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RuPaul Charles, the four-time Emmy-winning drag queen, continued his reign with the Television Academy after his VH1 reality competition series, RuPaul’s Drag Race, received 12 nominations.
Drag Race recently completed its 10th season and the eponymous host told The Hollywood Reporter that he isn’t surprised that viewers have embraced drag vernacular and incorporated it into their daily lives.
“It invites people into the way drag sees the world, which is playful. It mocks things that people take seriously. That’s how I’ve been able to navigate and manage this world that can be a downer a lot of the time,” he said.
RuPaul is nominated for outstanding host and outstanding reality program — he also holds an executive producer title — and is poised to make history as the first nominee to win both Emmys.
The reality television mogul told THR that he employs one ritual every time he hits the stage — advice that once even helped Gloria Steinem overcome her fear of presenting an award. “Every single time I go on stage, in front of a lot of people, I think of my mother’s living room. I used to do shows in my mother’s living room and she would love it. I was terrible. But my mother would love whatever I did.”
He added, “I take the stage and it’s like, listen, just go out there and be yourself. Mama’s going to love it.”
Seen as a pillar within the LGBTQ community, Charles offered advice to the future generation of queens and told THR that up-and-comers don’t need him at the helm of drag in order for the field to continue to evolve. “[Drag] stays fresh just by its nature, its intrinsic qualities. Keep it on the cutting edge. That’s what drag is about, it’s about what’s real.”
Watch the video above to hear RuPaul reveal why Judge Judy inspires him, how much he admires Colin Jost’s perfect nose and more.
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