‘Tis the seventh season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Max Malanaphy — the elegant, eloquent, and slightly emaciated artiste of the cast — sailed through the competition as a front-runner, having worn her trademark grey wigs with enough aplomb to win two challenges. Alas, her time was cut short, perhaps too soon, and she was the seventh contestant told to “sashay away.”
Her luck may have run out, but this certainly isn’t the last we’ve seen of The Grey Lady’s artistic statements (even if she does not return as next week’s surprise revived contestant). .So to get to know her better, Queerty asked Max some questions — a Lucky Seven, to be exact.
Queerty: You are clearly influenced by Old Hollywood. Who are your icons? I imagine you as a little boy dressing up like your favorite movie stars.
Max Malanaphy: Oh, there has always been much dressing up. Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland, Anne Baxter, the clever ones, there is so much to be inspired by in entertainment. It’s always been magic for me.
So you’re laying in bed on a rainy day watching movies. What are you watching, and what are you eating?
Sunset Boulevard, and tea with honey and lemon.
The other contestants have teased you about being prudish, but your looks in the competition freely show lots of skin. Even your audition video, which is stunning by the way, is rather erotic. Where is the line between sexuality and vulgarity?
There’s something to be said for sensuality versus sexuality, and there’s something to be said for mystery. I made my decisions, ethical and artistic influences both heavily present, but I’ve an evil sense of humor as much as the next lady.
Speaking of your use of the phrase “I’ve,” where are you from? And where did you get that accent? Because America is under the impression you grew up in Minnesota.
New England, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Then Wisconsin, now Minnesota. Many lives, much elocution.
Your philosophy for winning this competition: would you say you were inspired by Machiavelli’s ruthless theory of “the end justifies the means”? Or are you more aligned with the methodical strategies of Sun Tzu?Ruthless. Forever more.
The two-triangles icon that is a tattoo on your arm, what does it mean?
It is a very lucky charm, the rune, the hourglass. Rebirth, evolution, and a proper signature. M-A-X.
Finally, what’s your favorite kind of cheese?