Hulu’s Fire Island, a modern day rom-com showcasing a diverse, multicultural examination of queerness and romance, is being hailed by critics and audiences alike.
Written by Joel Kim Booster and set in the iconic Pines, the film was inspired by the timeless pursuits from Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice and tells the story of best friends Noah (Booster) and Howie (Bowen Yang) who set out to have a legendary summer adventure with the help of cheap rosé and their cadre of eclectic friends.
According to Booster, the idea for the film came to him while he and Yang were visiting the island for the very first time.
“We were a little apprehensive to go because we knew what the island’s reputation was and who it was supposedly, quote unquote, ‘for,’” he says. “But we had a great opportunity to go, so we took it, and I brought Pride and Prejudice for my beach read. As I was reading the book, I was really struck with how relevant everything she was writing about in regards to class seemed to be. I kept putting it down and saying, ‘Wow, she really understands the ways in which people communicate across class lines.’
“Looking around Fire Island, the divisions that we’ve created for ourselves were so clear,” he continues. “The artificial classes that we’ve created in our community. It’s so stark on Fire Island because when there’s no one around to oppress us, we turn inward and start oppressing each other in various ways. So, the idea started a little bit as a joke, but the story slowly crystallized the more Bowen and I went and the closer we got. It was born out of equal parts Austen and my friendship with Bowen.”
The project was originally set to be a miniseries on the short-form streaming platform Quibi, but after its unfortunate demise, Searchlight Pictures was quick to jump at the opportunity and turned Fire Island into a full-length screenplay for Hulu.
In addition to Yang, Instinct Magazine‘s Denny Patterson had the opportunity to chat exclusively with the film’s director Andrew Ahn, as well as fellow cast members Matt Rogers, Conrad Ricamora, Bowen Yang, James Scully, Zane Phillips, Torian Miller, Tomás Matos, and Nick Adams.
Watch the full interview below…