“I’ll know I really made it when they want to release something [of mine] Outside of Pride Month,” Joel Kim Booster joked with ET about the fact that many of his major projects started in June.
In fact, the month began with the famous release of the Hulu movie fire islandin which he wrote and starred, followed by two Netflix standup specials, Joel Kim Booster: Psychosexual And Stand Out: An LGBTQ+ CelebrationBefore ending with the debut of the hilarious Apple TV+ series bootyIn which she plays a devoted assistant to Maya Rudolph’s character, Molly.
Given that June is the month when a lot of LGBTQ-related content is released, Booster has been part of some of the biggest, most notable and historic ones, more or less making her the unofficial face of Pride in 2022. “No one wanted it. But everyone’s getting it,” he jokes. “I feel like I have a lot going on in my life this year. But I feel very, very happy and honored and proud to be a part of all these great projects.”
And he must be, especially as a 34-year-old openly gay Korean man who has gone from being afraid and ashamed that he is growing up (“It takes a lot of work and a lot of energy to live proudly… “) to be a major cornerstone in his career by largely celebrating who he is now. “I fought for it and I’m gonna enjoy it,” says Booster.
When it comes to positive reception at large fire islandA quirky modern adaptation of Jane Austen Pride & Prejudice Written and directed by gay Asian men, Booster never expected to land with audiences. “Before it came out, I was just like, ‘Oh my god, everyone will hate this,'” he admits. “Never in a million years would I have thought this would be a welcome addition to my small film. But it’s been really amazing and hearing back from the queer community has been really rewarding. ,
And when it comes to pushing the needle in terms of LGBTQ storytelling, and being a part of this new era of queer rom-coms, “the reaction to it has been far-fetched, like I’d ever expected.” could.” Glad, says Booster, that “people are actually responding to the weird joy in the movie.”
is the element that also attracted the actor booty, which sees him holding himself in front of Rudolph as Nicholas, a recently divorced who in his multibillion-dollar foundation to push himself out of rock bottom while helping others gets changed. The series also stars Michaela J. Rodriguez as Sofia, a harsh boss who manages Molly’s charity.
“My character and Michaela’s character, we get queer and happy and it’s accidental,” says Booster, explaining that it was something he wanted to accomplish. fire island, “It’s a big part of what made it so much fun to work on the series. I’m able to play a character that doesn’t hurt.”
Not only that, but this part was almost too perfect to pass up. Created by Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard, Nichols is a gay boy from the Midwest who is Asian. And as Molly’s longtime assistant, she’s much more used to living a lavish lifestyle that spends time with her boss on charity or even the filthy rich rather than focusing more on herself. comes with being. “While he didn’t write the part for me,” says Booster, “he definitely had me in mind for it… and I was like, ‘If I don’t get the part we have a real issue.’ Like ‘I should rethink my whole career if I can’t book it.'”
While from a glance, this character might seem like another gay supporting trope — some fire island Co-star Matt Rogers also worked against i love that for you – Booster relied on creators and writers, some of whom are queer, to push it beyond what has been seen or done before. “I’ve been to dozens of gay supporting roles over the course of my career,” says Booster. But when he read it, “Whatever fear I had about playing one in this context, it really calmed down immediately.”
Over the course of the season, development occurs for Nichols, who is quickly embraced by Molly’s cousin Howard (Ron Funches). And it’s because of that friendship, which contrasts so much with Molly from her superficial and competitive, that there’s a real transformation to Booster’s character. “That was really fun to play, and I hope it’s fun to watch,” he says.
Luckily, there’s no shortage of fun moments packed into Season 1, with some of the biggest laughs quickly arriving, like when Molly takes her new team of coworkers on a private jet to Miami in episode two. For her (and Nicolas), it’s just another quick excursion, while for the rest, including Sofia, it’s an impromptu trip that disrupts their day. And despite Molly’s assurances about how wonderful it is to fly private, they all seem to lose it when the jet experiences some sort of turbulence.
Shot inside an actual jet on hydraulics, Booster says the scene was like being at an amusement park ride. “The unrest was very real,” he revealed. “As a comedian, it is always fun to watch that moment where you get to see who people are at their core in times of crisis like this. And so, it was a lot of fun to play. ,
And it’s the kind of scene where Booster soaks up every moment of playing unlike an icon like Rudolph. “She was really creative for me as a comedian. like looking at her SNL It made a lot of sense of humor to me when I was growing up,” he says. “And so, to work with him at this stage — I don’t know, it’s so weird — but it was life-changing. “
“They say don’t meet your heroes, but I’m glad I got a chance to work with not only mine but also him,” he added, sharing scenes with them “really like working next to Sooraj.” It’s crazy.”
But even though Rudolph is the star of the series, Booster still shines — just as he does. fire island And in his standup special. “It’s actually really rewarding to be recognized and felt for the first time,” says Booster. “And, you know, I can’t wait to see what’s next.”
, the first three episodes of booty Debuts Friday, June 24 on Apple TV+.
Reporting by Stacy Lambe and Lauren Zima
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