Everybody's Talking About Jamie cast spills tips on good drag, from Gaga to 'donkey sperm'
Everybody's Talking About Jamie (2021 Movie)
You know the tea: The higher the hair, the closer to God. In the very queer world of Everybody's Talking About Jamie (out Friday on Amazon), however, a teenage boy's penchant for sky-high wigs and heels elevates him one strut further into the realm of The Gay Gods™ — drag queens — who form a heavenly chosen-family circle around him as he realizes his dream of becoming a glistening showgirl.
With help from fading icon Loco Chanelle (Richard E. Grant), Jamie (Max Harwood) learns to live his best life, and the film's stars did the same as they dabbled in drag for the first time. Here, three castmates — including RuPaul's Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio, who cameos in the film after playing a lead role in the West End stage version — share lessons learned on the set and spill on harnessing one's inner diva.
Hit the loo before tucking
BIANCA DEL RIO (MS. HAYLOCK): [Tucking] depends on what you want to wear! I don't get sexy in drag because no one is interested in clowns. The trick is, I tuck everything under and then stick it all up under my wig… It's tricky! Once you're tucked, never try to go to the restroom because that is the worst. It's going to take you 20 minutes to find things, and once you do, it's very hard to get things back. Once you're tucked, never go to the restroom. That's why half the drag queens I know are miserable: They have to pee.
MAX HARWOOD (JAMIE): We spent so long in those looks on set. There's not much time to use the bathroom. Me and Richard were holding on for dear life.
RICHARD E. GRANT (LOCO CHANELLE): I took sips through a straw over 14 hours... The biggest mystery to me is how people can jump up and do the splits [while tucked]. How do they do that!?
Trade tights for body makeup — it looks (and smells) better
DEL RIO: No matter how glam you look, you still sweat like a man.
GRANT: Just throw [the tights] away! You don't want your clothes to say hello before you.
HARWOOD: Have a wax, put on some Mac Face and Body [foundation], then you can wash it off!
Don't f--- up the lip-sync
DEL RIO: I like anything old-school, anything disco, "Last Dance" by Donna Summer takes you back! The kids today would probably say Ariana Grande or Lady Gaga. Whatever! I like an old classic, a song I know, a song that brings me joy, and also if they know the words! A drag queen has one job: Know the f---ing words! I think it's important to perform the numbers you know. Don't try to create a look without committing to the actual song.
HARWOOD: I don't want to be dragged today, so I'm not going to say Lady Gaga...
GRANT: Because Britney Spears is under this insane conservatorship, she must be high-ranking at the moment!
Consult your queer peers
HARWOOD: I know a few queens in the U.K. that I reached out to for tips and tricks.
GRANT: I watched every season of RuPaul's Drag Race in 3 weeks, literally binge-watched the whole lot... There's a drag queen called David Hoyle, he's incredible. I'd never seen him before, and I went to his show and spent a lot of time with him; I had dinner with him, and he informed me. Because I'm playing somebody who's an old has-been as opposed to the megastar that Bianca Del Rio is, it was very helpful to meet somebody who was kind of living on the edge of life in reduced circumstances. His vulnerability and his melancholy [made me feel] like a sponge in his presence. He absolutely inspired me.
DEL RIO: It's not until you're actually discussing [drag] with someone that you find this encouragement.
Never underestimate the power of a good wig...
HARWOOD: I love wigs. I've been known to spend money on hair I don't need. Last week, I bought two or three wigs; it cost me £400.
GRANT: If you've got the wig and fabulous shoes on and leopard-skin leggings and 36 double-D's, I've got your fembot jubbly power here!
DEL RIO: It's a packaging to get away with murder. If I was me out of drag, they'd go, "Oh, what a hateful little gay person." But when I'm in a wig, I'm hysterical.
...and know how to keep it on your head
HARWOOD: Glue? I'm guessing glue. Lots of glue. Lots of pins. Staples. A few staples.
GRANT: Glue made from donkey sperm.
DEL RIO: I don't want to discuss how you get the donkey to commit to this, it's a whole other process. But, Richard knows!
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