RuPaul sat down with Seth Meyers on the heels of his victorious hosting gig on Saturday Night Live for an energetic interview about all things drag.
Ru spoke about how his career started in Atlanta on public access television, The Robin Byrd Show, New York City in the dirty days, becoming the face of drag and a “semi-mainstream thing.” Ru said he’s also doing a Master Class in drag.
Ru also revealed how he created his drag persona, talked about meeting his husband George at the Limelight nightclub, his ranch in Wyoming, and western-wear drag.
The queen of drag also explained how his persona came together: “I had to calculate the image. What I did was add one part Dolly Parton to two parts Cher, one part David Bowie and a big heaping spoonful of Diana Ross. And this is scientific. I took the subversive sexuality out of my persona so that Betty and Joe Beercan could invite me into their living room, and you know what? It worked!”
“RuPaul is my real name and I tell all the kids. If you’re getting into show biz do not use your real name,” he added. “Because it winds up on all of your public records.”
Of his name, Ru revealed, “My mother named me that. My mother, both my mother and father are from Louisiana. And the roux in a gumbo. It’s spelled differently, but the roux is the base of a gumbo. So she wanted to put her culture in there, so it’s (Roux)-Paul.”