Bianca Del Rio continues her world takeover even two seasons after snatching the crown on Season 6 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Her comedy special “Bianca Del Rio’s Rolodex of Hate” is on Vimeo, premiered on Logo and she continues touring the world with her own special brand of comedy. In the same vein of icons like Joan Rivers and Margaret Cho, Del Rio takes things we all see or experience daily and slaps her own special brand of raw humor on them, regardless of whether or not everyone wants to admit it. Bianca sat down with us to chat about her “Rolodex of Hate,” traveling the world on tour and getting into bed with Joan Rivers.
Where in the world is Bianca Del Rio today?
Today you can find me in Los Angeles packing for an evening flight for Vancouver. It’s so sunny and pretty here, so it’s mind fucking, definitely!
You’re officially a Los Angeles girl now, is that right?
Well, I did move, yes. I’m not really anyone but a Delta Airlines girl recently, though. It’s definitely been a nice transition.
What do you miss the most about being a tried and true New Yorker?
I miss the normality of New York City. New York City is a great place when you have a routine and you have your life set there. For me, though, with all of my traveling, it’s a tough city to get in and out of. Snow, airport issues and a five-floor walk-up, it definitely makes things easier in Los Angeles, travel wise. I miss the routine of New York when you can actually live in New York. When you’re there for months with the traveling, it definitely can be challenging.
Was it hard for a New Yorker like you to move out to a much slower and different place like Los Angeles?
You know, I never thought I would live here. Not to mention, the great thing about Los Angeles, unlike New York, is that you don’t have to see anybody. In New York, I lived in Hell’s Kitchen, so when I stumbled outside, I bumped into six fags! LOL. Here, I live in West Hollywood, and I have to go out and find the people. It’s definitely a different setup. You have space, you have some sunshine and you have your own washer and dryer. A dishwasher, a pool. I’m living like a rich white woman! People do ask if the gays here are superficial, and I think you can find that anywhere. I haven’t ventured out to find that just yet. I think being superficial is practically a requirement!
I just watched “Rolodex of Hate,” and it was absolutely hilarious! When you sat back and watched the finished product, even though you were the one that made it, what did you think?
It’s a very difficult thing for me to watch myself or to hear my own voice. It becomes a blur for me, because I have done the show so many times. That particular night in Austin, it was very different, because there were cameras everywhere, and I had different material in case they had to use different stuff, all that madness. I knew that there was nothing I could change about it though. For me, it’s done, it’s out there, and God bless it. It’s really hard for me to look at myself. Unlike Streisand, who likes looking at her own face, for me I can’t!
When you started this phase of your career, was it ever something that you dreamed would end up being seen by the masses?
Well, lucky enough, I had done the show already so many times that by the end of the year it was 93 performances. When we filmed it, it was well over 70-some performances. Getting into the rhythm of the show was the trick. I know I may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it opens the door for others to see the show. I didn’t get to do it in Brazil at that time, and now it’s there for everyone to see.
Post “Drag Race,” you have been performing all over the world. Where have you gotten to perform that you absolutely fell in love with?
Amsterdam. Most people think it’s because of the weed, but I don’t smoke weed. I do love it there. It’s great vibes, the people are lovely there and I had a great time when I was there. I was fortunate enough, unlike most cities, that I had a couple days off. I really got to explore and check out the city. I made some great friends, who are constantly asking me to come back. For me, that’s the place that I would visit again soon. It was a great energy there, and I would definitely do it again.
When you look back on both your season of “Drag Race” and the current season, does it feel like your experience on the show just happened or does it seem like a different lifetime?
It seems like a very long time ago! You have to remember, we film it, and then it’s almost a full year before it comes out again. When people will say to me “you won,” it’s literally three years ago. That includes the auditioning, the worrying, all the stuff. It’s a huge relief when it finally ends; now no one will ask questions about the season as I’m watching along with everyone else. I know that there were a couple things I did during the show, but you don’t know if it’s going to make it in, and you certainly don’t know if you’re going to win. There really are no guarantees. When it’s done, you’re relieved. People always will say, “How has it changed your life?” Well, obviously, if I’m talking to you, it’s changed! I’m kinda glad when the new season comes along. I enjoyed the ride, and it’s their turn. By no means am I gonna slow down, either. Just keep going!
Your season was looked at as one of the most popular seasons to air. Do you see why looking back at the seasons that aired after yours?
You know, I didn’t catch season seven, only because I was traveling. I did catch the premiere episode and the finale, but I have not sat down and watched the whole thing. I saw some clips during filming of the “RuVealed” show, but that was it. Every season is not for everyone, and everyone always wants to compare. During my season, I was lucky enough to be on with some very talented people. I don’t blame the girls for any reason. Sometimes maybe the wrong girls were cast. You can’t really compare. It’s like, Jinkx (Monsoon) had to be compared to Sharon (Needles), and Violet (Chachki) had to be compared to me, in terms of winners, and that’s not fair to them. We’re all very different, and that’s the magic of the show.
One of the best parts of the show is that it creates almost a magical sisterhood for the girls. Who from your season do you stay in touch with?
Well of course Courtney (Act), Adore (Delano) and Darienne (Lake). We see each other quite often, and now that I am in Los Angeles, I see Adore and Courtney quite a bit. Darienne is one of the funniest people you’re ever going to meet. Through the process, there are girls that I was huge fans of as well. For example, Detox is a huge favorite of mine. I just saw Shangela recently, and we caught up. The thing is, if anyone understands the process, we do. We can sit back and say how something was really cool, or go, “How wasn’t that fucking shitty?!” I keep in touch with several of the girls, but Courtney, Adore and Darienne are great people, and I stay in touch with them the most. When we get together, it’s not always just about “Drag Race.” We actually get to go to dinner and talk about other things.
We have all been waiting for the feature film “Hurricane Bianca” to hit the big screen. Who doesn’t want to see Bianca Del Rio in a full-length feature film? When can we possibly expect that?
We finished filming last summer, and it’s currently finishing editing, music, all that madness. It’s actually my friend Matt Kugelman’s movie, which we wrote with me in mind. I don’t have all the specifics of where it’s going and what he’s doing, but I know he’s going to be doing film festivals and things like that. You can check the website (hurricanebianca.com) for all the info on it. I did see a rough cut of it, and I laughed, so that’s great. It was a lot of fun, and we had some brilliant people involved, and I was so glad that they agreed to do it. It was very surreal for me. It was a quick process. I had 18 days to make it all happen for my own scenes, as I was flying back and forth. RuPaul, Margaret Cho and Alan Cumming are all in the movie, and Rachel Dratch is in the movie, and she’s a fucking riot!
You did “In Bed With Joan” as one of Joan Rivers’ final guests on her hilarious Web series. What was that experience like?
It was absolutely surreal. I didn’t know the show or what she was doing, and my manager called and asked me to do it, but the answer was yes! I had a gig in another city, and my manager had to move the gig around, but I had to do this! They really filmed in a bedroom downstairs in Melissa Rivers’ home. To her credit, she could have come across as a different kind of interviewer. Like with David Letterman, he sometimes just comes across as a dick who’s just plowing through it. She was very generous and very kind, and she set up many situations for me to do what I wanted to do and say what I wanted to say. We had a great time. We were supposed to film 17 minutes and ended up filming over an hour. For some of it, Melissa was going, “We have to stop filming,” since we were just talking shit about everyone! I remember being like an 11 year old and looking at Joan Rivers, and she was laughing at something I was saying! When I left, I told her how much I respected and admired her, not just for her comedy, but for her work ethic. She could not have been lovelier, and she gave me a gift as I left. It may have been some shitty QVC scarf or hat, but overall it’s one of my most favorite things I have gotten to do.
“Bianca Del Rio’s Rolodex of Hate” is available for purchase on Viemo & is available On Demand on Logo now.