The Fire Island cast and crew on the gay rom-com’s significance

Fire Island on Hulu, image courtesy Searchlight Pictures
Fire Island on Hulu, image courtesy Searchlight Pictures /

One of the early contenders for best rom-com of 2022 arrived on Hulu on Friday, June 3 and it’s called Fire Island. We had the chance to sit down with a couple of the film stars to talk about their roles in the movie.

Fire Island follows a group of queer best friends who head for their annual vacation at Fire Island Pines, but a series of events happen that puts not just the vacation but their friendships at risk. The film stars Joel Kim Booster, Conrad Ricamora, and Bowen Yang and was directed by Andrew Ahn.

"Excerpt from my review: Joel Kim Booster, who wrote the film (also stars), delightfully lays out this funny, charming rom-com that has so much heart in it. I criticize many movies because they either force the comedy or force the drama but never are good enough to put the two together. What impressed me the most about the script was Booster’s ability to brilliantly blend the drama and comedy."

Hidden Remote sat down with director Andrew Ahn as well as stars James Scully and Matt Rogers to talk about the film. Check out the video version of the interview here and here.

Fire Island stars talk about their roles in the Hulu romcom

Hidden Remote: What attracted you to the role of Charlie? 

James Scully: Because a big part of the story was exploring the racial tension between white cisgender gay men of privilege, and basically like everyone else in the queer community, I was like, this is a space that I can take up. This is like a character that I can inhabit where like my privilege and my body as a white person is being leveraged to tell a more important story, uh, for other people, right? The story is Bowen and Joel’s story, but to be able to like, be a tool to like help tell that story was really attractive to me. I was also like, wow, like a gay, a gay rom-com. Um, they’re not chugging out dozens of those at a time. I have to seize this opportunity while I have it.

HR: What was your initial reaction when you found out Joel Kim Booster was writing this part with you in mind?

Matt Rogers: I was flattered. Everyone knows him as a funny and hilarious stand-up comedian. But I don’t think everyone is familiar with the fact he is a very thoughtful writer. He really cares about these gay havens and gay spaces. Because I think they have been a safe spot for him and a fun spot for him. I knew if he was going to dive into this world, it would be great. I was touched and thankful he thought of me for this role. I began to see myself in it, good and bad. I tried to feel as much color as I could.

HR: What do you hope audiences take away from watching Fire Island?

Andrew Ahn: I hope they smile, and I hope that it reminds them of a time in their lives when they got to celebrate their lives with their friends. I think many people take for granted their friendships. I think part of self-care is community care because they can help you and you can help them. I am the worst when I am stuck in my head, so having a group of friends that can remind you that you are beautiful and special just the way you are is an important part of how we can be happy and healthy.

Fire Island is available to stream now on Hulu.

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