The 59-year-old Emmy-winning RuPaul’s Drag Race host leads the series as Ruby Red, a down-on-her-luck drag performer who travels the country from gig to gig in a 1990s R/V with a 10-year-old stowaway orphan, AJ (Izzy Gaspersz), in tow. The man behind the queen, Robert Lee, has big dreams of opening his very own drag club after years of performing on his own. Just when he’s about to realize his goals, a charismatic grifter (Josh Segarra) and his eye-patch wearing partner, Lady Danger (Tia Carrere) swindle him out of his savings, forcing Ruby to start over with a new nationwide tour.
The show’s first teaser (below) previews RuPaul’s transformation into the titular showgirl, who turns and twirls on stage for a crowd of adoring fans after an announcer enthusiastically introduces her.
Earlier this year, RuPaul revealed that receiving his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame informed his approach to the 10-episode series, which he co-created and co-wrote with King, the mastermind behind both Sex and the City and the beloved Lisa Kudrow series The Comeback.
“My character parents an 11-year-old child, so I was able to really emotionally revisit myself as a kid. It was a trip. I’ve never done anything like that before. It was the most challenging thing for me as an actor and as a human,” RuPaul told Judge Judy Sheindlin during a joint Interview profile published in August. “The big thing for me is that I wish I’d learned how to process feelings earlier. The human body is kind of like a computer program, and a lot of the feelings that I felt were based on the experiences I’d had. Knowing that feelings are not facts was a message I wish that 11-year-old Ru had heard.”
AJ and the Queen — also starring Michael-Leon Wooley, Tia Carrere, Josh Segarra and Katerina Tannenbaum — premieres Jan. 10 on Netflix. Watch the teaser trailer above.
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