Bianca Del Rio might not be someone who comes to mind when you think of “Christmas cheer,” but the Drag Race winner is taking time out of her busy schedule to educate the children about a holiday film classic.
Bianca’s hosting a remastered edition of 1958’s Auntie Mame at New York’s Metrograph theater this week as part of The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences’ (AMPAS) partnership with the theater. NewNowNext caught up with the Queen of Mean and asked her about her love for the movie, what Christmas song she can’t stand, and who’s on her naughty list this year.
Why did you decide to host a screening of Auntie Mame?
Because it’s Auntie Mame! Who would say no? it’s my all-time favorite movie. Now I always have to clarify: I love the original, I’m okay with the musical version. It’s not my favorite. I love Bea Arthur and Theadora Van Runkle’s costumes in the musical. But I always have to specify that the original is the best. That is the one to watch.
Yes, Auntie Mame, not Mame.
Correct. Now it gets confusing for the gays because they don’t do the research…
Are you someone’s Auntie Mame?
When I was 16 or 17 I met an actress in New Orleans who I lived with later on for many, many years because my family decided to move out of the city. We joined forces and she was on the one who introduced me to the film and at the time I didn’t realize the gay overtones. We kind of pick our own family, here was this woman who didn’t plan on having her own children, but then this child comes into her life and they become their own family for years. It was a lot like my life was. You create your own tribe. It wasn’t until I was much older that it clicked.
Have you introduced the film to any younger gays?
Oh, everyone. It’s just so good to watch. Aside from the content being good, it’s so beautifully shot. The sets and the costumes are absolutely amazing. And being a drag queen, of course, that’s how I want to live—that’s what I thought New York was like. I thought I would move into 3 Beekman Place and that would be my home.
So your apartment didn’t look like Mame’s?
Uh, no girl. Not in Hell’s Kitchen. It definitely was in my brain. I thought: “Wow, what a glamorous life to live and dressing up for no reason.” It was definitely the world I wanted to live in. It was too good! It’s funny as shit and it holds up well. Rosalind Russell is a comedic genius in this. It’s a drag queen movie. It’s everything we think we are. It’s our lives with an Instagram filter. Apparently they’ve remastered it and I’ve never seen it on the big screen, so I’m really looking forward to it.
But I wont be remastered, so don’t get too close to me.
Do you have other favorite holiday movies?
Well, it doesn’t necessarily have to do with the holidays, but one of my favorites is The Women—the original. I was recently on a flight and they had that shitty version with Meg Ryan which made me want to walk off the plane. It was so fucking awful. The Women is something I love to watch at least once a year. The Women and Auntie Mame are just so funny. They are just so catty and hateful, they’re just who I want to be.
We’re hearing Christmas carols nonstop. Is there a Christmas song that you absolutely hate?
That fuckin’ Mariah Carey one—I hate it, I hate it, hate it. People just wear it the fuck out. It’s like the only fucking song that exists. I hate the song and the people who defend it. I could go my entire life without hearing that song again—and the way she’s been sounding lately I don’t think we’re going to hear it again. It makes me so angry. Especially when they play it in July and there’s always that one queen in the bar twirling like she’s living. It just doesn’t work for me.
So if you were Bianca Claus, who would be on your “naughty” list for 2017? Who’d get a lump of coal?
There’s so many! Any Republican who voted for Trump. I think anyone who thought that voting for him was a good idea. Anyone who says “Let’s make America great again.” So a lot of coal. The political climate right now is insane and each day and it’s worse and you wake up and it’s like you’re watching Drag Race results! “What happened?! This is rigged! It’s the Russians! They put rose petals in her wig!” I just hope the dumb people just stop.
Trump can’t even manage his hair how can he manage the country? Let’s be honest.
Bianca Del Rio hosts Auntie Mame on December 16 at Metrograph in New York