Bianca Del Rio is as good as it gets…and even better…when it comes to drag. Currently one of the three grand finalists on season six of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Bianca (aka Roy Haylock) is also an accomplished comedian, actor, singer and costume designer. She has so many credits to her name that I would require a separate issue of “Get Out!” to list them all.
Adorned with a huge following, Bianca’s name was on the tongues of everyone, even before “Drag Race.” She is witty, smart, extremely professional and very sweet.
Interviewing her was pure pleasure.
Who on the show would you kill, marry or sleep with?
Well, actually, I don’t want to kill any of them or marry them – none of them. It’s kind of, you get to know these people. At the level that I knew them at the time, I had no interest in any of them. But I’m picky. At my age, I’m picky.
You mentored a lot of the girls on the show this season. You helped a lot of them. Who was there for you?
The weird thing was the show itself was a test of skills. It was like throwing somebody in a pool, and it’s sink or swim. I saw so many that were potentially great in a lot of areas, but they seemed to be missing a few things that I was confident in, that I was able to help them with. So it was a journey for me. I found peace in helping them.
I’m really used to that type of situation. I’m used to being thrown to the wolves. I’m used to kind of going through a curtain and figuring it out. So that type of situation really didn’t scare me. I thought the great thing about the show is that because we were sequestered and were not hanging out with one another 24/7, having alone time was good for me. I was able to kind of focus on what I was doing.
So besides being a test of skill, it was also a test of yourself: not getting too confident with things you do well and not being discouraged by the things you don’t do well. Being alone helped a lot.
How has being on the show changed your life?
Oh, it’s been amazing. It’s an unbelievable platform, an unbelievable amount of affection, kindness and notoriety. When I started doing drag, Facebook, Twitter – none of it existed. It’s extremely overwhelming to see how this show was brought into people’s living rooms and how outspoken everyone is and how supportive. It’s surreal.Well, for me, I don’t think I’m curing cancer. I’m just doing what I’ve done all these years. It’s kind of nice to receive this kind of acknowledgement at this point of my life.
When you wake up in the morning, what motivates you?
Well, lately, I don’t have enough hours in the day. What motivates me is knowing – being “38” and know the opportunity only comes once in a lifetime. And the amazing thing about it is all these years: I’ve done some shitty gigs, some good gigs…it’s been a roller coaster, but at this point in my life I realize that this is the golden ticket to anything you want to do. This doesn’t happen often, and because it is happening, I’m beyond grateful. Win, lose or whatever is to come in the next few weeks, I already feel like a winner just because of the opportunity. That’s such a pageant answer, but it is really true.
We all know that you can make a dress in five minutes, so what designers have influenced you?
Well, I simply adore Bob Mackie, I love Halston, Oscar de la Renta has some beautiful stuff. I love anything that’s pageantry, costume-like. Jean Paul Gaultier… When it’s drag, for me I prefer costume over fashion because it’s heightening, it’s theatrical, which I enjoy. I like feathers, sequins – all of the obvious. All of them have really been influential, but I think that my most favorite is of course Mr. Mackie.
Same designers for Roy?
Not really. I’m not really a big design whore as myself. I’m basic. I don’t get into labels. I spend so much time in drag that I look for a simpler approach when I’m out of it. Lately all I have been traveling in is those big hooded onesies, cause it’s the most convenient thing to travel in. But I’m not really that fashion forward so to speak.
You are an amazing comedian. Who inspires you?
I’m pretty open. I love Pandora. Depending on the mood I usually shy away from top 40, because when I work in the bars, that’s all I hear. I have moments where I listen to the Barbra Streisand channel or my theatrical channel, easy listening or jazz…you know, it varies.
I heard that you recently got to hang out with GaGa.
Well, what’s funny is that it wasn’t hanging out. It was a gig that I was hired for, and we had a few minutes and took a photo together, but the world that we live in now, they think we’re best friends, which is not the case. She was extremely gracious, and we spent maybe five minutes together, but she was definitely in the vicinity for more than a couple of hours. It wasn’t like we were sitting back, shooting the shit, drinking the drink. It was a very short moment, but it was great.
What men do you consider sexy?
Well, it’s amazing because when you do the show, everybody and their mother wants to sleep with you. It’s fascinating. Like where were these people all my life? I really don’t have a type. I don’t know what I want, but I know what I don’t want, like my last two exes – forget it!
So you’re available?
Well, of course I’m available – but, as I said, at my age I get picky. These could be the last few years I have left on earth, and I don’t want to spend them with an asshole.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully not doing drag. I don’t know. I didn’t plan this far. I’m not a big dreamer. I don’t sit back and say, “This is what I want, this is my goal.” It’s just been an amazing ride to be able to do the things I do. I’m beyond grateful for all of it. I mean, who knows – two years ago I didn’t think I’d be doing “Drag Race.” But with each step, it’s opened up more and more doors. I mean, moving to New York and doing the show led to a conversation with you, so all of it’s endless, and I try to be as fearless as possible and go with the flow.
Are you doing anything on Fire Island this summer?
A couple dates. I’m going to be there. Cherry’s has always been amazing to me. I love Jackie and Donna because they were very good to me when I left last year to go film the show. Knowing that I’m traveling this summer—to London, Australia, I’m going to Ireland—so I’ll be at Cherry’s, and there’s another benefit for the dunes. I’m not sure of the dates, but they’ll be on my website.
What’s your favorite color?
I love red, but I’m partial to black. I wear a lot of black. Over the years I’ve gotten rid of a lot of drag because I’ve worn it, but I will never get rid of anything black.
You have an amazing smile, and you’re so thin and beautiful. How do you have time to maintain that beauty?
Well, I appreciate the compliment, but…you know, the thing is, you sell your soul to the devil and you never age. Look, it’s been a crazy life, and well, all the shit I have done, I should look like Angela Lansbury at this point. I control what I can control because I drink a lot and carry on like the rest of them. I mean, I am from New Orleans.
I really have no secrets. I don’t know what to say. I wash my face with Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo. A dermatologist told me that when I was 20, and
it’s my lifesaver.
So you are from New Orleans. The first queen I ever met was Rita George, and she was from New Orleans.
Oh! She was my neighbor.
No way! I love her, and China, Charity Charles, that whole crew.
Actually, the first time we all met was in New Orleans. They came down for a visit, and that’s how we met. Years later I moved to New York and came to Fire Island and put two and two together. It was crazy. That’s what I’m saying – small world.
Anything that you would want us to promote?
People should watch out for me in the city. I’m going to do a lot of traveling too. Coming up soon I’ll be doing a one-man, one-woman show. I’m writing it now. Also in the works too is a feature film with a friend of mine, Matt Kugelman. The movie is called “Hurricane Bianca.” Hopefully we’ll have it out next summer. You can go to hurricanebianca.com to find out more about the movie. My website is thebiancadelrio.com, and my fan page is The Bianca Del Rio.
You have those amazing t-shirts.You can get them, autographed pictures and my schedule on my website.
I WANT TO PERSONALLY WISH BIANCA DEL RIO THE BEST OF LUCK, AND I WILL PRAY FOR HER TO WIN THIS SEASON’S “RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE”!