Joel Kim Booster has opened up about the pushback he faced when creating Fire Island.

Back in June 2022, LGBTQ+ movie enthusiasts were treated to the queer Pride and Prejudice retelling/rom-com starring Booster, Bowen Yang, Matt Rogers, Tomas Matos and Zane Phillips.

The film, which is currently streaming on Hulu in the US and Disney+ in the UK, follows two best friends – Noah (Booster) and Howie (Yang) – as they embark on their annual weeklong vacation to the titular gay hotspot.

Since its release, Fire Island has been praised for its rejection of harmful queer trauma tropes and for its celebration and glorification of LGBTQ+ culture.

The movie has also been lauded for casting queer actors in queer roles, as well as for having a queer director in Ahn.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Booster opened up about the film and the process of creating an unapologetic and relatable story for LGBTQ+ viewers.

“One thing that was really important to me with Fire Island was that it was a gay movie for gay people,” he explained.

The star went on to say that he wanted the film’s content to be made for queer audiences and not watered down for straight viewers to understand.

“I didn’t want to explain a lot of the jokes. I didn’t want to talk down to the audience. There were moments and things in the movie that certain people weren’t going to get, and the studio had to be OK with that,” he said.

“There were a lot of battles, but I think in the end we really accomplished the group were able to find and see themselves as well.”

Booster added that “people really underestimate” how viewers with different identities are willing to “go into a world they’re unfamiliar with.”

“It’s really doing a disservice to straight people – and you know, I am not the person to say that normally,” he said.

Towards the end of his interview, the Loot star opened up about the future and creating his next project.

“I actually feel less empowered and more nervous about the second movie. I mean, it’s sophomore album syndrome in the back of my mind,” he revealed.

“It’s funny, I went through so many emotions every time I saw a screening of Fire Island. I kept thinking to myself, ‘I’ll never make something this good or this impactful ever again’ and by the end I was like, ‘I cannot watch one more second of this movie ever again.'”

While Booster said he’d be “very proud” if Fire Island ended up being his “peak,” he wants to make sure that people know he’s not “just the guy who makes gay vacation Jane Austen adaptations.”