Drag Race royalty Bianca Del Rio speaks to PinkNews about her one woman rally against political correctness – and a possible UK version of the hit reality show.
A fan favourite on the drag circuit, Bianca Del Rio gained global fame after winning the sixth season of hit TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race.
With Del Rio’s season of the show due to hit UK TV screens for the first time next week, PinkNews sat down with the hilarious star to chat about her time on the show, her solo show ‘Rolodex of Hate’ and why she thinks the world needs to “lighten the f**k up”.
There have been calls for a similar RuPaul style show here for UK drag queens. Do you think the UK warrants its own drag race?
Oh please! Completely, I mean what I’m most fascinated by is that everyone here who loves Drag Race now gets to see it on Tru TV – its pretty genius.
I know that season 6 starts November 30 – which is good because that’s my season.
There are many drag queens I have met that are absolutely amazing here and it’s like US. There is so much variety here – I think it’d be great to open up doors for them.
Everyone’s so interested in it and it would be great to open it up to more audience.
The best season?
Oh no really – it was an amazing experience!
What have you been up to since you won the show – your film, ‘Hurricane Bianca’ is due out next year isn’t it?
We’re now in post-production – which is basically scoring the movie and editing the movie and all of that.
So we’re hoping by next summer to have it in a place where it’d be up for viewing. It’s just such a quick – I mean it’s such a long process – but it was quick to film it because of my schedule, but now the process is just making all the magic happen in post-production.
It’s a really interesting theme. You’re kind of famous for your rally against political correctness – and obviously this is a film about the anti-gay laws that still exist in America.
This was something that was interesting, I mean in the past few years everything has been about gay marriage, gay rights – but people don’t realise the more serious things, like that in 29 states it’s legal to be fired.
Like, it’s 2015 – how is this even possible?
So it was something that my friend had written and it deals with the serious topic and we do it in a comedic way, which is the way I wanted to do it. I didn’t want to do a preachy serious documentary, that’s not me.
But he had written this brilliant film and it’s basically a guy who’s a school teacher and is very passionate about teaching and goes to a small town and in that small town he gets outed as being gay and fired.
He’s like “I can’t believe this is happening, all I want to do is teach and help these students”.
So he decides to seek revenge on the town and return as the new teacher Bianca Del Rio – who is a total c**t and who comes back and gets revenge, but also through the process deals with something very serious.
Ultimately, it changes the view of this very small town, which I think is pretty amazing.
And there’s a few other queens in it as well…
Oh totally yes. We’re lucky we have Willam as a part of the cast, Shangela is in the movie as well, along with Alyssa Edwards which are all fan favourites from the show.
We’re also blessed to have a cameo from Ru, Margaret Cho and Alan Cumming too.
So the idea’s been around for a few years?
Yes it has been. Matt Kugelman originally wrote it probably about 5 or 7 years ago and we were ready to go with it and so we started a crowdfunding campaign.
Then I went away and did Drag Race and we couldn’t talk about me doing Drag Race at the time because it hasn’t aired and all of that contractual bullshit.
So in the meantime we had to hold off and then once the show started airing we did another crowdfunding and through that we got the money to make the movie which we filmed in July.
It’s nice to see that someone’s used their fame to shine light on such an important issue.
Please, TV’s a powerful thing!
You know one of the scariest things about Drag Race? You get through and I’m doing my own one man show that I’m travelling with and on opening night someone’s like “what do you do next?”
It’s like “can I get through this!?”
But that’s been the great thing so all of the stuff that have been in the works, slowly with my schedule I’ve found time to do it so I’ve been travelling with solo show and of course now that the show’s coming here it’s been great and travelling the world, I found time to film the movie.
Tell us about your solo show, ‘Rolodex of Hate’.
I mean it’s been amazing, it’s been amazing to go everywhere and to see the people that I met. I wish I had more time in each city to meet more people, because usually it’s kinda get in that day do the show and then have a meet and greet and then you’re out.
But with London in particular I’ve gotten to meet more and more of them each time that I’m here.
So you’re famous for your reading…
I love it when people say read because you know back in the day everybody ran from me for reading them and now they’re like “read her read her!”.
It’s like usually I personally despise them for a reason or it’s just a general read because of what they look like or that they’re drunk or they’re an asshole.
Where does the inspiration come to read people?
Well I think it just depends on where it is – you know when you’re dealing with an audience.
There’s always that one drunk one at the front, that one that wants to be seen, there’s that queen in the ugly dress or the lesbian with sandals which is kind of redundant.
But you know it just varies on what it is, especially when you’re in the mode it’s what happens.
So it’s not something that I sit back and consciously say “oh let me read her” – it’s just an observation, usually it’s just what everyone else is already thinking about that person.
Maybe that’s why it’s so popular – it’s comedic malice.
Also I’m the biggest joke, I’m the big joke!
Self-depreciation always goes down well.
You have to be! I think it requires a sense of humour and you know like I said before it’s about making the jokes about yourself, by no means am I thinking that I’m better, I’m just doing a show.
Do you think you’re rallying against a world that’s got a little too obsessed with political correctness?
Well I think everybody’s lost their minds, everybody’s got a little bit too f***ing sensitive.
I’m not standing on the steps of The White House with a bull horn saying “this is what’s wrong”. I’m doing my show.
When you go and see a drag show – and you’re coming to see me in particular – you should know what you’re getting into.
I’m not showing up to your house and telling you what’s wrong with your life.
By no means am I telling you how to live your life, except just have a sense of humour. You know, it gets a little too serious, and I blame a lot of that on social media.
You hear everybody’s opinion about anything, you can’t say something without someone saying “that’s wrong, that’s discriminatory, I’m offended, now you’re wig-phobic” – it’s like you can’t say anything, like lighten the f**k up!
You know there’s serious things to be worried about, especially in America, you know?
There’s so many more things that are important – like Donald Trump is running for president! That’s a f**g problem! Concern yourself with that.
But people lose sight of that, people want to bitch about everything without getting all the information.
Like lighten up, put a win on, put on some heels, have a sense of humour!
So would you say you’re shows are politically motivated?
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I purposefully avoid politics, but there was this article I read recently that I thought was kinda fascinating that said America deserves Donald Trump as President, because if that’s what they’re going for then let’s see – cant get any worse!
But it is pretty genius though how one little thing becomes what it is and with the internet nowadays you have no idea what’s real and what’s not.
You can put anything out there… you can take a smidgen of an interview and then all of a sudden you’re a racist and it’s just too much, everybody’s looking to blame someone for something else.
Accept responsibility for yourself, have a drink and lighten the f**k up. I mean, it makes the world a much easier place.
Go to Amsterdam, smoke some weed it gets better! It’s true, it’s just drag, I’m not curing cancer – just relax!
Catch Bianca Del Rio on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 6, launching on Monday 30th November at 10pm on truTV.
Bianca will be ending her Rolodex of Hate comedy show with shows in Manchester Dec 30 and Newcastle Jan 9. Information & ticket clinks can be found on TheBiancaDelRio.com
Rolodex of Hate will be available on video through Vimeo On Demand as of Dec 2. Presale is available now.