The film, directed by Larry Charles (Borat), clearly pays homage to John Waters and doesn’t even hide the fact that it was shot entirely on a sound stage or that its budget allowed for only two takes per scene. It’s just the thing for a future cult classic that started out as a two-man show in Gristedes’ basement called F —— Identical Twins. Ian was a regular at live performances, which he credited with helping unify the New York queer comedy scene because Sharpe and Jackson would host “talks” at a gay bar around the corner where everyone could meet each other and make plans for summer. for Fire Island. When it came time to cast someone to play God as a gay man, Ian was an easy choice.
The Washington Post caught up with Young, who has just returned to work on “Saturday Night Live,” which just returned for its 49th season. This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Question: What was your reaction when you learned that the writers’ strike was over? How did you celebrate?
A: I was in Berlin on a mini-tour for a few shows with Matt (Rogers, Young’s co-host on the wildly popular Las Culturistas podcast). I celebrated by going to a bar where you had to take off your shoes before entering and lie down on the mats, which was very frustrating.
Q: And then what? Did every project you were waiting for suddenly start at the same time?
A: Things are slowly getting better, but SNL started almost immediately, which was nice, but also a spike in the momentum we were feeling.
Fire Island Poolside: Bowen Young and Matt Rogers Playlist
Question: You must still be on an emotional journey, right? The Writers Guild got a good deal with the studios, and last week everyone thought the Actors Guild might get a deal, too, but…
A: This is a huge, poorly designed rollercoaster, and I’m disappointed that the studios are backing out of their original terms of the deal and thinking that SAG will agree to even less than what was originally discussed in July. SNL operates under a Network Code contract that has not gone into effect, and we are very fortunate that SAG has blessed us to continue to work for the benefit of our teams and writers, but there is an incredibly strong sense of solidarity among all employees. SNL who are proud to be members of their unions.
Q: Did the SNL cast keep in touch before you started filming again?
A: We communicated obviously not in any way sanctioned by the show. Our bodies are kind of primed for this time of year: “(We’re) ready to stay up and work and work and work and it’ll be fun and collegiate and stay up until 4 in the morning writing and all that.” “, but this did not happen.
Question: Of all the non-Italians, how did you get to play Christopher Columbus on Weekend Update? I like it.
A: Thank you! It felt like, after the premiere, we could retroactively work into Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a relevant occasion for Columbus to have a special, relaxed relationship with everything, namely his statues. Everyone understood that Columbus as a punching bag seemed quite well-trodden, and we allowed ourselves to be stupid, maybe a little crafty.
Q: And what was it like to have Taylor Swift and Travis Kelsey appear? Are you or someone else crazy?
A: The presence of Taylor and Travis came as a complete surprise to everyone, and it reminds you that SNL is one of those places where people can come see a live TV show and recharge for the night. There’s literally no way a streaming service could ever do that.
Question: Even the premiere of “Dix: The Musical” at the Toronto International Film Festival was associated with strikes. I saw you at a themed pre-party at Hooters, which I heard was only possible because 36 hours earlier A24 had reached a temporary agreement with SAG for you to be there. What were you doing when you got the call?
A: I was decorating my new place in New York, so in a mad rush I packed my bags, got on a flight that day, and it just added such a nice texture to the whole festival where it was just exciting and right in the pants . It was essentially a direct line from the airport to Hooters. That was incredible. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Q: At that premiere, you held a specific object in your hands throughout the Q&A. What inspired this?
A: So, for those who weren’t there, A24 had the brilliant idea of throwing inflatable penises from the balconies into the audience during the last number. And when we were doing the questions and answers, someone tried to throw one on stage, but one remained. And I just thought: Well, I won’t let him sit on the floor limply. I’m going to lift him up and put him on the pedestal that is me.
Question: You have a Christian background and you talked about how your parents sent you to conversion therapy. Do you think that’s why Aaron and Josh thought of you for this unorthodox interpretation of God?
Answer: No. The (last) song “All Love Is Love” was the closing number of the original performance. I think they needed someone who could embody that kind of weird levity, and they knew that was a natural fit for me. They said, “I think Bowen will get it if he plays God, and if it pays off in the end, we’ll all sing ‘God is a c***,’ and then Bowen can play (the role that is coddled) from the beginning of the film until the end”. I think that’s why everything happened the way it did. And I’m very grateful.
Question: Your version of God is a God who does cocaine. What are his other qualities?
Answer: Well, I think this is all very consistent with how we understand the God of the Old Testament, who is messy, dramatic, flooding the world, raining frogs on people, dividing the oceans. It creates a catwalk for people to cross. You know, it’s gay, at least in terms of the many things that God is. God is definitely gay at any given time. What do many hedonistic gays do? They use these hard drugs. We didn’t have any qualifications to portray it in the film.
Question: And he wears a police uniform with a mirror ball, which is very reminiscent of the villagers.
A: It’s very much programmed for country people. But someone told me that it’s like God is going on a world tour (Beyoncé) during the Renaissance – even though it was filmed on a pre-Renaissance tour – that Beyoncé may have gotten inspiration from seeing God in my personal visions at night.
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Question: I read somewhere that while you were filming the number “All Love Is Love,” in which nuns and cowboys come to crash a gay wedding, Megan Mullally commented that you were all going to be arrested. And I’m wondering what parts you think will get you arrested for.
A: We shot the final scene of the film quite early. … And Megan Mullally pauses and walks up to Josh and Aaron and says, “You guys are going to get death threats because of this.” And then she paused again and continued: “We All I will be threatened with death!” I think for her it was a funny, playful concern: “Oh, what are we, how will this be perceived? Because I think people can if this this film, especially if it’s distributed by A24.” For all we know, if it weren’t for them (A24), perhaps two people would have seen it outside of our small circle.
Question: You said your parents won’t see this?
A: My parents won’t see this. But I’m sure some Chinese aunt from Denver will stop my parents at Costco and say, “Did you know your son plays God in this movie with twins and everything?” I’m sure they’ll find out about this somehow.
Question: But you’re not going to tell them.
A: I won’t tell them. I won’t tell them. (When I went to the Los Angeles premiere) I told them I needed to go to Los Angeles to support two friends. And it is not inaccurate.
Q: You premiered in Los Angeles just as John Waters was being honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and an exhibition at the Academy Museum. Was it like kismet?
A: It’s absolutely kismet. He’s one of my favorite directors of all time. I have “Women’s Issues” and “Pink Flamingos” posters, and in my bathroom there are bags of vomit from the Pink Flamingos 50th anniversary show in Provincetown, and that’s where John Waters would have wanted them. This film might not have happened without John Waters. So, we owe him a huge spiritual debt.
Question: You are such good friends with Josh and Aaron. Did you come to the set simply because you wanted to be there?
A: Oh, yes, I paid visits. And keep in mind, we have already entered the era of filmmaking. I showed up on set, got tested when I wasn’t supposed to be there, and got to watch Megan Thee Stallion’s choreography rehearsal for “Out Alpha the Alpha.” It seemed so special. I was like, I can’t believe I’m about to witness this.
Question: Are there any improvisations that you are proud of?
Answer: I suggested a little joke to Josh and Aaron in which God is very emphatic about He/Him pronouns. And there was a funny moment when Larry (Charles, director) let us play a riff and I made Nathan break. It was the dumbest, dumbest improvisation in which I, as God, thought about what I would call this story in a new Bible supplement, and I broke Nathan Lane. It felt like I could have died at that very moment. Made Nathan Lane laugh during a take! I’ll never achieve anything as good as this.