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10 Comics to Watch: ‘Drag Race’ Winner Bianca Del Rio Is Headed to the Big Screen

Not every comic gets the opportunity to reinvent himself. For Roy Haylock, that chance came a year ago when he won the sixth season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” a coup that propelled the scathingly funny standup from cabaret act to arena superstar, selling out venues all over the country on his hit “Rolodex of Hate” tour.

But the real change occurred 19 years earlier when New Orleans-raised Haylock, the son of a Cuban mother and Honduran father, was reborn onstage as Bianca Del Rio: big hair, heavy makeup, major attitude — which Haylock describes as “a cross between Bozo and Joan Crawford,” only funnier.

“All those years of having a microphone in a bar full of drunk people gave me a chance to build my act,” he says. Recently relocated to Los Angeles, Haylock has hours of material (he’s prepping a second tour) but doesn’t write jokes the way other comedians do. Instead, he has filled a Rolodex with cues designed to trigger various withering rants.

“I do enjoy a live audience. They give me 90% of the material just by looking at them,” says Haylock, whose caustic off-the-cuff style earned him a valuable fan: Joan Rivers. The icon not only invited Haylock to appear on “In Bed With Joan” (which became the Web series’ second most-watched episode), but also connected him with “her people” shortly before her death, sparking several possible TV and book projects.

And now Haylock is bringing Bianca to the bigscreen in his crowdsourced indie feature “Hurricane Bianca”: Filmed in Texas, it tells of a school teacher who loses his job for being gay, but comes back as Bianca Del Rio. Taking full advantage of his reality-TV celebrity, Haylock deserves some downtime, but scoffs at the idea: “I can sleep when I’m dead. I’m just getting started!”

Reps: Management: Producer Entertainment Group
Influences: Joan Rivers, Don Rickles

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