MW: You’re giving a lot of advice these days on RuPaul’s Drag U. How has that experience been?
LADY BUNNY: Well, I love it. Ru and I are old roommates. I think it’s generally considered to be Drag Race‘s less-popular stepchild. Because, you know, gays don’t really get into it. They don’t care about real women. They want to see the bitchy drag queens. Whereas the women, they’re a bit more sensitive. They don’t like the bitchiness directed towards them. It is a bit of a self-help makeover show, with RuPaul in the role of a Dr. Phil meets Urkle kind of character. [Laughs.] But filming it is a blast. And one of my favorite things is working with the queens from Drag Race. And even if they are typecast as the bitch of the show, when you’re on Drag U, they’re not in competition. They’ve been booked as talent, and they’re not sequestered with no cellphone or Internet. So it’s not like an edgy, competitive environment. And I have to say that I’ve become tight friends with a lot of [Drag Race-rs] And they taught me to contour. Which I was always horrible at!
MW: What is contouring?
LADY BUNNY: Contouring is when you paint brown around your nose to make it look smaller. [Laughs] Or when you paint brown on your double chin to make it appear to go away, in theory anyway. Or when you use brown shading to create the illusion of cleavage.
I asked for a makeup artist on Drag U because my makeup is not as polished as the Drag Race girls, most of them. I was like, honey, if I’m going to be sitting up here judging people in high-definition TV – my makeup is fine in a dark club but if I’m going to be judging, I need to look my best!
MW: Tell me about winning the gay porn industry’s GAYVN Award in 2009?
LADY BUNNY: Oh yes, for Best Non-Sexual Performance.
MW: I somehow missed that performance. What did you do in the film?
LADY BUNNY: It was in Brother’s Reunion by Lucas Entertainment. And I played the aunt of the two brothers that were getting it on. And I come back into my home where one of them is rooming with me, and discover that they’re having sex. And I have a breakdown while holding some figurine that’s covered in whatever something is covered in after it comes out of your rectum. Family fun.
Although, I was rather insulted that they called it a Non-Sexual Performance. I think that’s trans-phobic. Just because I had put on a few pounds for the role of Auntie, and was wearing an Ann Miller matronly wig and a kaftan, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t turning someone on. So I’m going to notify GLAAD about that trans-phobic award [Laughs.] No, I’m kidding, I’m kidding.
But I will tell you I had never been on a porn set. And the smell is perhaps not conveyed as you’re watching the films. [Laughs.]
MW: Is it a good smell?
LADY BUNNY: No it is not! I don’t want to smell anyone’s butthole but my own, thank you! I don’t know that I even want to smell my own.
MW: Naturally, that leads to my next question. Has your family seen your work? Are they supportive?
LADY BUNNY: Oh yeah, they’re very supportive. They always said to me, ”We want you to be whatever you want to be.” Because I would like TV shows with upwardly mobile families on them, or girls whose parents wanted them to marry doctors, lawyers. I remember asking my parents, ”Well, don’t you want me to be a doctor or a lawyer?” And they would say, ”Not if that’s not what you want to be.” And now they say, ”Ew, you really called our bluff!” [Laughs.]
MW: Do you think you’ll star in a porn film again?
LADY BUNNY: Well, Michael [Lucas] is a dear friend, so Lord only knows. I don’t know if you’ve seen Jonah Falcon, the guy with supposedly the largest penis on the planet? He was on a segment on [Comedy Central’s] The Daily Show, because he’s having difficulty finding a job. And everyone says he should get into porn. He doesn’t want to do porn but he has agreed to do a comedy porn with me. So that’s in the works.
MW: Who’s writing it, you?
LADY BUNNY: Yes.
MW: How far along are you in the writing process?
LADY BUNNY: Well, the concept is there, I just need to record the track and stop traveling so much for a second and record it and shoot it. But he’s been, dare I say on my ass – thankfully not in it – about the project for quite some time. So I think it will happen. I don’t think it will be porn, but I will have to probably put it on, you know, Xtube as opposed to YouTube.
MW: And will this be an hour-long film or longer?
LADY BUNNY: Oh no, no, no. It would just be the length of one song. It would be a song parody that hinged on the visual gag of his insanely huge dong.
MW: I guess you’ve seen it?
LADY BUNNY: Everyone in New York has. He’s not shy. I mean, why would you be shy?
MW: So you’re now 50. Do you think you’ll be doing this for another 50 years?
LADY BUNNY: I don’t know about 50 years. I do feel lucky that at a time, and at an age and at a weight – you know, with so many gays wanting to be only focusing on men who they are physically attracted to — here I am, old and overweight and still able to go and perform. And people take an interest in me. And interview me on Huffington Post, and come and review my show in the New York Times. I did a campaign with MAC Cosmetics this year. This is my third season as the Dean of Drag on Drag U, which is a recurring role on a nationally televised program, and I was in the Broadway Bares benefit this year. There are all kinds of things going on. I’m performing in Hong Kong for the first time. I performed in Brazil for the first time. So I’m not slowing down. I didn’t learn how to do anything else, so I really don’t have a choice.
And please, seniors are being forced to work way past 65 just to make ends meet. Why should I be any different?
Lady Bunny performs twice Saturday, Aug. 25, as part of the 10:30 p.m. Drag Show downstairs and later upstairs, at Town Danceboutique, 2009 8th NW. Cover is $8 before 11 p.m., $12 after. Call 202-234-TOWN or visit towndc.com.
Lady Bunny’s “West Virginia Gurls” [NSFW]: