Matt Rogers on ‘I Love That For You’ and ‘Fire Island’ Roles – The Hollywood Reporter
Matt Rogers is having an incredible summer. In May, Showtime’s comedy series I Love That for You, co-created by Vanessa Bayer, launched its first season. Starring Bayer as an aspiring host for the fictional home shopping network SVN, the show is set within the comically cutthroat SVN offices run by a commanding and terrifying Patricia Cochran (Jenifer Lewis). Rogers plays Patricia’s right-hand man, Darcy, who envisions himself as something bigger than an assistant but is often relegated to the menial tasks assigned to him.
“He wants status so badly, and that’s what I most like about playing him,” says Rogers, 32, who as a comedian and sketch performer in New York City often created characters for himself that were both ambitious and delusional. “The people that inspire me the most don’t take themselves too seriously, and I think the funniest people are those who, without realizing it, are the people that take themselves too seriously.”
Less serious is Rogers’ character Luke in Fox Searchlight’s Fire Island, written by and starring Joel Kim Booster, and inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Luke is the gay rom-com’s version of the youngest Bennet sister, Lydia, and Rogers imbues his character with equally flirty and frivolous qualities (and like in the source material, the character narrowly avoids social ruin). “Luke is doing the most, to say the least,” says Rogers, who recalls when Booster was drafting the script as a potential Quibi series in an office down the hall from where Rogers was working on his own short-lived Quibi title, Gayme Show.
Ayden Mayeri (left), Rogers and Vanessa Bayer in Showtime’s I Love That for You.
Courtesy of Nicole Wilder/SHOWTIME
“He was trying to incorporate his actual friend group as much as possible,” says Rogers of Booster, whose film also stars SNL’s Bowen Yang — Rogers’ longtime best friend with whom he hosts the podcast Las Culturistas. “It’s like our scrapbook from summer camp.”
Rogers finds parts of himself in Fire Island’s Luke and I Love That for You’s Darcy. Las Culturistas fans can hear traces of the boisterous Luke when Rogers weighs in on pop culture every week. Darcy, however, is not the “sassy” assistant (Rogers admits he’s “allergic” to that descriptor) he first seems to be. “What I observe in people who are really good at their jobs, especially queer people, is that they code-switch,” Rogers says. “The person he is with Jenifer’s character is very different from who he is with Vanessa’s character.”
The Long Island native says growing up in predominantly straight, masculine spaces gave him that connection to Darcy’s social abilities. “I still have a degree of anxiety about going back there — I do have to fight the urge to deepen my voice around certain people. I have a little bit of a heterophobia in that I’ve just never really felt in my element, but I do have the ability from being steeped in a culture that they dominated to blend in there. Really, it’s about survival.”
As for Darcy’s future, Rogers hopes to see him grow more comfortable with himself. “I didn’t really know who I was until my mid- to late 20s,” says Rogers. “Doing the podcast with Bowen gave me access to my real voice. I don’t think Darcy has that yet — I wish he would have more fun.”
This story first appeared in a June stand-alone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.