Fire Island (2022) Production Notes


Director: Andrew Ahn
Writer(s): Joel Kim Booster
Producer(s): John Hodges, Tony Hernandez, Brooke Posch
Main Cast: Joel Kim Booster, Bowen Yang, Conrad Ricamora, James Scully, Matt Rogers, Tomás Matos, Torian Miller, Nick Adams, Zane Phillips, Margaret Cho
Release Date: 2022-06-03
Runtime: 105 mins. / 1 h 45 m
Release Status: Complete

Set in the iconic Pines, Andrew Ahn's Fire Island is an unapologetic, modern day rom-com showcasing a diverse, multicultural examination of queerness and romance. Inspired by the timeless pursuits from Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice, the story centers around two best friends (Joel Kim Booster and Bowen Yang) who set out to have a legendary summer adventure with the help of cheap rosé and their cadre of eclectic friends.


Rising comedy star and screenwriter Joel Kim Booster (The Other Two, Big Mouth) and Emmy® Award-nominated Saturday Night Live favorite Bowen Yang partner for a wildly original romantic comedy—FIRE ISLAND. Set in the gay vacation destination off of Long Island, New York, the film is an unapologetic, modern day romantic comedy showcasing a diverse, multicultural examination of queerness and romance. Inspired by the timeless pursuits from Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice, the story centers around two best friends (Joel Kim Booster and Bowen Yang) who set out to have a legendary summer adventure with the help of cheap rosé and their cadre of eclectic friends.

Searchlight Pictures presents FIRE ISLAND, directed by Andrew Ahn, written by Joel Kim Booster. The film stars Joel Kim Booster, Bowen Yang, Conrad Ricamora, James Scully, Matt Rogers, Tomás Matos, Torian Miller, Nick Adams, Zane Phillips, Michael Graceffa, Aidan Wharton, Peter Smith, Bradley Gibson and Margaret Cho. The creative team includes producers John Hodges, Tony Hernandez, Brooke Posch, director of photography Felipe Vara de Rey, production designer Katie Hickman, costume designer David Tabbert, and film editor Brian A. Kates.

Noah (Joel Kim Booster) is happily, defiantly single. Cash might be hard to come by, and sure, his New York apartment might be cramped and disorganized, but Noah delights in his freewheeling independent lifestyle. Every summer, he and his boys, including best friend Howie (Bowen Yang), and their friends Luke (Matt Rogers), Keegan (Tomás Matos) and Max (Torian Miller), head to FIRE ISLAND for a week of non-stop partying and hooking up with hot guys. After arriving at the house on Tuna Walk owned by their friend Erin (Margaret Cho) where the group has always stayed, they’re greeted with unsettling news: Erin has run into financial trouble and will soon be forced to sell the vacation house they considered a second home.

“Fire Island is such a specific place,” says director by Andrew Ahn. “When I got there for the first time, I just was like a sponge trying to soak it all in and I was struck by how much of a queer enclave it is.”

Determined to make what might be their last summer together in Fire Island especially memorable, Noah resolves to help lovelorn Howie find the man, or men, of his dreams. To prove just how serious he takes his mission, Noah promises Howie that he will remain abstinent until he succeeds (yeah, right). The week gets off to a promising start after Howie meets charming doctor Charlie (James Scully), and the two quickly hit it off. But the members of Charlie’s wealthy, accomplished social circle vacationing at their house on Ocean Walk seem to look down on Noah, Howie and their crew. The devastatingly handsome Will (Conrad Ricamora) seems especially disapproving and condescending; yet for some infuriating reason, Noah can’t seem to stop thinking about him.

Amid a classic Fire Island week fuelled by underwear parties, dance challenges, karaoke performances, and general debauchery, the gang bickers and banters over potential romantic entanglements. Howie longs for a monogamous partnership like something out of a fairy tale, or at least a 1980s John Cusack movie and Noah can’t imagine ever devoting his life to only one person. As the days roll by, they both find themselves in surprising circumstances and unexpected emotions that just might shape the course of the rest of their lives. Producer Brooke Posch adds, “It’s about identity and being comfortable in your skin. I think the family part is definitely just having people around you who support who you truly are. Good and bad.” Producer John Hodges says, “The structure of the story and the narrative that Joel created is very finite. There is just such beautiful arcs between everything, including the exploration of family, and chosen family.”

Directed by Andrew Ahn (Spa Night, Driveways) from a script by Joel Kim Booster (Sunnyside), Searchlight Pictures presents FIRE ISLAND, premiering on Hulu June 3, 2022.

ABOUT THE FILM

Every summer, gay men, women and people representing all facets of the LGBTQIA+ community flock to the shores of Fire Island to relax, soak in the sun, party with chosen family, and perhaps even fall in love. Stretching for 32 miles off the coast of Long Island, the island has served for decades as an invaluable place of refuge, offering vacationers a chance to build camaraderie away from the pressures of conforming to outside societal expectations.

“Fire Island is my favorite place to be,” says writer, actor and stand-up comic Joel Kim Booster. “When I was still struggling to be a success working a day job that I hated and was miserable every day, oppressed by just how straight the rest of the world is, you could go there and you would explode because you could feel so free. You can carve out your own space and find the people that you vibe with.”

The Fire Island Pines is a hamlet in the Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County that has been referred to as America's first gay and lesbian town. With the most expensive real estate on Fire Island, the Pines has approximately 600 houses and a 100-unit condominium complex on its square mile of location and is only accessible by water. There are no private vehicles in this part of the Island, no paved roads, and the cottages and beach are only accessible using a series of wooden boardwalks.

Now, the locale serves as the colorful setting for a one-of-a-kind retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice, adapted by and starring Booster. FIRE ISLAND sees single and carefree Noah embark on his annual trip to the island with his closest friends, but this time, he’s determined to orchestrate the perfect hookup for his lovelorn best friend Howie (Saturday Night Live star Bowen Yang). Howie quickly meets an ideal guy, Charlie (James Scully), someone with real relationship potential—the only problem is his insufferably aloof best friend, Will (Conrad Ricamora), to whom Noah takes an immediate dislike.

The idea of transporting Austen’s beloved Regency-era romance to modern-day Fire Island first occurred to Booster on his inaugural visit with a group of friends about 10 years ago. He had brought along a copy of the 19th century novel, and as he revisited the tale of the turbulent courtship between the fiercely independent Elizabeth Bennet, the second of five sisters of modest means, and aristocratic landowner Fitzwilliam Darcy, he was struck by the surprising ways in which the book’s canny observations about class and society applied to his own surroundings.

“There is this other side of the island that is scary and alienating in a way—it is oppressively white and inherently classist,” says Booster, who is of Korean descent. “Once you’re here, it can feel very alienating if you’re a person of color or you’re of a different body type. It’s funny to see how when gay men are together and we are the majority, how we discriminate and divide ourselves even further. I was like, I want to write a story about this.”

Seeing the concept of found family expressed so beautifully within the context of a raunchy wild comedy replete with illicit drugs, partying and sex also captured the imagination of Korean-American filmmaker Andrew Ahn. Ahn’s feature film debut, Spa Night, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, centered on the experiences of the son of a working-class family of Korean immigrants who finds himself slowly coming to terms with his sexuality. The gossamer drama earned critical praise, as did his moving follow-up, Driveways, about the innocent friendship that develops between a shy boy whose aunt has just passed away and the Korean War veteran who lives next door.

Neither project could be considered comedic, yet Ahn immediately sparked to Booster’s cleverly crafted script from the moment he read it. “I laughed out loud so many times,” Ahn says of reading the FIRE ISLAND screenplay for the first time. “What I loved about the script was how funny it was, but at the same time how much heart it had. It was a real Trojan Horse for emotion and interesting themes about gay social class. It felt like it had a little bit of everything wrapped up in a delicious package, and really felt like something I wanted to be a part of.”

For Booster, Ahn was uniquely positioned to direct the film as he had lived some of the same kinds of experiences the comedian had tried to capture on the page. “There aren’t a lot of gay Asian people in this industry,” Booster says. “It was really important to me to work with someone who understood the core of this movie and the experience of Howie and Noah, and Andrew was that. He had such a beautiful vision for the movie—he knew the story, loved the story and wanted to tell it in a way that complemented my skill set. I don’t know if I’ve ever worked with someone that I’ve trusted more creatively.”

When writing the script, Booster poured many of his own experience into the story, basing the close relationship between Noah and Howie on his real-life friendship with Yang, who accompanies Booster to Fire Island every year. The pair met after Booster moved from the Midwest to New York and formed an immediate bond.

“Bowen was the first close gay friend that I had who was also Asian,” Booster says. “There's so much that we have both experienced that is similar. Finding that person finally and feeling seen for the first time by someone like that is so powerful and important. There's so much that we can talk about and relate over and so much that goes unsaid that can be shared. We look at each other and it's like, Oh, I know what you're feeling right now. This movie was really born out of that experience and that relationship.”

Booster continues, “A lot of growth has happened over the course of my time coming to Fire Island.”

Booster partnered with Emmy® Award-nominated producer Brooke Posch (A BLACK LADY SKETCH SHOW, BROAD CITY) to develop FIRE ISLAND as a series of 10 shorts for production company JAX Media. Posch was moved by the real-world modern humor and heart that Booster had brought to the story. JAX Media Head of Film John Hodges suggested that the idea had all the makings for a perfect feature-length film.

“I love movies like Clueless and 10 Things I Hate About You—movies that have taken a classic text and updated them to a modern setting very effortlessly and seamlessly,” says Hodges. “What Joel did by grafting the commentary on social mores and politics and classism and putting it very specifically into Fire Island was very well executed. Within that was also a really funny script that has a great love story at the core.”

THE CHARACTERS

NOAH (Joel Kim Booster)

The first thing Noah does on screen is wake up and scream a list of profanities. His eyes have just snapped open and as he sees the slew of missed calls and text messages, he realizes he’s already missed the first of two trains that he was supposed to be on to head out to the island with his friends. But before he can fly out the door, he must quickly pack (i.e. furiously stuff clothes into a duffle) and evict the man sleeping in his bed. Although the opening scene might be considered something of a portrait of a young man as a hot mess, Noah is good with his life, even if he is, as Booster says, “a little bit of a lost boy.”

During their week-long adventure, Noah’s sense of self is called into question as he finds himself developing feelings for Will, a handsome lawyer from Los Angeles. “Noah’s put up these walls that have protected him and served him really well, but he’s almost outgrown these walls by the time we find him in the story,” says director Ahn. “He has to learn how to be vulnerable. That’s a stage in so many lives, where we’ve outgrown a version of ourselves and have to get to this new version of ourselves so we can live happier, authentic lives, even if it’s a little scary.”

HOWIE (Bowen Yang)

If Noah is the story’s Lizzie Bennet—Austen’s fiery heroine who the writer herself once described as “light bright and sparkling”—Howie is a stand-in for the eldest Bennet sister, Jane. “You just take for a fact that Lizzie and Jane are sisters and they love each other, but there are moments of potential conflict between those characters, and that’s very well explored in this,” Yang says.

“Howie is the heart of this movie,” says Ahn. “He’s the romantic. He’s the one that wants the romantic comedy, and that gets to who I am as a person, as a romantic. To be able to not be cynical about it and enjoy the heart-on-your sleeve romance, it’s so freeing.”

WILL (Conrad Ricamora)

Is there any more desirable character in fiction than frustratingly unforgettable Mr. Darcy? For the all-important role of the man who simultaneously attracts and repels Noah, the production hired Ricamora, known on television for his roles as Jake Wong on The Resident and Oliver on How to Get Away with Murder. “I personally love the stories about two people who are trying to connect with each other but keep butting heads,” says the actor, who is also an accomplished Broadway performer with a Grammy® nomination to his credit. “It’s always been my experience that that’s what love can be like. I like that the film doesn’t sugarcoat the complexities of navigating that—these two people who are so different can absolutely have a strong connection.”

CHARLIE (James Scully)

Like lawyer Will, pediatrician Charlie is staying at the palatial Ocean Walk House, which seems to be something of a haven for blindingly hot guys in Speedos. Noah, Howie and the gang definitely stand out in the crowd. Still, Charlie, named for Pride and Prejudice’s Charles Bingley, seems genuinely interested in Howie—there’s no question that the two of them have serious chemistry and an easy, natural rapport. On set, Scully (You) felt similarly about working opposite Yang. “It’s a very easy job to fall in love with Bowen on camera,” Scully says. “He’s one of the most brilliant, funny, sensitive, thoughtful people I know, but he’s very humble and modest about it.

ERIN (Margaret Cho)

Noah and his friends’ Fire Island experience wouldn’t be the same without Erin, who “is the mother hen of the group,” says comedy legend Margaret Cho. Career brunch server, age unknown, lesbian scam queen, Erin made a fortune after she ate a piece of glass at a major Italian chain restaurant and won a huge settlement, which she promptly used to purchase a quirky and charming property on Fire Island, lovingly dubbed the Tuna Walk House.

“She’s really the elder, the caretaker, but also a little bit of an inappropriate elder too, because she gets involved in the stories of her ‘kids’ in a way that shows off her own dysfunction,” Cho says. “She tries to rectify mistakes that she has made and live that through with her younger friends. That’s a really fun role to play. I don’t have to be as involved in all the drama because I’m past it age-wise.”

Both Booster and Yang say they were honored to have the opportunity to work with Cho. “She’s someone who has basically shaped my aspirations in terms of what a queer Asian person can do in entertainment,” Yang says. “Growing up and listening to her stand-up, that was so, so, so, so intentionally queer, intentionally funny, about being Asian and queer in ways that were never about punching down or never about ridiculing the community she’s from, I’ve always admired that so much.”

LUKE (Matt Rogers)

“Luke is the messy sister,” says FIRE ISLAND actor Matt Rogers, who is a longtime friend of both Booster and of Yang, with whom he hosts the Las Culturistas podcast. “He is definitely very interested in what’s going on in other houses, meeting other guys, hooking up with guys on the island. He’s a thirsty character. He is looking for external validation in a real way. He wants to be the apple of someone’s eye.” Unfortunately, Luke becomes entangled with the sex-positive, ethically-negative Dex (Zane Phillips, Legacies), whose attentions come at a price. “If you know anything about Lydia Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, she gets into some trouble— and Luke gets himself into some trouble as well,” says Rogers.

KEEGAN (Tomás Matos)

Keegan is Luke’s other half—the friends met in theatre school, and though they were both eventually asked to leave their program, they know the truth is they are stars. “Keegan is unapologetically themselves,” says actor Matos of the role, which aligns with Lizzie Bennet’s younger sister Catherine, aka “Kitty.” “Keegan is a gender fluid queen. Keegan doesn’t allow standards or social norms to put boundaries on who they are. I think Keegan is beautiful inside and out because of how loud and proud they are about who they are.”

MAX (Torian Miller)

Super smart, maybe just a wee bit uptight, Max is the outspoken, rational, and political member of the group. “He’s the Mary Bennet of the movie,” says actor Miller, a veteran of Chicago’s Second City whose credits include such television series as Chicago Med. “He’s a bit of the black sheep, and on one end, it can be endearing, on the other, it can be quite annoying—I think that stems from the insecurities that Max might feel within his own community. He’s thick. He’s chocolate. He doesn’t look like the run-of-the-mill Fire Island gay. But at the end of the day, he’s a genuinely sweet person.”

COOPER (Nick Adams)

If there’s one person determined to put the brakes on the budding romance between Howie and Charlie, it’s Cooper—who goes to surprising lengths to separate the would-be couple. “He is deliciously manipulative, charming, devilish and a really fun antagonist in this film,” says Adams, the actor well known for starring as Adam/Felicia in the original Broadway production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and as Whizzer Brown in the first national tour of the Lincoln Center Theater revival of Falsettos. “He’s obsessed with appearances and status, and I think it all comes from his lack of self-esteem. His self-worth is contingent on the gaze of other people and their perception of him being superior and having status over them.”

CREATING THE PRODUCTION

FIRE ISLAND was shot largely on location on Fire Island, with additional photography completed on mainland Long Island and soundstages in New York. Director Ahn collaborated closely on the look of the film with cinematographer Felipe Vara de Ray (Long Weekend, See You Yesterday), production designer Katie Hickman (Before You Know It, We the Animals) and costume designer David Tabbert (The Hunt, Martha Marcy May Marlene).

Says Ahn, “I wanted the audience to watch FIRE ISLAND and feel like they were there. Even if they’ve never been here before, they could get some sense of the experience, the light, the sights, the sounds of this place.”

With the daytime scenes, Ahn and Vara de Ray set out to capture the light on Fire Island, which producer Hodges describes as “warm and sexy and golden,” while the nighttime sequences that unfold at thronged parties and clubs vibrate with a frenetic energy. “It’s a little more neon and has a faster vibe to it.”

There’s just as much contrast between the homes where Noah and his friends stay and the far more upscale, extravagant enclave inhabited by Charlie, Will and their group. The Ocean Walk house is a massive, modernist, if not overdone, construction; Erin’s shabby chic peaceful dwelling, the Tuna Walk house, is as welcoming and lived in as possible. “It’s so warm, with photos of the guys everywhere, and there are so many plants,” says producer Posch. “It just feels like family. You can obviously see why it’s such a safe place for them and why they become so sad when she tells them, ‘We might not have it anymore.’ Katie Hickman made sure that it felt like it was somebody’s parents’ house, lived in and had attachment to it.”

With a clear distinction drawn between the two homes, there was also a subtle but important difference between the costumes for the characters staying at either residence, which also points to the groups’ finances—the Tuna Walk group simply does not have the means to dress in the designer wear favored by the Ocean Walk boys. “David Tabbert did a great job selling that subtle class distinction between the two houses, as well as capturing the individual personalities of the men in those two homes,” Hodges says.

“Each one of their wardrobes tells a story that’s so specific to each of the characters,” adds Posch. “Bowen’s character is coming from San Francisco, and there’s a tech vibe to his look. Nick Adams as Cooper is head to toe in one designer usually—Balenciaga shirt, shorts, all athleisure by the fanciest designers. Margaret as Erin, her bathing suits and everything are just bohemian.”

Some of the film’s more outré moments—like the island’s infamous underwear party—offered Tabbert the chance to get extremely creative, giving Max a very memorable onesie, for example. The designer also created a custom dress for performer Peppermint, whose playful interactions with Noah and Will helps broker an accord between the romantic comedy trope of ‘will they, won’t they duo’. “He went the extra yard to create something fabulous for her,” says Hodges.

“The sense of collaboration between our teams with Felipe, Katie and David, and what they’ve put together for this film is so amazing,” concludes Ahn. “They all brought so much to the production – their focus, their ideas, their joy for the project. It allowed us to really become such a supportive family, and also a tapestry of this part of our queer community.”

FILMMAKER BIOS

ANDREW AHN (Director)

Andrew Ahn is a queer Korean American filmmaker born and raised in Los Angeles. Ahn's sophomore feature Driveways, written by Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen and produced by James Schamus, premiered at the 2019 Berlinale and went on to play the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, receiving rave reviews. The film was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards for Best First Screenplay and Best Lead Actress for Hong Chau. Ahn's first film Spa Night premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival in US Dramatic Competition and was one of RogerEbert.com's Best Films of Sundance 2016. The film won a Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance at Sundance and went on to win the 2017 John Cassavetes Film Independent Spirit Award. Ahn has directed fiction and documentary television for Netflix, FX, HBO Max, CBS, Sundance Channel, and KCET. He has promoted diversity in the arts by mentoring youth filmmakers through programs like Pacific Arts Movement’s Reel Voices, Outfest’s OutSet, and the Sundance Institute's Native Filmmaker Lab. He graduated from Brown University and received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

JOEL KIM BOOSTER (Writer, Noah)

Joel Kim Booster is a Chicago-bred, Los Angeles-based stand-up comedian, writer, and actor and was recently named as one of The Queer Young Comics Redefining American Humor by the New York Times. Booster recently wrapped shooting the Apple TV+ series “LOOT” created by Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard and starring Maya Rudolph. Later this year, Joel’s first hour-long comedy special will premiere on Netflix, where he will explore his experiences and observations as a gay Asian American male with commentary on identity, sexuality, cultural expectations, and more.

 

Booster’s other TV and film credits include “Sunnyside” (NBC), “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO), “Shrill” (Hulu), “Search Party” (TBS), “BoJack Horseman”(Netflix), “Big Mouth” (Netflix), The Week Of (Netflix), “American Dad” (Fox) and Viper Club (YouTube Premium.) He will also be a series regular voice on the new HBO MAX animated program “Santa Inc.” opposite Sarah Silverman and Seth Rogen and can be seen in the upcoming film Unplugging opposite Matt Walsh and Eva Longoria. In 2017, Booster recorded a stand-up special for Comedy Central’s The Half-Hour and a full-length stand-up album called Model Minority. He has appeared on “Conan”, “The Late Late Show with James Corden”, Netflix’s “The Fix”, Comedy Central’s “The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail”, “This Is Not Happening” and @midnight, Logo’s “Comedy Cabaret”, and truTV’s “Comedy Knockout”. His writing credits include “Billy on the Street” (truTV), “Big Mouth” (Netflix), “The Other Two” (Comedy Central) and the pilot for Comedy Central’s “Problematic with Moshe Kasher”.

JOHN HODGES (Producer)

John Hodges is the Head of Film for JAX Media, the New York based production company behind “Emily In Paris” (Netflix), “Russian Doll” (Netflix), and “Broad City” (Comedy Central). He joined the company to launch its feature department in 2019. In addition to Fire Island, over the past three years, he has produced Cypher starring Tierra Whack and directed by Chris Moukarbel (independently financed), Wedding Season (Netflix), and Night Shift written and directed by the China Brothers (independently financed). Production on Deadass starring Vince Staples and Jermaine Fowler begins May 2022 (PictureStart).

Prior to Jax, Hodges was a founding partner of A24, the film and television studio, which launched in 2012, and whose roster of more than 70 films includes Spring Breakers, Ex Machina, Amy, Lady Bird, and Moonlight. Hodges also spearheaded the formation of the A24 TV department, which produced and/or developed “Ramy” (Hulu), “Euphoria” (HBO), “2 Dope Queens” (HBO), “The Carmichael Show” (NBC), “Playing House” (USA), “Comrade Detective” (Amazon), “Jerrod Carmichael: 8” (HBO), “The Confession Tapes” (Netflix), “I’m Sorry” (TruTV), and “At Home with Amy Sedaris” (TruTV).

Hodges ran production and development for Big Beach (Little Miss Sunshine / Searchlight Pictures), where he produced, among other features, The Kings of Summer directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts; Safety Not Guaranteed directed by Colin Trevorrow, and Our Idiot Brother starring Paul Rudd. He also established their TV business.

Hodges was a development executive for Lorne Michaels and John Goldwyn at their Paramount Pictures-based production company where he worked on feature films, Hot Rod, Baby Mama, and the remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

He began his career at USA Films, which became Focus Features, in the acquisitions department, and before that was a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. Hodges, a native of York, Pennsylvania, graduated from Georgetown University.

TONY HERNANDEZ (Producer)

Emmy and Peabody Award-winning producer Tony Hernandez is the president of Imagine Entertainment and founder & CEO of Jax Media.

At Jax Media, Hernandez oversees and produces all projects and has expanded operations internationally from New York and Los Angeles to London.

Using his two decades of producing experience he created the unique Jax Media model and produced award-winning scripted and late-night shows, features and specials including Emmy-winning “Russian Doll” (Netflix), “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” (TBS), and “Inside Amy Schumer” (Comedy Central), Emmy-nominated “Broad City” (Comedy Central), Academy Award-winning Precious, and critically acclaimed projects such as “Desus & Mero” (Showtime), “Younger” (Hulu), “Search Party” (TBS), “Work in Progress” (Showtime), ”A Black Lady Sketch Show” (HBO), and Chris Rock: Tamborine (Netlfix).

As president of Imagine Entertainment, Hernandez oversees Features, Television, International, Kids & Family, and all production services. Upcoming projects for Imagine Entertainment include The Beanie Bubble (Apple) starring Zach Galafanakis & Elizabeth Banks, “Under the Banner of Heaven” (Hulu) written by Dustin Lance Black, and the 2nd Season of “Swagger” for Apple.

BROOKE POSCH (Producer)

Brooke Posch is an Emmy nominated producer and President of Jax Media where she oversees all television and film out of the US and UK.  She was previously co-head of Paper Kite Productions with Amy Poehler and the former Senior Vice President of Programming at Comedy Central.

Posch served as executive producer on “Broad City” (Comedy Central), “Difficult People” (Hulu), “A Black Lady Sketch Show” (HBO), and Disney's new action comedy Wedding Season, set to premiere Spring of 2022.

Posch developed “Broad City”, “Inside Amy Schumer” (Comedy Central), “Difficult People”, “Russian Doll” (Netlfix), “A Black Lady Sketch Show”, and Wedding Season among others.

Posch currently lives in New York City.

JAX MEDIA

Founded in 2011, JAX Media is a television and film production juggernaut with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Atlanta. JAX Media has created a production model that allows talent to preserve their creative vision, and the results have been answered with awards and critical acclaim. They provide comprehensive production from development through the post with a highly experienced in-house team who expertly implements the unique JAX model that has proven itself as a success for studios, networks, and creatives alike.

 

JAX Media is behind numerous projects, including the smash hit “Emily in Paris,” the Emmy-winning “Russian Doll,” both for Netflix, as well as the Emmy-nominated “Black Lady Sketch Show” for HBO, cult hits “Search Party” for HBO Max and “Broad City” for Comedy Central. JAX Media is currently producing the upcoming romantic action-comedy “Wedding Season” for Disney+, “Hello, Jack! The Kindest Show” for Apple, starring Jack McBrayer, and the new Darren Star series “Uncoupled” for Netflix, starring Neil Patrick Harris. JAX Media produces “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” for TBS and “Desus & Mero” for Showtime. JAX Media has been a part of numerous award-winning stand-up specials from some of the biggest names in comedy, including Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, John Mulaney, Ray Romano, Mike Birbiglia, and more. JAX Media currently has over 20 projects in production and has been nominated for 86 Emmy awards, with ten wins.

CAST BIOS

BOWEN YANG (Howie)

Bowen Yang is a comedian, writer, and actor based in Brooklyn, NY. He is currently an Emmy-nominated cast member on “Saturday Night Live”, where he wrote for one season before moving on-screen. He can also be seen recurring on Comedy Central’s “Awkwafina is Nora From Queens” and also stars in Paramount’s The Lost City, starring Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum.

 

This past year Yang was featured in TIME 100.

CONRAD RICAMORA (Will)

Conrad Ricamora has starred in 6 seasons opposite Viola Davis in “How to Get Away with Murder” (Oliver), and is currently recurring on “The Resident” (Fox).  His film credits include Over The Moon (Netflix), Talladega Nights (Columbia Pictures), The Light of the Moon (Steadfast Productions), Raising Christopher (writer/producer/actor; Tina Carbone Films). His broadway and theater credits include The King And I (Lincoln Center - Grammy Nomination), Little Shop of Horrors, Here Lies Love (Public Theatre- Theatre World Award, Lortel nomination), Soft Power (Public Theatre- Drama Desk, Lortel, Grammy Nominations).  Regional: Soft Power (Ahmanson Theatre) Tartuffe, Woyzeck, Fuddy Mears (Clarence Brown Theatre); Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, Midsummer (Utah Shakespeare Festival); The Taming of the Shrew (North Carolina Shakespeare Festival).

Ricamora has an MFA from the University of Tennessee. He also studied at the Film Actors Studio of Charlotte. He is the recipient of the 2016 Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award and 2017 Equality California Award.

JAMES SCULLY (Charlie)

James Scully is best known for his starring role as “Forty Quinn” in season two of the hit Netflix series “YOU” opposite Penn Badgley. He will be seen in the upcoming independent feature Something’s More Than One Thing, executive produced by the Russo brothers, and in the Untitled Julio Torres Project for A24, alongside Torres and Tilda Swinton.

 

Most recently, Scully was seen in season 2 of the Amazon anthology series “Modern Love”, and in the feature film Straight Up, directed by James Sweeney. He also had a supporting role in Dee Rees’s Netflix film The Last Thing He Wanted opposite Anne Hathaway.

 

Scully made his on-camera debut in the Paramount TV series “Heathers”, starring as “JD,” the role originated by Christian Slater in the cult classic film of the same name, and guest starred in “9-1-1” on Fox and in “Quantico” on ABC. On stage, he starred in the Off-Broadway play The Erkilings directed by Saheem Ali for The Beckett Theater.

MARGARET CHO (Erin)

Comedian. Actor. Musician. Advocate. Entrepreneur. Five-time Grammy and Emmy nominee.  Margaret Cho, a jack of all trades, master of many. When hasn’t Margaret and her comedic voice been a part of our consciousness? It seems like she’s always been here, lighting the path for other women, other members of underrepresented groups, other performers, to follow. Cho makes it a priority to support the causes that are important to her: anti-racism, anti-bullying, and gay rights, all while fulfilling her successful creative side with her legendary stand up career that has yielded 10-plus comedy tours,  television appearances (smash hit “ The Masked Singer” (Fox), HBO’s “High Maintenance"), podcasting (“The Margaret Cho”) and film, Netflix's Good on Paper with Iliza Shlesinger and Auntie Ling" in Netflix's first major animated film, Over the Moon, which was nominated for an Academy Award & Golden Globe Award with Vulture stating "one of the most gorgeous animated films ever made.”

MATT ROGERS (Luke)

​​Matt Rogers is a Los Angeles based actor, comedian, writer, podcaster and television host. Named one of Variety's Comics To Watch in 2021, he is currently the co-host of the popular podcast “Las Culturistas” alongside SNL's Bowen Yang, which was named Time Out New York’s #1 Comedy Podcast and Time Magazine’s “50 Best Podcasts to Listen to Right Now”.

Rogers can be seen in “Search Party” (TBS), “Shrill” (Hulu), “Awkwafina is Nora from Queens” (Comedy Central), “Our Cartoon President” (Showtime), the animated Netflix series “Q-Force”, and as the host of the HBO Max competition series “Haute Dog”. Rogers has written for comedies such as “The Other Two”(Comedy Central) and “Q-Force”, and co-created the short form reality series “Gayme Show” to critical acclaim. He can be seen next in a series regular in Showtime’s upcoming series “I Love That For You”, created by Vanessa Bayer and Jeremy Beiler.

TOMÁS MATOS (Keegan)

They/Them. Born and based in NYC, Tomás Matos is a Graduate of the renowned “FAME” School, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts. Matos’ Broadway credits include Diana: The Musical (OBC) & Hadestown. Other TV/Film credits include the titular role in the Short Film EZRA (Outfest Fusion), Diana: The Musical (Netflix), “Pride Song w/ Lil Nas” (SNL); “Random Acts of Flyness” (HBO); “Dickinson” (AppleTV). Commercial credits include “SavageXFenty” (Upcoming Pride Campaign), “Tiffany & Co” (2021 Pride Campaign); “Madonna” (MDNA skin).

TORIAN MILLER (Max)

Torian Miller trained in classical theater in Chicago where he appeared in equity productions around the city. He earned his equity card with the prestigious Second City Chicago, where he wrote and acted in numerous shows including the critically acclaimed Blackside of the Moon in collaboration with Wolly Mammoth Theater in Washington DC. He also had a recurring character on NBC’s “Chicago Med”. Since moving to LA in 2017, he booked his first role in the Gus Van Sant directed feature Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far On Foot, playing opposite Joaquin Phoenix and Jack Black.

Miller has since filmed for Buzzfeed, a national commercial for Viacom and written/acted for Comedy Central including their biggest digital release “The Blackening”, which has garnered over 16 million views and has been made into a feature film with MRC. When not acting, he works in casting including shows for Amazon, NBC, Apple, Fox and most recently ABC Entertainment and Walt Disney Television. He is represented by Principal Entertainment LA.

NICK ADAMS (Cooper)

Nick Adams’ talent grabbed the attention of the masses when he originated and starred as Adam/Felicia in the Tony winning Broadway musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert which earned him an honor from the American Theater Hall of Fame, two Broadway Audience Choice Awards and an Astaire Award nomination for “Best Dancer on Broadway.” He received National critical acclaim for his recent portrayal of Whizzer in the North American Tour of Lincoln Center Theatre’s Broadway production of Falsettos (dir. James Lapine). Adams was the final actor to star as Fiyero in the First National Touring production of Wicked and originated the role of Damian in the world premiere of Mary and Max at Theatre Calgary.

 

Adams’ Broadway credits include A Chorus Line, Guys and Dolls, Chicago, La Cage Aux Folles, and The Pirate Queen. His TV/Film credits include Dallas Drake on “The Other Two” (Comedy Central), “Inventing Anna” (Netflix), Sex and the City 2 (Warner Bros), An Englishman in New York (Leopard Drama / Netflix), Still Waiting In The Wings (Lionsgate), “Smash” (NBC), “As the World Turns” (CBS), “Guiding Light” (NBC), “Go-Go Boy Interrupted”, “It Could Be Worse”, “The Kennedy Center Honors”, “Regis and Kelly”(ABC), “Good Morning America” (ABC),” The View” (ABC), “The Today Show” (NBC), “Dancing With The Stars” (ABC), “The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade” (NBC), “Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris”(NBC), and multiple telecasts of The Tony Awards. Concerts: NY Pops (Carnegie Hall), Boston Pops, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, Erie Philharmonic, Guest soloist with NYC Gay Men’s Chorus, Guest soloist with Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, Feinstein’s San Francisco, Feinstein’s 54 Below, Joe’s Pub and Birdland.

 

Adams was one of the founding members of the Forest of Arden acting company and performed the new work American Dream Study under the direction of Michael Arden. He has instructed several master classes nationwide & internationally has served on the guest faculty of The Boston Conservatory Musical Theatre Dance Intensive as well as The Broadway Dreams Foundation and is regarded as a Capezio Dance Athlete. Nick has been featured in several national media outlets including Vanity Fair, DNA Magazine, OUT, Paper Magazines' Beautiful People issue and the covers of Dance Spirit and Instinct Magazine. Nick holds a BFA from Boston Conservatory.

ZANE PHILLIPS (Dex)

Zane Phillips is a NYC-based actor and a graduate of Elon University’s Musical Theatre program. After having appeared as Rolf in the national tour of The Sound of Music, he quickly began working in both film and television.  On the small screen he can currently be seen on the series “Legacies” for the CW and he will next be appearing in the Netflix series “Partner Track”, due to be released in 2022.