Not Today Satan, at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall on 20th February, ran riot of everything from POTUS to Post-Mortems and Post-It notes brimming with hatred. In true “insult comic” style Bianca Del Rio came for anyone and everyone, punctuated by vicious laughter, sequins and calls for more white wine. She met our expectations for a comedy show and more: she made us laugh, made us clap, and possibly made some of us cry, and so we took the opportunity to hear more from the Queen of Mean herself:
So fresh off the heels of last night’s Belfast “Not Today Satan” show, and following your Netflix famed “Hurricane Bianca,” I gotta ask you, on this a rare day off, when does Bianca stop spinning? What do you do when you finally slow down?
I’m not fond of slowing down which is good. It’s been a whirlwind since Drag Race and the last three years now really, but I really don’t like to calm down; I like to keep moving. The real advantage of travelling all over the world is that, luckily, with the internet I get more accomplished. Because I always have something to do.
I have taken a vacation with friends but then that’s more work than play in a group of my friends so I have thought about taking a vacation by myself and just sitting on the beach with a cocktail and a good book. But I’m afraid that after a day I’ll get bored and lose my mind!
I’m looking forward to completing “Not Today Satan,” as Belfast was our last UK show. I’ve got fifteen dates left and then on to a new show!
And will this new show be coming to Belfast?
Yes, correct, we just signed the contract for it. It was a great experience and I'm certainly looking forward to coming back.
So, they say: “Never work with animals or children,” but what about drag queens?
Oh my god that’s very tricky. You’ve gotta be careful with the ones you work with.
I always give them the benefit of the doubt - I will work with anyone, once. I’ve been in drag now twenty-one years, and usually they’re pretty cool. But sometimes their bullshit will outweigh their talent and those are the people I just avoid. Some are more ego ridden than passionate for what they’re doing. Or they’re not business-like - I have no problem with passion nor business but I do have a problem with a f*ggot that’s annoying. I’ve shared dressing rooms with many of them - who were horrible, - and I’m never doing it again.
Speaking of bad behaviour and animals, how are a Samson and Delilah doing without you? Who’s looking after them while you take the world by storm?
They’re horribly mad at me. I relocated from New York to Los Angeles following Drag Race, and they’re much happier with the weather and the space. It’s a different world for them; from a studio apartment to here - they have sunshine and they absolutely love that.
I’ve got a brilliant dog sitter who takes care of them for me but when I get home, it’s a couple of days before they even come around y’know. They give me that stank eye, and lots of attitude and sure they eventually warm up to me again, but then I have to leave again - It’s hard to get a regular routine. But c’mon they’re living the life! They’ve got it made. They get the best dog food, the best toys - they can’t complain.
You’re putting them through college, eh?
Putting them through college was hilarious. I don’t even remember where that came from but they’ve already been! Someone made a meme of them with little college outfits and I couldn’t stop laughing about it.
Have you heard of the animal facetime craze? Cute or crazy?
Animal facetime? I think that’s genius. I think that would be hysterical. I thought it would be great when I saw it online. I mentioned it to my assistant, cus I’d love to see them and it’s good for them as well, y’know?
Have you seen much of Ireland between trips to hotel rooms? Yeah, yeah – “great country, bad teeth and whiskey” – any input?
Well you know it’s funny, as much as I travel I don’t get to see much of the places I go to, but what I do do is I keep a list of the things I did see and liked - y’know, an “I wanna go back there,” list. But today has been just me catching up on my life before I go home, I haven’t seen much of Ireland. You know what’s shocking is that stereotypically we as Americans expect to see wild, red-haired, drunen, straight leprechauns. But what I saw with the show is that there’s so much diversity here. Everyone was very nice and very welcoming - I guess the myth of it all isn’t necessarily real. Maybe I just saw who was at my show but I didn’t see any redhead, drunken, straight leprechauns!
Do you recall the campaign to “Re-elect the Queen” following your year of glory post season 6?
*Laughter* You know it’s funny a lot of that stuff gets printed and then it gets back to me and with that I thought it was hysterical, but it’s funny, season six was special to me and being in the company of a stellar top three, with Adore and Courtney, I actually thought it was a little disrespectful to my friends. I guess that’s what some fans don’t see. The show is intense and goes on a lot and I have to say the best bit was coming out of it and being friends with basically everyone. Even Laganja and Gia Gunn and I are all friends. It’s kind of amazing.
It was a stellar cast and top three, but your win seemed unanimous among a lot of fans. How does it feel to still have such a diehard fan base?
It’s unreal - I’ve been in drag for a long time, working clubs and theatres and smaller, smaller venues. Doing a weekly gig at the bar and hosting a bingo or a talent night. I had a lot of training with work but not with fans. Like, this was before social media, so I wasn’t expecting the global level of fandom. I’m kinda glad I was naive to it as it’s been so amazing.
Also it was such timing; I was 37 and turned 38 while filming and I knew who I was – it wasn’t me wrapped up in drinking and going out and doing drugs – it was me as me.
And if you have something to offer, and know yourself, it can go far. There’s a little bit of time between filming and air time and it was crucial for me. I was plotting what to do next in that time. I worked with anyone then, working up a fan base and working the gay clubs. I had to have an act. Some people have music, a look or songs; for me it was working a theatre and now after the show, ‘cus I’d already done many bars, I wanted to branch out into something a little more grand and I’m grateful that I can. From Australia to London to Ireland to Brazil and all over America, it’s been truly amazing. It’s been a lovely ride.
We’re having our own re-elections at the moment…apparently even unanimous decisions here can be vetoed by a panel of judges. As I recall from last night you’re aware of the controversy a cake can cause. How do you feel about gay marriage in current politics – in N. Ireland it’s absent, is it at risk in America?
I mean in general, it’s ridiculous honestly. Church and state and Trump building a wall between America and Mexico? Build the wall between church and state! Because your beliefs have nothing to do with it. These are the people who are the most hypocritical f*cks you’ve ever met. If you don’t like “the gay” marriage don’t get “the gay” married. WTF!
I mean in America if they do take it away again and take away my rights, I’ll just stop paying my taxes as I’m not a person then. It’s not extravagant - I’m asking for basic, basic things you know? Insurance, a spouse - what does that matter to you and how does that change your life? Republicans are the most hypocritical fucks as you usually find them later fucking a hooker and they’re talking about the sanctity of marriage? I always say clean your own house first and then you can tell me how to clean mine. It’s not even laughable anymore it’s infuriating.
It’s ignorance - it’s not stupidity. It’s ignorance, because these people don’t want to find out any more than what they know and sadly it’s taken over the world.
Desert Island drag – what do you have to have?
A wig. Size 12 shoes. White eyeliner. Lashes. And you have to have a drink!
Maybe Madonna...I like the process of applying drag, I don’t like to be rushed. I like to be left alone and I like to take my time doing my make-up, listen to Madonna, and get my thoughts together.
So lashes, a wig, shoes, Madonna, wine…and good lighting! *Laughter*
On a note of essentials, our readers always love to know, untucked - is it boxers or briefs?
Oh I wear briefs! I like briefs. Boxers are a little too much. Too much movement!
Thank you Bianca, for fitting GNI into your busy schedule, and reading the house down at your Belfast show last night. Take one more chance to read an Irish bitch, and fill us in on what’s next for the Queen of Mean:
*More laughter* This is so interesting. People always say read, read, read me! And as you’ve seen my show you’ll know, I have to have something to go on. Obviously there are generic reads. But I need to see you!
That question was planned for face to face interview I suppose…
Oh well send me a picture and I’ll send you something back!
But as far as what’s next I’m working on the new show!
I have fifteen more shows left in America, we did thirty last year. Fifteen left. And then the new one.
I’m also currently working on a book – It’s going to be “Ask Bianca,” where people can ask me for advice – I know it’s odd! We’re hoping that by the end of the year we’ll be filming the sequel to “Hurricane Bianca.” My friend Matt [Kugleman] is working on it currently and we’re trying to sort everyone’s schedules. I’m happy to say that everyone’s coming back: Shangela, Willam, Rachel Dratch, plus, Katya is joining us!
It’s a lot to get planning but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
One last question: Charlie Hides (who was in GNI MAG) is in the line-up for the next season of RPDR, thoughts?
I love Charlie. I met him in London about two years ago. Very funny, great looks and it’s great to see someone older than 25 on the show – honestly I knew about him from his Youtube videos but didn’t know he was on the show until the trailers. I text him when I found out – “You shady c*nt!” It’s a small world and usually you hear these things but I had no idea. It’s going to be great for the UK even though he’s American [his husband is British] and it’s a great platform. It’s getting bigger and bigger each year, year in year out. He’s a great character and he’s put together and…
...You think he has a chance to win?
I think anybody does. You never know. I didn’t know I was gonna win. I think anyone has a chance. And truly you don’t have to be the winner to win - Just do what you do, and own it and be honest, and it works out in your favour. Look at Latrice, Willam…Look at Adore! It’s all there for the taking. You don’t need the crown. Just do what you do*
*But as Bianca likes to remind us, she’s already won!
Many thanks to Bianca Del Rio and her team for taking the time to talk to us. Enjoy your Hot Toddy, pop a Xanax, and have a safe flight back to Sammy and Dede. Don’t forget to raise your hand and wave for our community.
Interview by Gary Campion and Cliff Carter
Words by Cliff Carter
Images by Magnus Hastings