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“I would rather never make a [piece of] ‘content’ ever again in my life,” says Jordan Firstman. “I’m so over it.”

After skyrocketing to homosexual glory in the pandemic with his short Instagram skits, the comedian has since ‘returned to his roots’ as an actor in two projects that are extremely similar in genre and premise: Ms Marvel (an MCU show) and Rotting in the Sun (the film with “30 d**ks” and unsimulated oral sex). The latter satire thriller sees Jordan take on his first feature-length lead role as himself, albeit a more narcissistic and unhinged version with a self-awareness issue.

“It’s important to me that people know I don’t take myself that seriously,” Jordan tells me from the confines of an extravagant hidden room behind a bookshelf (it’s giving Clue). “It was hard doing it on set because I’m like, ‘How far do I actually go?’ and I am telling people something about myself, even if it’s fictionalised. So, how far do I take it but also honour the story? But also, not completely fuck up my image completely?”

Rotting in the Sun stars director Sebastián Silva as a loose version of himself, a ketamine-addicted filmmaker who meets Jordan at a nudist beach and reluctantly agrees to collaborate with him on a project – “like Curb Your Enthusiasm, but positive”. With biting commentary on influencer culture, suicide and class inequality, the film is much more than it’s well-publicised d**k sequence. For Jordan, it also repositions him as an actor who isn’t afraid to take risks. “Doing something like this feels so genuinely fulfilling,” he continues, “which is why it’s a big deal for me.”

Read ahead for our interview with Jordan Firstman, where he discusses how Sebastián Silva “came” for his character in Rotting in the Sun, why being a viral sensation no longer fulfils him and his plans to retire after giving a BJ in a Marvel film.

So, I watched Rotting in the Sun this morning…

You’re not supposed to watch it in the morning. It’s not a morning film.

It’s not Heartstopper or Red, White & Royal Blue, is it?

It’s not Heartstopper. I haven’t seen any of it. But, it’s really funny that we’re in this era where there’s a lot of successful gay stuff, but they’re all… that.

You’ve spoken a lot about dick on this promo tour, for obvious reasons. Are you tired of it? Or is it a dream come true?

A little! I mean, yeah. I’m a little tired of it, for sure.

Are you even gay?

Apparently. It depends on what you consider gay. Do I like sucking dick? Absolutely. So, yes.

I like the part in the film where you shake hands with a dick.

That was improvised. He didn’t know it was coming.

How much of this Jordan Firstman is you, really?

I think there’s a lot of me in there, but it’s also not how I act, at all. There’s a notch that I can click to go into this elevated version of myself. I had a persona already, but it wasn’t the same. So, I’m used to having to click on a different persona. I found it, not immediately, but once I found it, it was easy to know where to heighten parts of myself. But, then there’s certain feelings and insecurities I have that are definitely in the film.

His lack of self-awareness is… terrifying.

I think in his personal life, he lacks self-awareness. That is probably the biggest divergence between me and him. Maybe I do lack it sometimes, but I think I’m pretty aware to a fault. He has a very overt narcissism and opportunism that I think I’m a bit more clever about.

If you think you’re self-aware, does that mean… you’re not?

They say that. Like if you’re crazy you’ll say, ‘I’m not crazy.’ And a not crazy person will say, ‘I’m crazy.’ There could be some alignment there. So, probably not. I mean, Sebastian pointed out a lot of things about myself that I didn’t realise were on the surface. Either he’s super observant and intuitive, which he is… I think I let on a lot more than I believe sometimes.

How did you react when he first presented this version of you?

I didn’t really understand how hard he was coming for me until I saw the movie. I don’t know if you’ve ever read a script, but it’s not the easiest thing to read. I wasn’t seeing a lot of the undertones of what was being said about me, but it was definitely to my benefit that I didn’t because I think it would’ve made for a more self-aware performance.

This version of you gives me Roger from American Dad, at times.

Roger the alien? Oh yeah, I like him. I’ll take that. Way more fun than Sebastian. Gays, specifically, watch [Rotting in the Sun] in two completely opposite ways. Some gays feel so represented by Sebastian because they’re depressive and then there’s the ones who are more triggered by my… No one loves my character. Straight people are kind of charmed by my character, but you wouldn’t wanna know him at all. I actually think Sebastian is more narcissistic than my character.

I won’t stop thinking about this film for a while, will I?

It’s what I like about the film, though. You do keep thinking about it and you get more out of it as time goes on, which I think is a marker of something good. Even after screenings, it’s really fun to watch people try to process it. It takes a bit to be like, ‘What do I even feel about what it’s talking about, and our place in it?’ Gays watch it differently than people from Mexico City. The rich white Mexicans, which are probably most of the Mexicans that are going to see this movie, feel very called out by it. And gays feel called out by it in a different way.

You’re always making fun of various pop culture-related happenings, so how did it feel to make fun of yourself?

It felt good. You’re not supposed to say this, but I actually did feel “brave”. Even doing it, I was like, ‘I know I’m being brave right now.’ Making fun of myself made me feel confident, in a way. Also, it needed to be said! There’s certain parts of my persona that never were serious, but people might have thought I took those parts of myself seriously. It’s important to me that people know I don’t take myself that seriously. It was sometimes hard doing it on set because I’m like, ‘How far do I actually go?’ and I am telling people something about myself, even if it’s fictionalised. So, how far do I take it but also honour the story? But also, not completely fuck up my image completely?

Are you worried people will think this is the real Jordan Firstman?

Yeah, definitely. Some people after screenings were like, ‘You were just playing yourself.’ I’m also saying lines and delivering them and using my ten years of comedic training to make you laugh. You’re sitting in a theatre where people are laughing; that takes skill. A lot of diligence went into the craft of timing and knowing when to take it down. Also, when it becomes more serious with my scenes with Catalina [Saavedra], I think people are underestimating the craft of it because it is me. It’s there, whether they like it or not.

Is the film attacking any kind of influencer in particular?

No. We didn’t approach it that generally. Everything was super specific and so I just felt like I was… Again, I was in these situations, playing this character, and then Sebastian ended up representing something so specific and Catalina ended up representing something so specific, and me too. It ended up working out but any comment we’re making about the type of thing I am, on my side it’s not super intentional. Sebastian knew he wanted to skewer influencer culture. He saw my Instagram and was like, ‘This is bullshit.’ He thought I was funny. He was like, ‘Some of this is funny, some of it’s not.’ He called me like, ‘Dude, I just watched your Instagram. Are you not embarrassed to post a lot of that? It’s so embarrassing.’

You’ve recently started making a transition into TV and film as an actor…

Far before the internet, I got my first TV writing job at 23 with Search Party. I then wrote on Big Mouth and The Other Two. I did that for most of my twenties. I was also making short films. And then the internet thing happened out of nowhere. Now, this is my first lead in a feature but it feels like I’m coming back to my roots after diverging.

Is your online self taking a backseat?

Retiring, I would hope so. I would rather never make a ‘content’ ever again in my life. I’m so over it. It brings me zero pleasure, even if it goes ‘viral’. There’s no serotonin anymore. But doing something like this feels so genuinely fulfilling, which is why it’s a big deal for me. Even beyond the career aspect, the actual process was so fulfilling, it’s what I seek to do.

How many dicks will your next project have?

We’ll see. I think the next one can’t have any.

Ms Marvel didn’t…

I will have ‘won’ my career if I can suck dick in Marvel. That’s when I can retire.

Have you got a superhero in mind?

Mark Ruffalo. If I can suck the Hulk’s dick…

As the Hulk?

As the Hulk. I will retire the next day and no one will ever have to hear my annoying voice ever again.

Rotting in the Sun is now streaming globally on MUBI.