Joel Kim Booster at the Everything, Everywhere 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 has garnered almost as much attention for the casting choices it didn’t make as for the ones it did . There’s been a lot of talk about Michelle Yeoh’s character being originally written for Jackie Chan, with co-director Daniel Scheinert joking, “At first we were like, ‘Action movie, we’re going to play a guy.'”

But as the writing process progressed, Scheinert and his partner Daniel Kwan revised the script and made Evelyn the film’s protagonist, which opened the door for Yeoh to carry the film.

“We were having trouble figuring out the cast for the father character, and one of us started wondering what would happen if we took Michelle’s character and failed her and she became the protagonist,” Kwan said. “And the movie just opened up in a whole different way.”

But as it turns out, Evelyn wasn’t the only character who could have been sexually inverted. 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 Wang. Booster, who is currently doing press rounds for his new Hulu comedy Fire Island, said he was the only male actor to read for the role of the universe-hopping gay kid.

“I got into it and it was just me and a million girls, and I was like, ‘What’s going on?'” Booster said.

Booster didn’t get the part, but he’s not sweating the missed opportunity. Fire Island debuted to critical acclaim and is seen as a seminal portrayal of the gay Asian community.

“So much of our conversation is designed to be erased,” Booster said in an interview with IndieWire’s Jude Dry. “I think there’s room for escapism and room for imagination. But there are things that come up when you’re Asian and you’re dating a white guy. It was important to me that the film reflect the reality of what it means to be a gay black man.”

Fire Island is now streaming on Hulu.

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Lindsay Lowe

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