Of course, before Collins could introduce his new Fab Five to the world, he and his producing partners had to find them. And so a search began not just for one expert each in the fields of food and wine, fashion, culture and lifestyle, design, and grooming—but for a group of five that had a sparkling chemistry with one another.
“It is lightning in a bottle, right? I tell you, casting is a big game, right? it’s crazy. It’s like chess, you move your pieces back and forth and everywhere. Ultimately, it’s chemistry. It really is chemistry,” Collins explained. “We brought in the top 50 guys from around the world that we had narrowed down in each of the five categories and we brought them all to L.A. We had a long weekend where we just played mix-and-match, but I think the guys will tell you…that they all kind of found each other in the room of 50 and kind of identified—and their chemistry and energy was so evident and palpable in the rooms because we did some speed dating [laughs] with 50 gay guys in a hotel.”
One by one, the guys began to catch his eye. “I remember Tan would really start to shine. You’re like, ‘OK, don’t leave the room, Tan.’ And then Jonathan, you would just be laughing your butt off. You’re like, ‘No, Jonathan, you stay,'” he recalled. “And then room kind of got smaller and smaller and there they were, all five of them lined up. Truly, timing and luck and chemistry—the casting gods really were there with us. It was amazing. Truly amazing.”