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Film and TV

Step aside Rembrandt and Da Vinci, because RuPaul Andre Charles’ Vanity Fair cover is art of the highest order

Reiss Smith November 20, 2019
RuPaul on the cover of Vanity Fair.

RuPaul on the cover of Vanity Fair. (Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair)

Demolish the Louvre and build the RuPaul Andre Charles Museum in its place.

In years to come, art historians will speak of the earth-shattering day when a Vanity Fair cover upended everything we thought we knew about culture, taste and aesthetics.

The January issue of the magazine has been graced by Drag Race host and actual living legend, RuPaul, shot by Annie Leibovitz.

Dressed only in a bedazzled bodysuit, fishnets and jewellery that called you and your entire lineage poor, the drag icon stares right down the barrel of the camera as if to say: “The Mona Lisa done already done had herses.”

RuPaul speaks about new Netflix sitcom AJ and the Queen.

Inside the magazine, RuPaul talks about her upcoming Netflix sitcom, AJ and the Queen, the first trailer for which landed on Tuesday, November 19.

Co-created and co-written with Sex and the City supremo Michael Patrick King, the show follows performer Robert Red [RuPaul], whose dreams of opening a club of his own end when a hustler scams him out of his life savings.

RuPaul on the cover of Vanity Fair
RuPaul spoke about his new sitcom AJ and the Queen. (Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair)

To make ends meet, he is forced to hit the road as his drag alter ego, Ruby Red, with a stowaway 10-year-old in tow.

“Our humanity, our laughter, our sense of irony. Fashion. Everything. It’s all in there. I couldn’t be more proud,” RuPaul said.

King added: “After [Ru] saw the first episode, he turned to me and said, ‘I thought this was going to be the show where I revealed myself to the world. It turns out it’s the show where I reveal myself to myself.’”

AJ and the Queen inspired by RuPaul’s ‘suburban white girl’ fans.

The idea for the show came from the ever-growing crop of “13-year-old suburban white girls” watching Drag Race.

RuPaul said: “This show isn’t about a drag queen in a kids show. It’s edgy, and it has some dark themes in there.

“It was something I was eager to explore. To prove to myself that I’m not dead inside. I proved to myself that I could pull those emotions up. It’s intoxicating.”

During production on the show, RuPaul – who turned 59 this week, but doesn’t look a day over 17 – danced so hard that she was incapable of standing up for a day.

“He had to throw his hair around to a song, and he really throws himself into s***,” King said.

“He threw his head around like Ann-Margret slash go-go girl for, like, 12 takes. Next day, he couldn’t stand up because he dislodged one of his inner ear crystals.”

Ever the hustler, RuPaul refused to take a day off, and got around the injury by shooting scenes sitting down.

AJ and the Queen arrives on Netflix on January 10.

More: AJ and the Queen, Annie Leibovitz, Drag Race, rupaul, Vanity Fair

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