‘Fire Island’ Star Matt Rogers Hopes Movie Launches ‘Fast & Furious’-Like Franchise ‘For Queers’

·4-min read

Welcome to this week’s “Just for Variety.”

Searchlight Pictures’ “Fire Island” doesn’t come out until June, but Matt Rogers, who plays Luke in the queer rom-com, has high hopes that it launches a big gay franchise.

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Joel Kim Booster and Bowen Yang star as friends who head to the iconic LGBTQ vacation locale ready to have the best summer of their lives. “‘Provincetown’ should be the sequel,” Rogers told me at the premiere of his Showtime show “I Love That for You.” “Let’s do ‘Palm Springs.’ Let’s do ‘Puerto Vallarta.’ This is going to be the ‘Fast & Furious for queers!”

Then Rogers, who co-hosts the “Las Culturistas” podcast with Yang, cracks, “I’m the Michelle Rodriguez of the bunch, baby.” As I was the first to report, “Fire Island” will world premiere on June 2 at NewFest Pride in NYC. It begins streaming on Hulu the following day.

And this just in! I’ll be moderating a panel at RuPaul’s DragCon in Los Angeles on May 14 with Rogers and Kim as well as “RuPaul Drag Race” stars Jan and Yuhua Hamasaki.

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Jazmyn Simon says don’t be surprised if a fourth “Psych” movie gets greenlit. “As long as the fans want them, we will do them,” says Simon, who plays Selene in the film franchise based on the series of the same name. “I’ll just drop that little tidbit right there. As long as the fans are engaged, there will be more ‘Psych’ movies.” Simon becomes a first-time author this week with the release of her children’s book “Most Perfect You,” about a Black mom who explains to her daughter why she’s beautiful just the way she is. Simon says she wrote the book after the murder of George Floyd; she was inspired by a moment when her and husband Dulé Hill’s then-3-year-old daughter Kennedy (she’s 17 now) said she thought she’d be prettier if she had white skin. “I thought, I’m going to write something for kids to know that regardless of what you see on TV or social media, that’s not who you are,” Simon says. “You are special, and you are perfect. And you were chosen, and you were on purpose. You are not an accident. And I just drew on that conversation that I had with Kennedy all those years ago.”

Nyle DiMarco at his “Deaf Utopia” book party at Hamilton-Selway Fine Art on April 26 in West Hollywood. - Credit: Gilbert Flores for Variety
Nyle DiMarco at his “Deaf Utopia” book party at Hamilton-Selway Fine Art on April 26 in West Hollywood. - Credit: Gilbert Flores for Variety

Gilbert Flores for Variety

Nyle DiMarco would love to see his memoir “Deaf Utopia — and a Love Letter to a Way of Life” adapted as a series or a feature. “I can’t wait to help discover young deaf talent,” he told me at his book release party at Hamilton-Selway Fine Art in WeHo.

I also had the chance to ask Molly Shannon about adapting her new memoir “Hello, Molly!” “I definitely didn’t write it for that reason, but I’m open to anything,” she said. “I just really like the quiet of a book, and I wanted to get my story on paper.”

Yasmin Finney and William Gao in “Heartstopper.”
Yasmin Finney and William Gao in “Heartstopper.”

Get to know Yasmin Finney! The 18-year-old Brit makes her acting debut as trans teen Elle on Netflix’s “Heartstopper.” While Finney tells me she hasn’t had much contact with her own family since coming out as trans, she says, “Elle’s story is so rad because it focuses on the bright side and the joy and it doesn’t highlight what normal trans stories do, like gender dysphoria, depression, bullying and all the stuff that comes with being trans. That’s always the highlight of a trans person’s story in a TV show. It’s never like sunshine and rainbows, which is so refreshing.”

Finney was discovered through an international casting call after making a name for herself on TikTok. “I cherish the messages from people who tell me, ‘I just came out to my mum as trans because of you,’ or ‘I’ve stuck up for myself because of you,’” she says. Here’s hoping “Heartstopper” gets a second season. “Elle has a mum, and it would be so great to meet her,” Finney says. “How much of a gag would it be for Michaela Jaé Rodriguez to play her? That would be iconic.”

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