You may know Cristin Milioti as the Tony-nominated star of Once, the Broadway musical about an Irish singer-songwriter and Czech piano player who have a heartbreaking romance over the course of a weekend. (It won the Tony for Best Musical and is based on the 2007 movie. If you haven’t seen it, I really recommend it.)
As it turns out, Milioti loves RuPaul’s Drag Race, so I called her up to talk about the queens. I was surprised by how she learned about the show—so much drama!—and I was glad she loved Latrice and Chad.
Here’s what Milioti had to say:
Mark Blankenship: So what do you love about RuPaul’s Drag Race?
Cristin Milioti: I love that it’s reality television, and it’s extremely campy, but they’re also very serious. Those are talented men. It’s not like the cast of Jersey Shore, where they just got lucky. Those men have been working for years and are really talented, and it’s amazing to watch them do what they do.
MB: I also love the tone of show. One minute, the queens are up there being fierce and throwing shade, and then the next minute, they’re telling these incredible stories about their lives. It’s totally serious and totally ridiculous at the same time.
CM: Right! And I like the fact that they don’t really “go into it.” Like, Latrice just mentions randomly that he was in prison for years, and I feel like most shows would go into it. Like, “Why were you in prison? What are you going to learn from it?” And on this show, they’re just like, “Okay.” Everyone was really accepting, and he could just do his thing on the stage, and he was undeniably incredible. So they didn’t go into the rest of it.
MB: And by the end of the season, you’re not even thinking about “Latrice the Criminal,” because he’s den mother of the whole show. Latrice is the one who brings out the best in everyone.
CM: Undoubtedly the highest morals on the show. Her and Chad.
MB: They’re the season 4 queens who are going to be on RuPaul’s All Stars Drag Race. How do you think they compare to the other contestants?
CM: I haven’t seen the first three seasons. My intention is to go back and watch those. I got into RuPaul’s Drag Race because they thought I had a vocal cord injury. This was early on, right after we opened [on Broadway this spring], and they told me that I couldn’t speak for 8 days. We had been open for two weeks, and one night, I went to sing and nothing came out. And it was the most frightening thing. They sent me to all these doctors, and no one knew what was happening. And they said, “You have to take all this time off, and you can’t speak to anyone. No phone calls.” I live with my boyfriend, and I had to write him notes. It was infuriating.
So I emailed a couple of friends saying, “I don’t know what to do. I’m going stir crazy. He’s at work all day, and I just sit and don’t talk to anyone.” And they said, you probably need to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race, because it’s really uplifting. And I watched every episode in six days. I got obsessed with it.
MB: So Drag Race was basically your recovery tool.
CM: It was such a horrible time, and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to sing again, and it was just a comforting show to watch. And then my boyfriend got super into it. He’s a furniture maker, and he’s a dude from Wisconsin. He goes camping. And when I wrote him this note saying, “Please watch this with me. I’m gonna burst into tears,” he kind of rolled his eyes. But then he got super into it.
MB: So from the All Stars cast, you only know Chad and Latrice. Do you have a favorite?
CM: Between Chad and Latrice? I refuse to pick one. As long as Phi Phi O’Hara is nowhere near any of it, I’m fine.
MB: Hahaha! Preach! Well, listen… one last question. I know that famous people like Bono have seen Once on Broadway. What would you do if RuPaul was in the audience?
CM: If I found out that RuPaul was seeing the show, they’d have to put an ambulance outside for me. I would lose control of my limbs.