‘Fire Island’ Director: “I Could Have Put More Butts In”

Andrew Ahn and Joel Kim-Booster. // Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved

Filmmaker Andrew Ahn is sharing how he fought for nudity in the new and popular film Fire Island.

Ahn, who’d previously made a splash with his film Spa Night, recently talked with Vulture about his experience making the new Hulu movie starring Joel Kim-Booster, Bowen Yang, Conrad Ricamora, and Margaret Cho. In the interview, Andrew Ahn shared that he fought with distributor Searchlight Pictures on several points of the film. This includes not addeing “Levitating” by Dua Lipa to the soundtrack like Searchlight wanted or fighting for the scene with Noah and Will reading on the beach. His most notable fight, however, was including nudity in the movie.

“I was like, ‘I want a d*ck.’,” Ahn recalled. “It’s Fire Island. It’s sex scenes. It’s orgies. Like, you’re going to see d*ck. I understood that erect d*ck was going to push us into NC-17 territory, which would seriously limit who could see the movie. But I remember asking, ‘Can I have two soft penises, one for each orgy?’ And to their credit, our producers were like, ‘How many? Where?’ Then, finally, they came back to me being like, ‘We’ll give you as many butts as you want.’ And I was like, ‘You know what? I’ll take that deal.’ I could have put more butts in it.”

Though if Andrew Ahn really had his way, he would have shot a scene showing someone’s taint.

“I’m dying to put taint on the screen. I just want a good taint,” he told Vulture. “It’s such an underrepresented erogenous zone. Representation matters.”

Joel Kim Booster in the film FIRE ISLAND. Photo by Jeong Park. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved

Joel Kim Booster, who starred in and wrote the film, shared in an interview with the Chicago Tribune his own thoughts on the film’s nudity.

“We didn’t want to shy away from anything,” he remarked. “We didn’t want to shy away from the realities of what it is to be on that island, both the sex stuff but also the racism and classism and body expectations. We wanted it to feel like a real Fire Island experience and we were very upfront with the studio about that. And to Searchlight’s credit, they were very open to letting us go there.”

Andrew Ahn then went on to say how he believes the film will have an longstanding impact and influence with LGBTQ viewers and LGBTQ creators. That’s especially true for gay Asian-Americans.

“The beauty of what [actor Joel Kim Booster] did with this project is that it’s going to inspire other people to tell their versions of this gay Asian American experience,” Ahn noted. “The impact of this film won’t necessarily be seen until many years down the line, but I think it’s going to be there.”


Source: Vulture, Chicago Tribune,

1 thought on “‘Fire Island’ Director: “I Could Have Put More Butts In””

  1. I would have liked to see most of their butts to be honest, as with most gay movies that’s the sexiest part to me.

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