Drag Race star Jackie Cox dusts up drama with Lisa Rinna on Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem
EW exclusively reveals a first look at Cox acting with real-life Snatch Game inspiration on Peacock's Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem soap opera.
EW has an exclusive first look at the RuPaul's Drag Race star's new gig as a guest actress on the spin-off soap opera, in which she revives her iconic season 12 Snatch Game persona in full Rinna drag.
Cox tells EW her performance on the beloved Drag Race celebrity impersonation challenge prompted the network to reach out about bringing her into the Days of Our Lives family in a mystery role ahead of Beyond Salem's Sept. 6 bow. Though she's unable to reveal her character's name (or purpose) at this point, she promises a wild ride that's everything fans of drag, drama, and Rinna's iconic dusters want.
"When my character finally meets Lisa's iconic Billie Reed, it's quite the encounter, complete with lots of soap opera stares, which Lisa and I had too much fun doing!" Cox explains. "It was my first time on a soap opera set, and Lisa was so welcoming and definitely helped me find my light. She kept saying 'the good light is over here, honey,' and amen for that!"
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star further camped up the performance with a little prop play, as Cox recalls the 58-year-old channeled her "fierce mama bear energy" and made tiny adjustments to enhance their work.
"It's something I try to channel whenever I play her. That, and trying to get my bangs to go just the right way. Her only suggestion to me on set, looks-wise, was to wear the higher set of heels I brought. I was worried I would tower over her, but she said 'the higher heels are too fierce, honey, you gotta wear them!'" Cox says. "The only time we did a second take was when Lisa stopped us to swap out a glass I wielded during one of our scenes. The production team had given me a whiskey glass, and Lisa said, 'Well, if we're gonna do it, it better be a wine glass!' Which, of course led to her telling the whole cast of boys on set with us about the [Real Housewives] wine glass moment in Amsterdam. It was wild to hear her telling us all about this iconic moment in Housewives history from her firsthand perspective."
While Cox has spent years of her career living in Rinna's world (the New York City-based queen previously played the actress on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live! and on the network's float at a Pride parade), she cherishes the experience of acting alongside Rinna as a formative moment in her career. She says the two parted ways after exchanging gifts (Rinna gave Cox a one of her beauty lip kits, and Cox returned the favor with a pair of her signature sunglasses), but the Drag Race alum plans to carry her pal's legacy with her when she hits the road on her new JackieVision tour later this year.
"I've had in the back of my head, the idea of doing a long form cabaret as Lisa called The Rinna Takes it All, but until that pipe dream comes true, I'll be incorporating some of those ideas in this number!" Cox reveals of the JackieVision shows, which draw inspiration from TV projects she became obsessed with during quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic. "And, yes, there will be video elements, though no new footage from Rinna... yet! A year ago I was just fangirl, but now I'm lucky enough to call her a colleague, so, yes, stranger things have happened! And no, I'm not talking about Harry Hamlin's acrylic nails!"
Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem — also starring Deidre Hall, Drake Hogestyn, Jackée Harry, James Reynolds, and Eileen Davidson — premieres Sept. 6 on Peacock, with new episodes airing daily through to the Sept. 10 finale. The main Days of Our Lives series airs Monday through Friday on NBC.
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