After years of performing in drag, promoting his music and television shows and becoming an icon, it’s clear that RuPaul Charles knows exactly how to handle himself in a photo shoot. In a new profile, we get to see that fact in action.
In her profile of the star for Vogue, writer Abby Aguirre details a conversation between RuPaul and legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz, where the star refused to remove the headpiece of his stunning Queen Elizabeth I outfit for a photograph. After a number of requests from Leibovitz for the star to remove the piece, Ru put his foot down, saying, “Everything here is overdone. The only natural thing about any of this is the light.”
The red-dreadlock headpiece ultimately stayed, allowing the rest of the interview to continue, where Ru spoke to Aguirre about his childhood, where he says he learned to walk a runway from his older sister Renetta, who attended the Barbizon School of Modeling. “There was no shade to me playing in makeup, wearing my sisters’ clothes, doing whatever I wanted to do,” he said. “I never had to ‘come out,’ because I was never ‘in.’”
RuPaul also opened up in the piece about his open marriage to his husband, Georges LeBar, saying that he never wants either of them to feel trapped by their relationship. “I love him too much to try to put shackles on him,” he said. “Love is free. It’s not that sort of romantic surface thing we all bought into. He is my most favorite person that I’ve met.”
The star spoke to Vogue while filming his upcoming Netflix show AJ and the Queen, where Ru plays a down-on-her-luck drag queen traveling across America with an 11-year-old stowaway. The show’s executive producer, Michael Patrick King, revealed that the new project will show a side of Ru the world doesn’t often get to see — his process of getting in drag. “You’ve seen Ru, and you’ve seen Mama Ru,” he said. “[Here], you see him midway.”
Check out the full profile on RuPaul here.