'Queer Eye's' Tan France Talks New Netflix Shows, 'Naturally Tan' Book, Charity Suit Drive
"My head's still spinning," says France, in advance of season 4 of 'Queer Eye' as he completes filming of the 'Next in Fashion' reality show with Alexa Chung and preps his 'Dressing Funny' web series with Tina Fey, John Mulaney and Ali Wong.
"I’m having the time of my life, my head’s still spinning," says Queer Eye star and fashion guru Tan France as this summer finds him surfing a wave of projects instead of hanging ten at a beach. France is balancing three Netflix series, promoting his new book Naturally Tan (St. Martin’s Press) and spearheading the Men’s Warehouse charity suit drive for the second year.
With the trailer for season four of Queer Eye dropping Monday before the Netflix show’s launch on July 19 (and the recent announcement that the show has been picked up for two more seasons), France tells The Hollywood Reporter of season four, "I think you’ll find it just as emotional if not more so than any of the other seasons, particularly because we’re helping someone that Jonathan knows quite well, who changed his life," referring to fellow castmember Jonathan Van Ness (grooming), who returns along with Antoni Porowski (food and wine), Bobby Berk (interior design) and Karamo Brown (culture).
France has also just completed filming on season one of Netflix’s Next in Fashion with model-designer co-host Alexa Chung, jumping into the suddenly crowded fashion reality programming space. (Besides the rebooted Project Runway, which recently completed its return season on original home Bravo, upcoming competitors include Amazon’s Making the Cut with former Project Runway stars Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn and the return of Rachel Zoe to TV in a fashion competition show from MGM Television with producer Mark Burnett.)
"We wrapped Next in Fashion two months ago, and now Netflix is editing it to release in 2020," France relates.
But there was no pause for downtime. France has since been toplining Dressing Funny in the interim, a new Netflix web series airing exclusively on YouTube. "I take a comedian shopping each episode, and it’s different from Queer Eye because you see a sassier side of me since I’m dealing with show-business people. It’s just genuinely a very funny show," he says. "Some of the comedians I’ve had on include John Mulaney, Ali Wong and Nick Kroll. And this week’s episode is with Tina Fey."
With all that’s happened since the launch of Queer Eye, France says writing his book Naturally Tan gave him a chance to find some much-needed perspective. "The lovely thing about being able to look back when you’re writing a book is that you remind yourself of all those times from being a kid, and to relive and process those feelings was really cathartic," he says of his childhood growing up in a Pakistani Muslim family in England. "More recently, just to sit down and write down all the crazy things that have happened in the last year — because you’re always moving on to the next thing — it was nice to take a moment to reflect on all the things since the show aired."
And, for the month of July, France is fronting the Men’s Warehouse Suit Drive to collect gently used professional attire at its more than 700 stores across the country that the company will distribute to nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping men and women re-enter the workforce. (The retailer is offering store discounts for those who donate apparel, as well as encouraging them to post a picture wearing the original clothing with the hashtag #ThrowbackAndDonate.)
"This is definitely an extension of what I do on the show," France says. "I’m encouraging people to use clothes as a vehicle for change and view themselves differently and give them the self-esteem they may be lacking."