Tag: Cast

Drag Race UK season 2 cast revealed ahead of January return

Ellie Diamond, Asttina Mandella and Ginny Lemon from Drag Race UK season two.

Ellie Diamond, Asttina Mandella and Ginny Lemon from Drag Race UK season two. (BBC)

The Drag Race UK season two queens are finally here.

After feverish anticipation, frustrating delays and the small matter of a global pandemic, Drag Race UK season two is ready to spread its tuppence all over your screen.

Returning 14 January on BBC iPlayer, the new season will see RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Alan Carr and Graham Norton preside over a diverse new cast of queens, including the franchise’s first Welsh and Scottish contestants.

Expect glamour, spook, vocals, veganism and a whole lot of regional dialects for RuPaul to smile and nod at.

The twelve competing queens are: Tayce, Joe Black, A’Whora, Tia Kofi, Ellie Diamond, Sister Sister, Veronica Green, Bimini Bon Boulash, Ginny Lemon and Asttina Mandella.

The Drag Race UK season two cast.
The Drag Race UK season two cast. (BBC)

Also announced Wednesday (16 December) was Drag Race UK: Queens on Lockdown, a mid-series special uncovering how the queens spent their time during the long, pandemic-mandated break in filming.

Tayce, 26, from London via Newport.

Tayce
Tayce. (BBC)

Drag Race UK’s first Welsh queen is a “girl on the go” who describes her drag as “modelesque, very villainous, dark, punky, edgy… a sexy owl here to peck your face away with my claws”.

Well-known on the London drag scene, Tayce is “here, queer and ready to let these girls have it”.

Like a few girls this season, Tayce has an aversion to the sewing machine, but doesn’t expect that will stop her from making it to very end “by hook or by crook”.

Joe Black, 30, from Brighton.

Joe Black
Joe Black. (BBC)

Joe has been performing for 13 years and comes from the world of burlesque and cabaret – “all ostrich feathers and glitter and strippers”.

She is bringing “all the eye shadow and the wonky eyebrows of the traditional seaside drag, with a bit of haunted glamour”.

A’whora, 23, from London via Nottinghamshire.

A'whora
A’whora. (BBC)

A’whora is the “fashion queen of the London scene” determined to prove that she’s a lot more than just her incredible looks.

“I wanna walk into a club and people be intimidated”, says the plastic surgery enthusiast, whose next procedure is getting her “fingers done”.

Tia Kofi, 30, from from London via Essex and Nottingham.

Tia Kofi
Tia Kofi. (BBC)

Tia Kofi is one-third of drag girl group The Vixens, but is entering Drag Race UK to “Beyoncé myself”.

Proud to be representing British queens of colour, Tia Kofi is bringing you “end of the pier Blackpool”.

“She’s live singing, she’s all dancing, she’s camp, she’s glamour, she’s also a mess.”

Ellie Diamond, 21, from Dundee.

Ellie Diamond
Ellie Diamond. (BBC)

Standing 6’4 out of drag, Ellie is “a really big queen – literally – in a tiny little pond”.

She joins Drag Race UK season two having performed outside of Dundee only once before.

She currently works in a drive-thru, and describes her drag as a “cartoon character came to life”.

Sister Sister, 32 from Liverpool.

Sister Sister
Sister Sister. (BBC)

A Sister Sister show is about “wacky monsters going for it”, inspired by old-school, Victoria Wood-style British comedy.

She can sew, turn a look, dance – although “not well” – and is here to represent a unique part of Liverpool’s drag scene

“You have the gorgeous queens of Dragtown, you have the queer scene who like to get down dark and dirty, and then you have me just plonked in the middle.”

Veronica Green, 34, from London via Rochdale.

Veronica Green
Veronica Green. (BBC)

“Gorgeous, goofy and professional”, Veronica Green has been in the industry as a theatre and opera singer for 15 years.

Although her dream of singing in Wicked hasn’t come true (yet), she’s ready to take the Drag Race UK crown.

“I am the most competitive person I know, and I will fight you on that if you disagree.”

Bimini Bon Boulash, 26, from London via Norfolk.

Bimini Bon Boulash
Bimini Bon Boulash. (BBC)

“East London’s bendiest b***h,” Bimini grew up in Norfolk but is now a staple of the capital’s “diverse, vibrant, colourful” drag scene.

Incredibly, Bimini invented veganism “about seven years ago”, and fancies herself the dancing queen of the season.

“I wanna show that you don’t have to be shady, be super b***hy to prove that you’ve got something.”

Ginny Lemon, 31 from Worcestershire.

Ginny Lemon
Ginny Lemon. (BBC)

Fancy a slice? Ginny Lemon is the “hairiest woman in showbiz” and “the only non-binary drag queen in the UK… with a sense of humour”.

Her ideal look is a “90s daytime TV presenter on acid”, she’s bringing you a “down o earth, working class sense of humour”.

“You’ll get high energy, madness, the unplanned.”

Asttina Mandella, 27 from London.

Asttina Mandella
Asttina Mandella. (BBC)

A backing dancer for the likes of Hercules and Love Affair, Pussycat Dolls, Little Mix and Kanye West, Asttina is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, vogue, whacking, hip-hop and street dance – but she’s also “a big geek”.

“Now it’s my time to be on the poster,” she says.

“I’m Serena Williams and Naomi Campbell if they had a baby, plus Azealia Banks at the same time.”

Cherry Valentine, 26 from Darlington.

Cherry Valentine
Cherry Valentine. (BBC)

Cherry Valentine only started doing drag a year ago, but tells her haters: “I’ve been doing it as long as I need.”

“She’s glamour, she’s club kid, she’s dark, she’s gothic,” she says of her drag.

When she’s not serving body and face, Cherry is a qualified mental health nurse, something she credits with helping her on her drag journey.

Lawrence Chaney, 23 from Glasgow.

Lawrence Chaney.
Lawrence Chaney. (BBC)

Inspired by Lady Gaga, Madonna and Michelle McManus, Lawrence is “every single stereoytpe you are thinking right now of what a Scottish person is”.

“I’m almost the fat b****d of drag from Austin Powers,” she says, and is here to represent the big queens.

“I really wanna show that a big girl can enter the competition and really showcase the inner beauty and the outer beauty that we all heave. Not wear leotards with fringe on them.”

Selena Gomez cast as lesbian mountaineer Silvia Vasquez-Lavado

Selena Gomez has been cast as trailblazing lesbian mountaineer Silvia Vasquez-Lavado

Selena Gomez has been cast as trailblazing lesbian mountaineer Silvia Vasquez-Lavado. (Neilson Barnard/Getty and Silvia Vasquez-Lavado/ Facebook)

Selena Gomez has been cast as trailblazing lesbian mountaineer Silvia Vasquez-Lavado in an upcoming biopic. No, really.

Silvia Vasquez-Lavado is a Peruvian explorer, mountaineer and activist, who was the first Peruvian woman to summit Mount Everest and the first out lesbian to complete the Seven Summits.

She also founded the non-profit Courageous Girls which supports survivors of sexual abuse and trafficking.

The biopic, In the Shadow of the Mountain, will be based on Vasquez-Lavado’s upcoming memoir of the same name, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

However, the casting decision has people a little confused.

Although Selena Gomez has never publicly defined her sexuality, the LGBT+ community is frustrated that an openly queer actor was not cast for the iconic role of the lesbian mountaineer.

One Twitter user wrote: “I’m not going to assume she’s straight but I also don’t think this role should go to her when there are openly gay actresses out there who struggle to get work because they are open about their sexuality.”

Another wrote: “Good for her but is it sooo hard to choose a gay actor/actress to play the role of an actual gay person?”

Vasquez-Lavado is, however, “honoured” that Gomez will be playing her and revealed that the actor will also be producing the film.

She wrote on Instagram: “I am so humbled and grateful to share this thrilling news, which has been in the works for the last 10 months… I am so honored and touched for the bold, talented, and brilliant Selena Gomez in taking the starring role and as producer.”

Oscar-winning producer Donna Gigliotti who will also be working on the film told The Hollywood Reporter that the mountaineer was a “force of nature”, and that she was excited to work with “Selena to tell this story of resilience, courage, adventure and humanity”.

The biopic will not be released for quite some time as Vasquez-Lavado’s memoir In the Shadow of the Mountain is set to be published in February 2022.

Trixie Mattel, the cast of ‘Ratched,’ queer out the vote, and more! / Queerty

Trixie Mattel, the cast of ‘Ratched,’ queer out the vote,

Did you know our gay agenda includes making gay videos? We love bringing together our friends and favorite celebrities, so check us out on YouTube and hit that subscribe button to make sure you don’t miss any of this content. From entertainment interviews, to comedy with your favorite queens, to travel inspiration for your post-COVID life, we’ve got you covered. Scroll down to check out some highlights from this month.

Why are you voting?

We asked 47 of our friends, including BenDelaCreme, Brooke Lynn Hytes, Tom Lenk, Nico Tortorella, Blossom C. Brown, James Bland, Kit Williamson, and Scott Evans why they are voting this year and here are their 47 answers. Watch, and remember to vote by November 3rd!

 

Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Paulson, and Sharon Stone

It takes a lot for us to get star struck. But these three ladies together almost blew our mind. Of course, they need little introduction. Sarah Paulson became a major star with American Horror Story, and went on to win an Emmy for her work in American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson. Cynthia Nixon became an icon with her work on Sex in the City, for which she took home an Emmy of her own. She also ran for Governor of New York in 2018. Sharon Stone, long considered one of the sexiest women in Hollywood history, became a star through films including Basic Instinct, Sliver, and her Oscar-nominated turn in Casino. In other words, we have The Supreme, a Very Capable Lesbian and the woman we try to imitate every time we get a date (see also: Basic Instinct). It’s a lot to process.

That’s Our Sally

We hope when Broadway comes back it involves a whole lot more of Trixie Mattel and Adrian Anchondo. My, but it’s warm in here!

SAN FRANCISCO STORIES

We can’t wait to travel again, but in the meantime, it’s nice to visit San Francisco via our video series SAN FRANCISCO STORIES. This edition features George McCalman, the artist behind Illustrated Black History.

 

And remember to hit that subscribe button! 

Punkie Johnson Is First Out Black Lesbian to Join SNL Cast

Punkie Johnson is the first out black lesbian cast member in Saturday Night Live History. Here she is on a street corner in New York looking handsome in a baseball hat.

This afternoon’s Saturday Night Live press release ahead of their new season came with some interesting tidbits: Jim Carrey will be recruited to play Joe Biden, if that’s your thing; they will go back to performing in front of a (limited) live studio audience inside Rockefeller Center — which sounds more dangerous than I’d be willing to be for 90 minutes of comedy, but hey maybe that’s just me; and one of my favorite players Ego Nwodim is finally getting her well-earned promotion to main cast member.

By far THE MOST EXCITING NEWS is that this season of SNL is about to get very real about who’s all gay here… adding self-proclaimed “brutally honest Southern lesbian” Punkie Johnson to the ensemble!

Punkie Johnson is the first out black lesbian cast member in Saturday Night Live History. Here she is on a street corner in New York looking handsome in a baseball hat.

I personally feel great about this development. And her hat game.

Let’s run some stats on that: With the addition of Punkie Johnson, SNL just got roughly 100% more lesbian than last season, joining Kate McKinnon for a record breaking two (lol, yes TWO!) out lesbians in the cast at the same time. Punkie and Kate will obviously also be joining out gay cast member and writer Bowen Yang, which certainly makes this the gayest ass season of SNL yet — and it hasn’t even started yet. But wait! There’s more! Punkie Johnson will officially become first out Black lesbian in the show’s 46 year history. Gay gasp!

She’s not the first Black lesbian to become a Saturday Night Live repertory player — that was Danitra Vance, who joined the cast in 1985, although she was not out at the time. Vance was the second-ever lesbian cast member, after Denny Dillon, who also was not out. She was cast the same year as Terry Sweeny, the first openly gay male cast member of SNL, marking the first time there were two LGBTQ+ cast members at the same time. Vance left the show a year later, reportedly “frustrated with being relegated to stereotypical black female roles.” She passed away in 1994 from breast cancer.

Punkie Johnson also adds her name to the small cohort of only just 22 Black cast members that have worked over the course of ensemble comedy behemoth’s 46 years. That group includes only seven Black women: Yvonne Hudson (1980–1981), Danitra Vance (1985–1986), Ellen Cleghorne (1991–1995), Maya Rudolph (2000–2007), Leslie Jones (2014–2019), Sasheer Zamata (2014–2017), and Ego Nwodim (2018-present).

From the press release, here is Punkie’s bio:

Punkie Johnson is a comedian and writer whose recent credits include “Space Force,” “Corporate,” “Adam Ruins Everything” and “Bill Burr Presents: The Ringers.” She was a New Face at the Just for Laughs Festival in 2019 and is a proud paid regular at the world famous Comedy Store in Hollywood.

Hot damn!

You might also know Punkie from her NOTABLE guest starring role in last summer’s A Black Lady Sketch Show where she competed as the “dance biter” in what was easily one of the show’s most iconic and gay sketches (thank you to Autostraddle TV writer and noted Internet research sleuth Natalie for the hot tip):

While we’re here, let’s go ahead and peep this very funny stand-up of Punkie talking about how role playing saved her marriage:

I don’t know a lot about Punkie just yet. Luckily, I have a month to obsessively learn everythiiiing possible to there is learn! SNL comes back on October 3rd. Personally I look forward to getting on my Issa Rae and:

A gif of Issa Rae at the 2017 Emmy Awards. She is wearing a red dress on the carpet and says: "I'm rooting for everybody Black."