Joel Kim Booster on the “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once” Audition
The actor was considered for the role which ultimately went to Stephanie Hsu, but said it was “just me and a million girls” when he auditioned.
The Daniels’ “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is a critical darling and a true indie blockbuster, but the film garnered almost as much attention for the casting choices it didn’t make as the ones it did. Much has been made of the fact that the character of Michelle Yeoh was originally written for Jackie Chan, with co-director Daniel Scheinert joking that “at first we were like, ‘action movie, gonna play a guy.'”
But, as the writing process progressed, Scheinert and his partner Daniel Kwan ended up revamping the script and casting Evelyn as the film’s protagonist, opening the door for Yeoh to carry the film.
“We were having trouble finding the cast for the father figure, and one of us started wondering what would happen if we took Michelle’s character and flopped it and she became the protagonist,” said Kwan. “And the movie just opened up in a completely different way.”
But, it turns out Evelyn wasn’t the only character who could have been reversed. In a new interview with The New York Times, Joel Kim Booster revealed he was being considered for the role of Joy, which ultimately went to Stephanie Hsu. Booster, who is currently making the rounds for his new Hulu comedy “Fire Island,” said he’s the only male actor up for the role of the universe-hopping gay kid.
“I went there and it was just me and a million girls, and I was like, ‘What’s going on? ‘” Booster said.
Booster didn’t get the role, but he’s not sweating the missed opportunity. “Fire Island” debuted to strong reviews and is considered a historic portrayal of the Asian gay community.
“A lot of our entertainment is made to be erased,” Booster said in an interview with IndieWire’s Jude Dry. “I think there’s room for escapism and there’s room for fantasy. But there are things that happen when you’re Asian and you’re dating a white guy. It was important for me to reflect the reality of what it’s like to be a gay man of color in the film.
“Fire Island” is now streaming on Hulu.