Fire Island star Conrad Ricamora says the upcoming comedy “does a great job” of capturing queer joy.
Directed by Spa Night’s Andrew Ahn and written by comedian Joel Kim Booster, who also stars in the lead role of Noah, the Pride and Prejudice-inspired rom-com follows the character and his queer circle on a week-long vacation to New York’s iconic gay mecca.
Fire Island is destined to earn cult classic status due to its hilarious script and performances, as well as its refreshing rejection of queer trauma. Instead, the film – which is void of heterosexual characters and narratives (amen!) – celebrates and glorifies LGBTQ+ culture.
In the new issue of GAY TIMES, Ricamora stresses the need for more narratives that depict queer people as “human beings” rather than societal outcasts.
“We need movies that focus on our trauma. Then, we need movies show us going to the grocery store, show us hanging out with friends, going to the beach, going on vacation. It’s not just about our minority identity,” says the star.
“This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, we deserve both and we need both because the trauma that people experience in minority groups, whether it’s a racial minority, or a sexual orientation minority, those traumas are real.
“We can’t just completely gloss over and say, ‘Oh everything is completely fine and the world’s great.’ So, we need those movies. But we also need to have fun too. I feel like Fire Island does a great job of showing us having fun.
“Living in the world still, but not making it totally about these deep, heavy topics.”
Ricamora attributes the success of Fire Island to Booster’s sharp script, saying queer people have all “lived a version of every character” in the film, as well as the plethora of queer talent in-front and behind the camera.
“We know what we’re talking about, we know what we’re experiencing in the movie. All of us have experienced this to some degree in our lives,” he explains.
“I also think, from a performer standard point of view, I love that everybody in the movie is queer in one aspect or another because we’ve seen certain movies and TV shows where people that are in the queer community, are played by straight actors.
“As somebody who is in the LGBTQ+ community, it hurts. Because you’re taking a chance when you come out in your career, because people around you may question you, whether you should or not. So it’s great to be around, and to see everybody that’s in this film that is openly queer and representing.”
Ricamora, best known for his role as Oliver Hampton on How to Get Away with Murder, plays Will – the Fire Island equivalent of Mr Darcy and Noah’s love interest.
On how he relates to the character, the actor admits: “He is more reserved than pretty much anyone else within both friend groups. I can certainly relate to that.
“I hang out with a lot of musical theatre people and they’re always the loudest people in the room. But as somebody who’s more shy, more introverted, I like to be around people that are really extroverted.
“Because you can sit back and just enjoy the show, and I think Will to a certain extent likes that, although he does like to escape to the beach and read his book and find a quiet corner to recharge.”
Fire Island also stars Bowen Yang, Margaret Cho, James Scully, Zane Phillips, Torian Miller, Tomás Matos and Nick Adams.
The film premieres 3 June in the UK on Disney Plus.
The new issue of GAY TIMES also features interviews with Big Mouth’s resident lovebug Brandon Kyle Goodman, Hacks star Mark Indelicato and the cast of Prime Video’s The Wilds.