We know it’s usually all about Jamie but today, everybody’s talking about Bianca Del Rio. Last night, the world’s favourite insult comic and drag star made her West End debut as Loco Chanelle/Hugo in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and it was nothing short of fierce.
Bianca shot to fame after her appearance on season six of RuPaul’s Drag Race – where she won the crown of America’s Next Drag Superstar – and now she’s pretty much the world’s most famous queen… except for Ru, of course.
She’s following the footsteps of Drag Race judge Michelle Visage who appeared in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie last year. Though she’s had her own stand-up shows, this is Bianca’s first acting role in London, and we are here for it! But as not everybody knows the hilarious performer, we thought we’d break it down and tell you 10 things you probably didn’t know about Bianca Del Rio.
Bianca Del Rio’s real name is Roy Haylock
If you were to hear the name Roy Haylock, a glam drag queen is probably the last thing you’d think of. Like most drag queens that have appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Bianca doesn’t hide her real name, but as it wasn’t used in the show, most people only know her as her stage name.
She started doing drag in 1996
In New Orleans at the age of 21, Bianca performed in the play Pageant in drag. A local drag queen, Lisa Beaumann, spotted her and hired her to perform at a local night club. She quickly became a favourite and won the New Orleans Gay Entertainer Of The Year three times.
Bianca’s an actor as well as comic
Her appearance in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie isn’t her first major foray into acting since Pageant. She’s performed many times at the Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre in New Orleans taking roles in shows like Cabaret, Grease and Rent.
She’s starred in two films named after her
After winning Drag Race in 2014, Bianca became one of the biggest names in drag. So when it was announced that she was releasing a film, it came as no surprise. In 2016 she starred in Hurricane Bianca where she played a kind and gentle schoolteacher named Richard who gets fired for being gay, so decides to wreak havoc on his previous employers and pupils by returning as his drag persona Bianca Del Rio – the crude, rude, insulting queen.
Following the success of the cult film, a second was made in 2018 called Hurricane Bianca: From Russia with Hate. This time, Bianca was joined by fellow Drag Race contestant Katya.
She’s a costume designer by trade
Before shooting to fame – and one of the reasons she won Drag Race – Bianca was a costumier in New York working on Broadway shows, ballets and operas. And prior to moving to New York, she designed costumes for the New Orleans Opera.
She’s actually really kind
Bianca is known for her sharp tongue and cutting insults, but behind the make-up and sequins, the quick-witted insult comic is a big softy. During her time on Drag Race, Bianca took the time to teach and mentor her fellow contestants. She not only helped them with their costumes but she also offered words of advice for the younger queens.
She almost quit drag
Before appearing on Drag Race, Bianca had told herself that she’ll quit drag when she turned 40. Luckily, after winning, her whole world changed and so did drag culture and she put those silly ideas behind her. She’s now striding towards 44 and we don’t see her stopping any time soon.
She popularised the phrase ‘Not today, Satan’
Fans of Drag Race will know exactly where this pop culture quip comes from. But for those who haven’t seen the show, ‘Not today, Satan’ became Bianca’s catchphrase throughout season six. It means that Satan will not get in your way and stop you from achieving today. In 2016, Bianca went on tour with her second show which used the phrase as its title.
She has her own make-up remover
Any stage performer will tell you that de-caking at the end of the night is a tedious and often difficult cast. And that goes double for drag queens… and probably Elphaba. With extreme pigments, exaggerated features and contouring for days, it takes a lot of elbow grease to remove all that paint.
So it only makes sense that Bianca would create her own make-up remover. But this isn’t just a product for performers, it’s for everyone, literally. It’s an all natural product that’s vegan-friendly.
Her 8-week run in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is sandwiched into her tour
We’re very lucky to have Bianca in the West End because she is one busy drag queen. Her appearance in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is smack-bang in the middle of the worldwide tour of her show It’s Jester Joke.
After her last performance on the West End on 29 June, Bianca will be back on the road again – first going to the US before returning to the UK.