It’s quite rare for male stars in mainstream movies and TV shows to show their penis in all its glory. And it’s even more rare to see an uncut one, especially in American movies – but, surprise – they do exist. Some figures state that more than 80% of Americans are circumcised. While there’s no official […]
While scrolling my Timehop the other day, I noticed it’s been six years since I visited Australia. I’m definitely overdue for another visit, though it’ll be tough to top that trip. Definite highlight was attending the DNA Mardi Gras party […]
Oh my clit!!! Officially, the Heathers reboot doesn’t premiere on the Paramount Network, formerly known as Spike, until March 7. However, the network has been kind enough to share the first episode early. What a great way to kick off […]
The past few years, Janelle Monáe has focused most of her attention on her rising acting career. She scored big with the one-two punch of Moonlight and Hidden Figures and can next be seen in Robert Zemeckis’ The Women of […]
We’re still in the thick of All-Stars Season 3, but VH1 has already begun promotion for RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10. The network just revealed the queens competing on the reality show’s milestone tenth season. RuPaul is supersizing Season 10. […]
Directed by Michael Gracey, The Greatest Showman is a bold and original musical film that celebrates the birth of show business and the sense of wonder we feel when dreams come to life.
But it wasn’t just the lives of the cast involved that have changed since its release, as actress Keala Settle – who plays the Bearded Lady – revealed about one young LGBTQ teen who was struggling with their sexuality.
“I got a message the other day from a man who is gay and was about to take his own life,” Keala reveals exclusively to Gay Times. “He sent me a thing saying, ‘I heard your song and I took the gun down.’ I wept.
“It’s that kind of impact that gives me goosebumps to tell you that because it makes me realise, again, not only does that young man have stuff in themselves to last a lifetime and let shine, but I do too because of what he told me I’d given him – that I didn’t even know. It’s that type of impact that’s being made.”
“We are universally in a time where things are very negative,” Keala continues when referencing the current political and social climate. “There’s a lot of anger that is going on and, not so much fighting, but that it’s getting really, really personal – attacking individually and collectively on another level.
“What the film has done – as well as the music – has given everyone a free pass to let all that go, and that pass is almost the ultimate fast pass for any ride you could ever go on. Not only does it give you that pass, but it lets you relish in the fact that what is happening to the characters in that film, and the stories that are going on in the film, are all relatable – no matter what year we are in, who you are or what you are.”
But what does the voice of This Is Me think of the suggestion it has become a modern LGBTQ anthem?
“I couldn’t be more honoured and privileged,” she beams – much to our enjoyment. “It’s one of those things where this community of people are continually fighting and striving for not only equality rights but to feel like they are part of a community and have the lives they’ve always wanted to live because that is who they are!
“When the song was first released as a single at the end of 2017, my life started ringing off the hook and I didn’t know what was going on. I gave my first interview about eight hours after the song was released and they asked if I knew what type of anthem I’d created. I started to cry and said, ‘Errr… no, I don’t!’ I had no idea and didn’t realise.
“All of the fears that I had are in that song. Those fears aren’t going to go away, but what’s so comforting and continues no matter what I’m doing daily is the likeness with each individual that’s touched by the song. That’s what blows my mind and I had no idea.”
Fox / The Greatest Showman
Inspired by the ambition and imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman tells the story of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a mesmerising spectacle that became a worldwide sensation – championing the power of the underdog and those that feel different.
And while The Greatest Showman follows the life of an aspiring man who dreams of a better life for his family, Keala tells us she took a slightly different message from the movie.
“The moral of the story for me is that you shouldn’t keep chasing and trying to be accepted by somebody else,” notes Keala before pausing. “In the words of RuPaul, ‘If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you going to love somebody else? Can I get an amen?!’”
She adds: “It’s about not seeking permission for somebody else to tell you that you’re worth it – ever.”
“I remember when I saw my first Instagram video of a drag queen lip-syncing This Is Me,” Keala recalls with great excitement. “I was sat in the chair getting ready to go out and I cried. When you have a drag queen lip-syncing your song for their life, you have won. You’ve now won everything in life!
“When I saw that first clip, I said ‘Oh my gosh, this really is a game-changer. It really is a life-changer.’ This wasn’t just changing my life but is continuing to change the lives all around the world, so when I first saw that I bawled because of how much was coming out of her. I’ve seen others since and it’s just breathtaking, and it makes me so happy that people can find who they are in themselves absolutely perfectly.”
Fox / The Greatest Showman
Caught in great laughter when recalling how the filming of This Is Me was repeatedly stopped and started due to the cast caught singing along when they shouldn’t, Keala tells us why the song meant more to her as an individual than as an actress.
“I’m not going to lie… I’ve felt different since I knew how to feel,” she begins quietly. “That’s one of the reasons why I first didn’t want to do the song because of facing my fears.
“Even in the rehearsal space before the presentation to get the movie greenlit, I didn’t want to do it. I was petrified. That meant that I had to know that I’m good enough to stand in front and sing by myself – not hiding behind a brunch of Broadway costumes or lights. I had to do that, and I still freak out about it.”
With a movie that asks people to look beyond what society would deem as ‘different’, Keala faced a small number of remarks during the initial movie release, explaining: “I think in the beginning when I was promoting it, everybody was like ‘who is this fat chick? She has no business.’ I didn’t even think about it because I had a beard on, but thanks for throwing that into the fire.”
But her now loyal and rather great social followers soon came to her defence…
“It was interesting with the following that I now have – and am very grateful for – that they are warriors and are not only fighting for each other and themselves, but fight for me which is humbling. I’ve never really seen anything, and I’m sure it has been around all over the place, and humans will be humans – nor will I want to.”
Fox / The Greatest Showman
And a stage transfer? Keala is totally game for it happening when we inform her that co-star Hugh Jackman has revealed he’d like to see it happen.
“He said that?!” she questions with great delight. “I’d love to, but I know how hard it was to tap into it just for the film.
“For a Broadway production, which you may know is eight shows a week, it’s raw and it’s full out. It’s the film for two and a half hours, eight shows every week if that did happen.
“It’s a lot of work, but hey, he’s [Hugh Jackman] number one on the call sheet so if he wants to do it then heck… are you kidding me? I’ll have to be. He’ll send the car and be like ‘get in the car, let’s go.’ I’ll be there. I’ll do anything for that man. He’s the reason that I’m out here. He is the reason and the one. I had t-shirts made that say ‘It’s Your Fault Hugh Jackman’.”
And the casual Oscar nomination? “It’s interesting because it’s not totally mine,” Keala giggles. “It’s Benji and Justin’s and I’m really aware of that. I’m extremely happy to be participating in that and getting to say those words as it’s something I’ve always dreamed about. To actually see it come to tuition, as I never thought I would, is very fantastic.”
Laughing that she’d totally be up for ‘doing an Adele’ and splitting the Oscar with her musical co-stars like the British singer famously did with Beyonce last year, Keala does have one name she’d like to meet at the coveted awards ceremony later this year.
“I’m excited to be there and hopefully Meryl Streep will be on the front row – that’s all I care about,” she giggles. “I just had an awards ceremony I went to Stateside and Dame Helen Mirren was being honoured and I did have to do an acceptance speech in front of her and I couldn’t. I didn’t know how to talk, actually! So mid-way through the acceptance speech, because I had nothing prepared, I just sang it!
And with that, Keala cleared her throat and gave us a first-hand example of why she should probably start clearing some space on her mantlepiece for a looming Oscar…
The Greatest Showman is out in cinemas now – including special sing-a-long performances. More information can be found here.
Amazon have officially fired Jeffrey Tambor from their hit series Transparent.
The critically-acclaimed show, which tells the story of a trans woman who comes out to her family late in life, has faced an unknown future since lead actor Tambor was accused of sexual harassment by two colleagues.
Amazon have now confirmed the decision to drop him from the show following an investigation.
Trace Lysette, one of Tambor’s co-stars on Transparent, alleged back in November that the actor had “made many sexual advances and comments” towards her and detailed one time that things got physical.
Prior to her allegations, Tambor’s former assistant Van Barnes claimed that he had propositioned her, groped her, made inappropriate comments and threatened her not to share her story.
Jill Soloway, creator of the Emmy-winning series, released a statement praising those who spoke out about their experiences.
“I have great respect and admiration for Van Barnes and Trace Lysette, whose courage in speaking out about their experience on Transparent is an example of the leadership this moment in our culture requires,” she wrote.
“We are grateful to the many trans people who have supported our vision for Transparent since its inception and remain heartbroken about the pain and mistrust their experience has generated in our community.
“We are taking definitive action to ensure our workplace respects the safety and dignity of every individual, and are taking steps to heal as a family.”
Lysette tweeted about the news, saying it offered her “some closure” and encouraged fans to keep supporting the show following Tambor’s departure.
Finally some closure I hope. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through. Please show your support for @transparent_tv so we can make season 5 something great. Thank you all for your love and endless support ❤️ https://t.co/g0sbXJ70xt
On Thursday, Tambor released a statement in response to Amazon’s decision, saying: “I am profoundly disappointed in Amazon’s handling of these false accusations against me.
“I am even more disappointed in Jill Soloway’s unfair characterization of me as someone who would ever cause harm to any of my fellow cast mates.
“In our four-year history of working together on this incredible show, these accusations have NEVER been revealed or discussed directly with me or anyone at Amazon. Therefore, I can only surmise that the investigation against me was deeply flawed and biased toward the toxic politicized atmosphere that afflicted our set.
“As I have consistently stated, I deeply regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone and I will continue to vehemently defend myself.
“I also deeply regret that this ground-breaking show, which changed so many lives, is now in jeopardy. That, to me, is the biggest heartbreak.”
This All Stars 3 episode of Snatch Game wasn’t the best in the show’s HERstory, but, the episode did make up for it in drama, unexpected twists and turns, and that elimination… ooh hunny, that elimination!
In the most awaited episode of the season (well, any season), the queens hit Snatch Game and gave their best celebrity impersonations. Snatch Game is usually the challenge to determine which queen is a Heather, and which queen is a Booger, and hunties, we’re truly cooped and gagged at the outcome.
The panel consisted of: Trixie Mattel as RuPaul; Kennedy Davenport as Phaedra Parks; BenDeLaCreme as Paul Lynde; Chi Chi DeVayne as Maya Angelou; Shangela as Jennifer Lewis; Aja as Crystal Labeija; Bebe Zahara Benet as Grace Jones and Kristen Chenoweth as… Kristen Chenoweth?! First gag-worthy moment of the episode? Check.
Surprisingly, Trixie’s Ru-isms landed the Drag Barbie in the bottom three, along with Chi Chi and former Snatch Game winner Kennedy. Shangela and Ben’s performances earned them the win, making it Ben’s fourth consecutive win… which has never been done in Drag Race HERstory (gag #2!). At this point, it really is BenDeLaCreme’s Drag Race.
As the queens deliberate in the workroom, Shangela takes Trixie aside. Earlier in the episode, the queens had some drama-mama when Shangela found a note on Trixie’s wall from Thorgy Thor, calling Shangela a “shady bitch”. They made up, hugged it out etc, but Shangela told Trixie it was still on her mind, giving viewers the impression that the season three contestant could eliminate the fan-favourite…
Shangela and Ben hit the runway, and lip-synced the motherf**king house down to Katy Perry’s I Kissed a Girl. The queens served some Raja vs Carmen – Straight Up realness, and both queens won a cash prize tip of five thousands dollahhhz, and the power to eliminate a queen… each (gag #3!). Ben chooses Chi Chi – which comes as no surprise, considering the trash-bag queen has landed in the bottom four times in a row (she shouldn’t have been in the bottom for the Divas challenge, but whatever).
Then, Shangela alluded to having Trixie’s name in her bra, by telling the judges: “The person I have chosen, I don’t want them to feel like it is personal in any way. This person left RuPaul’s Drag Race not winning the crown, but definitely going forward as a winner, and creating a career for themselves.” Cue some shady cutaway music and a close-up of Trixie’s tears, and bam, gag #4!
However, the name in Shangela’s bra was also Chi Chi. The anticipation… oh hunny the anticipation nearly killed us.
We’ve collected some of the best Twitter reactions from the episode below…
What are your thoughts on the episode? Did Chi Chi deserve to go? Was Trixie’s performance as Mama Ru really that bad? Will Ben snatch her fifth win next week? Lord, this season has snatched us so far. Bring on the next episode… henny.
All Stars 3 currently airs Thursdays on VH1 in the United States, and Saturdays on Comedy Central in the UK.
This is just one of many TV roles Mama Ru has racked up in recent years. She also appeared on the short-lived Netflix series Girlboss, Broad City, 2 Broke Girls, and Bojack Horseman.
Ru’s current show – Drag Race All Stars 3 – features fan favourites from across the seasons competing for a second chance (and in some cases, third) at becoming America’s Next Drag Superstar.
The line-up is – in order of season – Bebe Zahara Benet, Morgan McMichaels, Shangela, Milk, BenDeLaCreme, Trixie Mattel, Kennedy Davenport, Thorgy Thor, Chi Chi DeVayne and Aja.
All Stars 3 will premiere on VH1 in the United States 25 January (TONIGHT!), but if you’re from the UK – no need to worry. Comedy Central UK will launch the latest season at 10pm on 27 January, 48 hours after its US premiere.
Watch the queens serve their finest golden eleganza in the first official trailer.