Bright red wigs, red sequin gowns, and red stacked platform heels filled up the red carpet at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, Calif. Thursday night as the “AJ and the Queen” premiere kicked off and drag queens and more attendees glitzed up the scene and gathered to celebrate RuPaul’s new Netflix series.
Red was the theme of the night, the color which guests were asked to wear in honor of RuPaul’s character Ruby Red, the star of the show. “I really just went for a ‘you ate Jessica Rabbit and boiled the bunny,”’ David “Eureka” Huggard said before strutting inside the event decked out head to toe in a red wig and red dress. “I’m in a black tank top honey. I thought I was Jason Momoa at the Golden Globes girl,” Shangela said, showing reporters the tank top underneath the red blazer.
“AJ and the Queen” tells the story of Ruby Red, a larger than life drag queen, who travels across America in a 1990s van to recoup money after being robbed. Things take a turn when Ruby discovers that an orphaned, scrappy, 11-year-old girl has stowed away in the RV.
In the series, RuPaul gets vulnerable, telling Variety that being on the show showed him he’s not “dead inside”. He continued, “My heart isn’t black. It’s actually pumping blood and it’s alive. It was really lovely to dig deep. It’s been years of protecting that soft underbelly and then to be in the safe hands of Michael Patrick King. I was able to just bloom and just be vulnerable and I love that.”
The series also marks another big moment for representation for the LGBTQ community in Hollywood, following in the footsteps of shows like “Pose.” “The younger RuPaul would just love this because it is a navigational tool for life,” RuPaul explained. “It shows you what to do when you’re up against the wall and you need some direction. What you do is you open your heart. It’s the opposite of what we’re taught. When we get up against a wall, I think the impulse is to close your heart. The truth is open your heart and let your heart guide the way.”
The show’s creators feel like the series is premiering at the perfect moment. “The interesting thing about any place in this country where people maybe need a warrant and smile… they want to feel good,” King said. “They also want to be healed a little bit, but we are smart enough to know that you do that with jokes and music and dancing and we just wanted to put a big full show out there for people to watch.”
Inside the screening, RuPaul received a standing ovation when taking the stage. “This show is a love letter to the United States of America and beyond,” he told the crowd. “It is an adjustment to a world that feels so fractured right now. This is a show that is saying ‘Let’s get together and recognize our similarities rather than our differences.’”
RuPaul went on to say he would be DJ-ing the afterparty. “Get ready to sweat. I’m going to be playing all thrilla and no filla.”
“AJ and the Queen” is now streaming on Netflix.