Interview | Bianca Del Rio on 'Hurricane Bianca 2' and why she'll never return for All Stars
If you've noticed some stormy weather around the UK over the last few days, it may be because Hurricane Bianca has just landed in town.
Fresh off a breakout year which saw her star in her first feature-length film, the RuPaul's Drag Race season six winner has crossed the pond for the UK dates of her 'Not Today Satan' tour.
Never ones to miss an opportunity to subject ourselves to the Rolodex of Hate, we sat down with Queen B to chat everything from Trump and Hurricane Bianca 2 to the chances of a Drag Race UK and why you won't be seeing her sign up for an All Stars series...
First things first, do you ever think we’re going to get a British Drag Race?
I think it’s important. There are huge Drag Race race fans here in the UK, which I think would make for a brilliant opportunity. I just don’t know if the particular company that makes Drag Race would have the time to do a production over here as well, because it’s pretty intense - the schedule that they have. I would hope that you would get a chance to do it over here, but you wouldn't want to do it without RuPaul himself, so fingers crossed - especially because there’s a lot of great talent over here in the UK that doesn’t necessarily get the chance to audition for the show.
We finally have a British queen on the upcoming season of Drag Race though, Charlie Hides, have you seen the new trailer?
I did see the trailer last week as I was filming something else for World of Wonder that I’m not allowed to speak about. But I’ve known Charlie for quite some time. I think that’s brilliant. Charlie’s American but lives [in Britain], is that how that works? I think she was born in America and now lives here. I could be wrong, but I believe that’s what the situation was. And when I met Charlie I was shocked as she could actually speak regular English! But I don't know how the rules work if you live in another country, I’m not exactly sure.
You must be thrilled with the success of Hurricane Bianca?
All the credit goes to my friend Matt Kugelman, he’s the genius who wrote it and came up with it. It was a project that we’d been working on for some time so we were grateful to finally film it, for it to be out, and we’re now working on the sequel which we’re hoping to film later this year. Yes, it will be Hurricane Bianca 2, and we’re hoping to film it end of the year. I don't know when it’ll be out exactly, but we’re just trying to work out schedules now for everybody involved.
Will there be any famous famous cropping up in the sequel?
It will be the majority of the cast that existed already. Obviously, Willam will be in it, Shangela will be in it, and I will be in it, Rachel Dratch is returning. There are some added twists as well, but I don't want to give too much away just yet. Definitely the main cast will be there once again.
Do you think that the political aspect of the film - that its still legal to fire someone for being gay in some American states - is more relevant than ever now with Trump in the White House?
It was something that I was unaware of, that you could be fired for being gay in America, anywhere. I was unsure of it until my friend Matt gave me the information, and I was floored, thinking, this is insane! It was 2016 when we filmed it, and I thought, this can’t be real! And shockingly, it’s legal in many states, and one of the reasons I wanted to do it was to bring awareness to the fact that this is not right, and this is insane. Granted we’ve taken 100 years back now with Trump as President, which is a fucking nightmare! But I have to say it was a good way to bring it to people’s attention, making it fun without being too preachy, so it was a great job done by Matt. I was just happy to bring the story to life.
Do you worry LGBT rights are under threat now Trump is in power?
I think everything is under threat right now in the White House because he's a fucking idiot, so everything is frightening right now - not just my rights, but just the world. It’s absolutely insane, the damage that he's done in two weeks is kind of unimaginable, so I’m holding my breath and praying that we get through this. But it is scary times for us on every level.
Is he good for you as an entertainer as it gives you so much material?
You know, shockingly, I don’t really discuss politics. It’s such a difficult line, especially in America because it’s so divided, that it doesn't always work to your favour. I know there are a lot of comedians who love political stuff, but I usually stay away from it. I might have a couple of gips here and there, but I try not to harp on that, because you definitely don’t know who voted for what. Of course I didn't vote for him, but you don't also want to alienate your audience on that level.
You might think that Trump supporters would be unlikely to go to a Bianca Del Rio gig?
Well you never know, there were two bright comedians, Wanda Sykes and Amy Schumer, and they both had incident at their shows when they were bashing Trump and the audience turned on them. Some people were upset, so I sort of stay away from that and make more jokes about myself because it gets a little complicated, especially in America.
Do you worry that a remark made on stage can do viral so quickly in the current climate?
Well yes and no, but then I also stand by anything that I say, and if someone takes something out of context and decided to print it, well then you’re gonna believe whatever you want to believe. That’s happened many times, and people say, 'I feel this, I feel that...' and I’m like, well you can feel whatever the fuck you want to feel, that’s not how it happened in the room… but what’s the point of fighting with someone that I don't even know online? It’s just useless, who cares what that person has to say? I could give two shits what some person typed about me, it doesn't matter, it’s not gonna make me not live my life and do what I want to do.
Do you find people are scared of being read by you?
I find it interesting because I’ve done this for 21 years, and before, people would hide from me, and say: please don't read me! But it doesn't work that way, reading someone off the cuff, you have to have rhyme or reason for it, it doesn't always happen effortlessly. I mean, occasionally it does with someone drunk at the show, but it’s not an intentional feat. I don't try to go out to manipulate and harass and ruin peoples lives on a daily basis, that just sort of happens. It’s not something I do every day, or every hour, or just when somebody wants it.
Would you ever return to Drag Race if they did an All Stars where all the winners came back?
Absolutely not, no, I have no desire. I was given an amazing opportunity and it all came out so well, that the only way for it to become interesting on television would be for it to go down. It’s a televisions show most of all, more than it is a competition, and I’ve done it, and I did it well, and I’m good with that, I have no desire to go back. It’s like high school, I had a great time doing it, but I have no interest in it whatsoever. If I’m guaranteed a million dollars then I might consider it, but other than that, no. I’m much happier working on my own.
Who would you like to see on the next All Stars?
To be honest with you I couldn't even tell you who was on the last one! I’m the worst. I had a great experience with winning, but I think when you see some people who might not have won their particular season, who get to go back and showcase their talents, especially people from different seasons who've had time to learn and grow and become better, I think it's amazing.
Would you return to the show to join Ru and Michelle as a judge on the panel?
I would love to but they're not going to use us as judges, that’s not how it works. I’d love to be a part of the show in any way, for whatever they choose to do. You see the type of judges they have, and we’re all around, but it's never been an opportunity for us. If they decided to, that’s great, but I don't think thats the route they'd want to go down. I think they're pretty cool with the formula they have. But I wouldn't say no!
You got to be interviewed by Joan Rivers before she died, have you met any of your other heroes?
Joan was a huge part of my life as a child, I loved her, so to get to do an interview with her was unreal. But I’ve been lucky enough that living in New York City I’ve got to meet so many different people. One of the people I got to meet that I really love is Wanda Sykes, who’s a brilliant comedian, and we have a lot of mutual friends, and she’s even come to my show. She’s truly one of the best and nicest, it’s always great when you meet these people that you have such respect for and they’re so down to earth and normal and kind. I really respect people who work and people who are smart and funny, so she's definitely on the top of the list as well.
What do you make of what’s happened to the art of drag thanks to Drag Race?
I think the television show has spawned ten thousands new drag queens. I don't know what the future of it is, I didn't expect it to last this long. Of course I've been doing it for forever and I didn't think it’d last this long for me, but I think it’s amazing that it's become mainstream. But I hope it’s just more than a queen who dresses in drag. I hope someone has a talent, and has a focused interest in something. It’s great to dress up at a party and show the ‘Look Queen,’ but there’s more to it. I like entertainment, and I hope the younger generation are aware of that. It’s not just putting on wig and some lashes, its also having something to offer the crowd - study your craft. Figure out what you wanna do and make it happen.
Bianca is playing the Troxy in London this Saturday 18 February at the as part of her 'Not Today Satan' tour.
For more great deals on tickets and shows, visit tickets.attitude.co.uk.
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