Imagine having one night with your celebrity crush, except it isn’t a dream; it’s real life. But what if this experience isn’t all it’s made out to be? Enter “Fire Fucking Fire,” a film that tells the story of Ally (Rachel Paulson), a queer woman who gets in over her head after she sleeps with reckless rockstar Meg Taylor (Calico Cooper). Ally, an introvert, is the opposite of the attention-seeking and destructive Meg. Despite this, Ally’s best friend Jess (Capri Campeau) tells her to seize the opportunity.
Written and directed by Paulson and her real-life best friend, Julia Eringer, the duo are entertainment biz veterans with an acting background. In fact, Eringer and Paulson met when they starred in the film “Good Kisser.”
“Fire Fucking Fire” is Eringer’s directorial debut, and in an interview, she disclosed that the plot for the film came to her and Paulson in 2018 while working on “Good Kisser.” During the film’s production, Paulson matched with an unnamed but notable rockstar on the dating app Raya.
Paulson elaborated on this moment further, saying, “It was exciting at first, but I found myself in a situation where I had to decide whether I would put myself first. So some of those events I experienced were put into the film. Of course, we exaggerated the events in the movie, but the inspiration was from my life’s experiences.”
Central to “Fire Fucking Fire” is Ally’s internal crisis, where she realizes that she needs to put her foot down and vocalize what she wants. In other words, she sets boundaries and decides to take charge of the circumstances she’s fallen victim to. Both Paulson and Eringer said that this is a recurring theme in their work, with Eringer noting that women have only recently been allowed to come into their power without a constant threat of violence.
Nevertheless, Eringer said that the film is supposed to make people laugh. She explained, “For me, the comedy really comes from the contrast between the characters…you know what happens when you get this Type A people-pleasing homebody and mix them with a loud metalhead famous person who can’t ever be still.”
Although the characters in “Fire Fucking Fire” are queer, Paulson made it clear that this is irrelevant. She said, “Queer representation in the media is often portrayed as a love story or as traumatic. I wanted this film to be able to tell a story where the characters just happen to be queer. If the story followed a cisgender couple, the outcome of the film would be the same. I think it’s important we start viewing queerness as just another normal part of life instead of making it the main plot of a story.”
That said, Eringer wants people to have fun while watching the film and for the audience to think about what they have in their lives instead of focusing on fantasies. Moreover, she hopes it will help viewers “recognize when your intuition is talking to you and being able to verbalize that rather than making yourself small and not speaking up.”
“Fire Fucking Fire” is currently accepting funding for post-production on Seed&Spark. According to Eringer, the film will hit the festival circuit in 2024 and be on Queerty, a queer digital platform, by 2025 or 2026. Eringer also revealed that she and Paulson have other future co-directing projects in the works.