sitting here.”
Conrad Ricamora talks about what it was like growing up in the south without anyone to look to for queer-Asian representation. He says that having a movie like “Fire Island” “would’ve meant the world, I would’ve felt less alone.” He goes on to say that “We say “it gets better” all the time, but I would’ve been able to see that in action.”
Andrew Ahn, the director of the film, jokes that “My career just keeps getting gayer and gayer!” He says that “To celebrate queer friendship and queer joy in this way is so special and meaningful.”
Tomás Matos and Matt Rogers talk excitedly about their soon to be iconic scene featuring their impression of the one and only Marisa Tomei. “She’s seen it!” Rogers reveals. “I’m still waiting for her to follow me on instagram.” Matos says. They joke that Tomei would make the perfect love interest for Margaret Cho in a sequel.
Finally, Torian Miller talks about how being a part of this movie was one of the best experiences of his life. “Filming the movie was the cherry on top. This cast is so supportive and brilliant. There are so many things outside of the filming that I’ll take away from this and cherish for the rest of my life.”
“Fire Island” is available now on Hulu.