With a little more than two months to go until the release of “Fire Island,” a rom-com that Joel Kim Booster wrote as a gay adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” prospective fans are asking, “Where’s the trailer?” Although Booster says he’s asking the same question, he hinted at what audiences can expect from the film, trailer notwithstanding.
Speaking to Variety at the premiere of “The Lost City” at the Regency Village Theatre on March 21, where Booster accompanied his friend and “Fire Island” co-star Bowen Yang onto the carpet, Booster said he expects people to see Yang as a “legitimate powerhouse actor” after watching the film.
“I’m really excited for people to see Bowen, specifically, because I think everybody’s used to seeing Bowen do things like [‘The Lost City’] or ‘SNL,’” Booster said. “But Bowen really goes to some difficult places in the movie.”
Directed by Andrew Ahn, the film stars Booster and Yang as two best friends on a weeklong summer vacation on Fire Island, the mecca of gay summer getaways. The two actors have “known each other for a long time,” Booster said, adding that it feels “unreal” to finally be starring in a film together.
“Early in our career, it was sort of just this understood thing that we would never be in the same movie together because we check so many of the same boxes on paper, even though we’re completely different and do different things,” Booster said. “We’re soaking it up, this moment in our lives because who knows if we’ll ever be able to do something like this on this scale again? For us to be able to co-star in a movie together felt like a pipe dream 10 years ago. And now it’s come true.”
Alongside a cast that includes Matt Rogers (Yang’s co-host on their “Las Culturistas” podcast) and Conrad Ricamora (“How to Get Away With Murder”), Yang said he was especially enamored by the presence of co-star Margaret Cho, whom he’s cited as a key inspiration for his career. In addition to demonstrating her acting chops, Yang said she also shared her own stories of visiting the island.
“She had so many wonderful anecdotes about her time on Fire Island,” Yang said. “I was just kind of transfixed by her. It wasn’t that she was necessarily passing down knowledge to me, although she did. But I remember more vividly the moments where I would just stare at her and watch her do her thing and perform and all that stuff. So edifying and such a great experience.”
Booster refused to spoil any other unannounced cast members that will join them in the film, but added that “there are a couple of cameos that are fun.” And while everyone else waits for the trailer and release of the film, Booster joked that he’s already plotting a “Fire Island” franchise that he plans to take around the world.
“I’ll continue to hit every gay destination: Palm Springs, then P-Town,” Booster said. “We’ll do Puerto Vallarta, Mykonos, run the gamut.”
“Fire Island” premieres on Hulu June 3.