Mama Ru continued her RDR Season 9 media domination tour. Today, she speaks to Entertainment Weekly about Gaga, Trump, and the fabulous Tammie Brown.
Entertainment Weekly: It almost feels like she was already so much a part of the family and the legacy of this show because of how close to the gay community she is. Did it feel organic when she stepped on set?
RuPaul: I’ve worked with her before, so there’s an ease and familiarity that is apparent when you watch her. We had a fabulous time with Gaga. She was in heaven because this is all so much a part of her wheelhouse and what she does with imagery, costumes, and the way she presents herself.
Did you guys share any meaningful moments that the cameras didn’t catch? I imagine there was a lot of gratitude on her part.
There were lots of memorable moments and lots of gratitude. When she kneeled to kiss my hand on the runway, that was unexpected and lovely. It goes to show you what a sweetheart she is.
You have had other pop stars on this show as judges, though. Did Gaga bring a different energy?
Yes: her appreciation! She comes from this background of downtown New York City clubs, so that was the difference between her and other guests who’ve been appreciative of what we do but don’t know where we come from. She comes from that world.
On the Power of Drag:
This season’s cast seems like such an eclectic group, but will they keep longtime Drag Race fans happy and also spice things up a bit?
Anyone who actually makes it on the show already has such an interesting backstory. Anyone who chooses to do drag in a male-dominated culture is a superhero because these are precisely the things we, as boys, are told not to do. The number one taboo for boys is to be feminine, so for someone to not only override their internal directive but society’s directive, is mind-boggling and heroic. It’s courageous. Automatically, they’re super interesting and I think the audience will find them super interesting. I know they will.
On Tammie Brown:
How involved are you in the casting process?
I’m there from the very beginning to the very end… This is my world. It’s been my world for the past 35 years. All of the other people involved trust me. There are the other producers, and then there’s the network. They’re the main entities… but usually I get my way. [Laughs]
I’d expect nothing less!
[Laughs]. Tammie Brown in the first season, she’s one I had to fight for. I needed to represent that sort of kooky, irreverent style of drag that was very eccentric. Initially, the network didn’t understand it, but ultimately we got Tammie Brown.
Given how Trump has treated the LGBT community as of late, I feel like that might be hard for a lot of young people to do right now.
Our show is important now more than ever before, and that’s why I’m so proud of it. Young people need to know there are ways for them to navigate this life. Our show has been a great way not just for drag queens, but also for anyone who dances to the beat of a different drummer to see the courage, the family, and the tribe band together to support one another.