the official website of RuPaul.RuPaul’s Drag Race, which recently premiered on VH1 after eight seasons on Logo, millions more people are getting to know Ru. It’s incredible what he’s done for the drag queens who compete on that show—bringing them out, introducing them to a mainstream audience and letting them be proud of who they are and what they want to be.
RuPaul is heading to Netflix as the star of AJ and the Queen, a new original comedy series. RuPaul Charles has teamed with 2 Broke Girls co-creator and former Sex and the City showrunner Michael Patrick King on the project, which has received a 10-episode order form the Internet network. Warner Bros. TV where King is based, is the studio.
Written by RuPaul and King, the series stars RuPaul as Ruby Red, a bigger-than-life but down-on-her-luck drag queen who travels across America from club to club in a rundown 1990’s R/V with her unlikely sidekick AJ, a recently orphaned, tough-talking, scrappy 11-year-old stowaway. As these two misfits, one tall, one small, travel from city to city, Ruby’s message of love and acceptance winds up touching people and changing their lives for the better. Oh, and RuPaul performs a killer musical number in every drag club.
RuPaul — star of the hit show RuPaul’s Drag Race — may love a good glitter cut crease, but he also wants to share some hard-earned lessons. In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, RuPaul reveals the cover of his upcoming book, GuRu: RuPaul Wisdom, and explains that he wants it to serve as a “talisman” for readers.
“This book is a talisman, a guidebook for living,” RuPaul, 57, explains of the book, which hits shelves in October. “[It’s] a collection of meaningful phrases and quotes that have helped me navigate the chaos of modern life.”
The book will include more than 80 photographs, including some that have never been seen before.
“I hope that fans will use the book for inspiration,” he says. “It offers beauty, but also advice, insight and attitude. It’s more than just a bunch of pretty pictures.”
Mally Beauty and RuPaul are teaming up. The first collaboration for Mally Beauty, founder Mally Roncal is with drag queen, television personality and actor, RuPaul, for a capsule collection of color cosmetics that reflect both of their exuberant personalities.
The elevator doors open to the fourth floor of World of Wonder studios. I’m half an hour early, but RuPaul is already there, in his plaid coral-and-aqua Mr. Turk suit, engrossed with his iPad. A part of me wants to scurry back into the elevator—the domineering image of Mama Ru from nine seasons of his titular Drag Race writ large on my imagination—but finding the appropriate nerve, I introduce myself, extending a hand in greeting. He shakes it for a second, before letting his shoulders collapse in disappointment.
At roughly seven feet tall—when you count the stilettos and altitudinous wig—RuPaul is a dazzling, ebullient tornado of fierceness. But what's more impressive is his multi-decade career, during which he's brought drag to the mainstream. His Emmy-winning, eminently quotable show, RuPaul's Drag Race, is scheduled to begin its tenth season this spring; he has released 11 dance-pop albums; and he was the first drag queen to land a cosmetics campaign (with MAC). He's also preached a gospel of self-love and tolerance that has permeated American culture: Even your mother is probably using the phrase "You better work" by now. Fascinated by his ability to defy categorization and spark vital conversation about identity, Oprah sat down with the 57-year-old for a much-needed kiki—a laugh-filled chat between friends.
When RuPaul Charles was seven, one of his sisters comforted him with a promise. “Everyone who’s in charge of the world now,” she told him, “they’re all making it better, so that years from now everyone on the planet will have at least eight pairs of shoes.” Her prediction tells us something about the better world a young RuPaul dreamed of – and that, in the case of his own shoe collection, at least, turned out to be true. Before the boy was even born, a psychic had told his mother he would grow up to be famous, so she took great care to name him suitably. What neither his unusually prescient family – nor a single TV pundit – predicted, however, was that at the age of 57 he would be the star of what has been called “the most radical show on TV”.
On a soundstage deep in the hills of Los Angeles one morning last August, RuPaul Charles and several drag queens made their way to a set that had been transformed into a simulacrum of the reality-TV show “The Bachelor.” Lacy strands of lights dripped down plastic boxwood hedges, and a row of white fluted columns framed a velvety red strip of carpet. A hot tub bubbled quietly in a corner. The contestants arranged themselves onto a set of bleachers to be appraised by the dashing bachelor, who in this scene was played by the actor Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, best known for his role on the Lifetime television drama “UnREAL.” They were filming the latest season of the reality competition show “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and the day’s challenge was meant to showcase the competitors’ acting abilities. The challenge, called “The Bitchelorette,” was a parody of the farcical dynamics that play out on “The Bachelor” each season. The goal was not to win Bowyer-Chapman’s heart but rather to see who could perform — satirize, really — stereotypes of femininity with enough humor to impress the judges.