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Joel Kim Booster on Limiting the Amount of Gay Best Friend Roles and ‘Derailing’ Dinner Parties With Chrissy Teigen

It was recently announced that Joel Kim Booster was teaming up with Searchlight Pictures again following the awards-nominated success of his 2022 queer rom-com “Fire Island.”

This time around, Booster’s new script is about the gay best friend (Booster) of a bride-to-be who’s in charge of making sure his bestie’s wedding goes off perfectly.

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However, Booster says he’d like to start moving away from playing the “gay best friend.”

“I know how the industry works,” Booster tells me on this week’s episode of the “Just for Variety” podcast. “I know that there are a couple more gay best friends in my future. I will play them gladly. But my threshold for the level of project that I will be willing to play a gay best friend in shifted greatly in the last couple of years. I’ll be the prestige gay best friend, but I’m not going to do a web series about it.”

Booster’s latest project is “Chrissy & Dave Dine Out,” Chrissy Teigen and celebrity chef Dave Chang’s new Freeform series that gives viewers a look at some of their favorite Los Angeles restaurants. Each episode features a dinner party hosted by Booster for celebrity guests, including Jimmy Kimmel, Simu Liu, Regina Hall and “Fire Island” actor Matt Rogers.

The dinner party conversations go beyond just talking about food: Booster and the guests discuss race, family and sexuality.

“Chrissy had the ear piece, producers were feeding her where we needed to go and what they needed to talk about,” Booster says. “And I did not have an ear piece. It was just whatever I wanted to ask and whatever I wanted to talk about completely derailing whatever the producers were going for at any given point in time. But I’m just a naturally curious person. I’m curious about people’s lives. I’m curious about the ins and outs of their experiences. I think that really made me a pretty good fit for the vibe that they wanted to create on the show.”

The vibe is talk show roundtable. Asked if he would like to host a talk show one day, Booster replies, “I’ve never really thought about that. I think there’s a whole cadre of gay guys gunning for Andy Cohen’s job. I think I’d have to fucking behead Matt Rogers for that.”

“But yeah, I love to chat,” Booster continues. “It certainly would be an easy job for me to do. I’m in this position in my career now where I feel like a lot of people assume that it’s whatever I want to do next, but I’m still very much like, I will take the meeting. I will say yes. I am still at the mercy of what the industry wants me to do right now, too.”

I talked to Booster the morning after the Emmys, where “Fire Island” was nominated for best TV movie. Is hosting awards shows on his bucket list? “I don’t know about the Emmys or the Oscars or the Golden Globes or any of that,” he says. “That seems maybe a little out of my weight class right now. But I do think that they’re just picking the wrong comics. It’s not a one size fits all thing. Like, oh, you’re a standup, so you should be able to do this. No. Pick somebody who loves Hollywood. I mean, that’s so lame to say, but I think that they keep picking these people who are too cool to be there or think they’re too cool to be there.”

“That’s why the ribbing and the jokes don’t work,” Booster adds. “It’s so possible for you to have really biting jokes at the expense of actors and have them laugh at it. I think we saw that every single time Amy and Tina hosted the fucking Golden Globes. It is possible to do, and it’s not because people have gotten more sensitive. It’s just, like, hire somebody who actually cares about actresses.”

You can listen to the full interview with Booster on “Just for Variety” above to find out about his favorite meals and the one thing he hates to eat. You can also find “Just for Variety” wherever you download your favorite podcasts.

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