EW exclusively reveals the RuPaul's Drag Race winner's surprise cameo in the movie version of the West End musical she starred in — and Del Rio recounts a wild day of filming.

By Joey Nolfi
July 21, 2021 at 01:33 PM EDT
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Everybody's Talking About Jamie (2021 Movie)

Hollywood said "send in the clowns," ma'am! EW can exclusively reveal that RuPaul's Drag Race superstar, author, comedian, and actress Bianca Del Rio has a hilarious cameo in Amazon's upcoming Everybody's Talking About Jamie movie — a big-screen adaptation of the queer-themed West End musical she first appeared in on the London stage.

"When they said we're doing the film, I was on the road, and [the director] reached out and said, 'we have this small cameo, would you be interested in doing it?' I assumed, when I got the call, that someone was sick and I was taking over!" Del Rio tells EW of joining the project, which follows the titular 16-year-old student (Max Harwood) who dreams of leaving his small English town to become a big-name drag queen with the help of fading cabaret icon Loco Chanelle — the role Del Rio first portrayed on the West End in 2019, taken over here by Oscar-nominated Can You Ever Forgive Me? star Richard E. Grant.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie
'RuPaul's Drag Race' star Bianca Del Rio joins the 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' movie.
| Credit: Courtesy of Amazon Studios

Grant reveals that, prior to boarding the project, he'd "never seen a drag show" in his life, but made it a point to binge-watch "every season of RuPaul's Drag Race in three weeks" to prepare. He found the show — particularly Del Rio's season 6 run — "unbelievably sensational," and Del Rio similarly felt the same about traveling to the U.K. to film her scene: A dreamlike musical sequence where she, in a comical, trippy switch in Jamie's imagination, momentarily swaps places with an art teacher at the teen's school.

"There were separate trailers: a trailer that said 'Bianca Del Rio' and one that said 'Ms. Haylock,' which is my real last name. I was like, 'are they f---ing with me?' They said, 'no, the writer had written the teacher's name to be Ms. Haylock!' He ran out of names, so he used my name!" Del Rio recalls. "I had to bring a wig for [the actress playing me] because the hair people were like, 'you and this woman look the same,' so I thought, 'this is horrible! You're going to make this woman look like me in drag!' There's this very sweet woman wearing a Bianca wig, we're in the same outfit... it's the funniest thing. This poor woman, she has to look like me in her big moment! Who wants that? There's a real woman painted up to look like me. She looked natural... for a corpse!"

With a day of filming behind her, Del Rio reflects on the film as a faithful retooling of the musical, with many of its themes about the art of drag and retaining their poignance (and importance) in the translation to the screen thanks to the project's retention of the West End version's developer, Jonathan Butterell, in the director's chair.

"What's great about this particular story is... it's not preachy. There are so many of these gay musicals beating you over the head like, 'blah blah blah, I'm gay, accept me, love my life.' [This is] a well-established character who's decided he wants to be a drag queen, his mother and his friends support him, and there's no discussion about that," Del Rio explains. "Meeting someone who is a mentor, it resonated with me because in my life I experienced many people like [Loco Chanelle], who were welcoming to me because my family didn't understand me, so to speak, as a child, so you meet your theatrical family or your gay family and these people that kind of shape your life."

Everybody's Talking About Jamie debuts Sept. 17 on Amazon Prime Video. See an exclusive shot of Del Rio's cameo above.

Subscribe to EW's BINGE podcast for full recaps of RuPaul's Drag Race, including our new season diving into all five All Stars seasons, featuring exclusive interviews with Jujubee, Alexis Mateo, Shea Couleé, Alaska, Detox, BenDeLaCreme, Kennedy Davenport, and moreAnd be sure to catch up on our BINGE recaps of RuPaul's Drag Race seasons 1-13 with Symone, Jaida Essence Hall, Trixie Mattel, Katya, Peppermint, Bianca Del Rio, Bob the Drag Queen, Sasha Velour, and more!

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Everybody's Talking About Jamie (2021 Movie)

type
  • Movie
genre
mpaa
  • PG-13
runtime
  • 115 minutes
director
  • Jonathan Butterell

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