12 behind-the-scenes facts of Fire Island


12 behind-the-scenes facts of Fire Island

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 genuinely hilarious, adorable, and heartwarming. Let’s take a look at some of the behind-the-scenes facts that went into the making of the film:


Just in case you somehow didn’t know, comedian Joel Kim Booster, who stars in the film, also wrote and produced it.

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The film’s cast consists of LGBTQ actors.

Arturo Holmes/WireImage/Getty Images

Andrew Ahn, the film’s director, told ‘Entertainment Weekly’: “Joel and I felt very compelled to cast queer actors in it. I don’t think you can do that – like there are straight actors who do these roles could play better. I think it underestimates the value of the lived experience that an actor can bring to a role.”


The film is a takeover pride and prejudice. Booster grew up watching the pride and prejudice miniseries and loved the 2005 film. However, the first time he read the Jane Austen book was when he was vacationing on Fire Island.

T Egerton, Whitehall / Searchlight Pictures

In reading the book, Booster noticed many similarities between how classes and cliques work in the novel and how they work on Fire Island.

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Booster told Variety that he chose this novel because “Jane talks about class in all of her books, but it’s so crystallized and the characters are so alive pride and prejudice. And it’s by far her funnest job.”


The project was originally called Trip and should be a series about Quibi.

In March 2020, Quibi placed a series order for Trip, and in December 2020, Quibi was shut down. Searchlight Pictures was interested in picking up the project if Booster rewrote it as a feature film.

It wasn’t difficult for him to make this change. Booster explained, “Even when I was writing it at Quibi, it was always structured like a movie, just divided into 10 chapters. I removed those chapter breaks and we sent it out as a full script.”


Stephen Dunn was originally set to direct the series about Quibi, but after Searchlight bought the project, Andrew Ahn was hired to direct.


Many of the cast members were good friends before the film. Booster said that 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 the way we all spoke at the end of the six weeks. We mimicked all of their vocal patterns because they’re so fun and specific.”


Yang chose Britney Spears’ “Sometimes” as the song to sing in the karaoke scene.

The script always said that Yang’s character would be singing karaoke at that moment in the film. Booster said: “I asked Bowen for a list of songs he’d like to sing and ‘Sometimes’ was kind of the top choice. And we could get it.”


Matos and Rogers were later added to the karaoke performance and created their choreography without telling anyone. Booster said, “It was a shock and surprise to everyone when we started filming.”


Booster’s love interest was originally written for a non-Asian person of color, but the role went to Filipino-American actor Conrad Ricamora.

“When I was reading chemistry, Conrad upset Joel, and I loved watching that,” said Ahn.


Booster was never in a relationship when he started writing the film. When the film went into production, he met video game producer John-Michael Kelly and began dating him.

Booster then used actual conversations he had with Kelly to rewrite some scenes he had with Ricamora.

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Booster said, “It was like doing drag when I first wrote the film about love, and after experiencing it and rewriting it, it felt a lot more real and lived.”


Margaret Cho joined the cast after a male actor dropped out of the film.


Finally, the cast actually lived together in a house on Fire Island during filming.

Booster explained, “The week we were able to shoot on Fire Island and stay in the same house together was amazing. It was so silly. So much of shooting in New York or LA is clocking in and out and going home. But to be able to end the day of shooting and be like, “What kind of pizza are we getting? What movie are we going to see tonight?” It felt like summer camp.”

Looking for more ways to get involved? See all of BuzzFeed’s posts celebrating Pride 2022.

my fake friend, 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.

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Not in the US? my fake friend coming to Prime Video in the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, LatAm and Brazil on June 10th and June 24th in all other territories.

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