Willam Belli holds the distinct honor of being the only queen ever disqualified from RuPaul’s Drag Race, and that title, alongside her in-your-face attitude and formidable comedy chops, seems to have served her just as well as winning the crown. Minus the whole $100k part.
Since her wonderfully disgraceful exit from the show, Willam has cropped up in popular YouTube videos like “Boy Is A Bottom” and the highly educational multicultural followup, “Es Una Pasiva.” She’s also racked up an impressive list of TV and film credits, including a part in fellow RPDR alum Bianca Del Rio’s upcoming Hurricaine Bianca.
On May 23rd she’ll appear at the iconic Castro Theater in San Francisco for The Drag Queens Of Comedy alongside Bianca, Alaska, Michelle Visage and a bevy of gut-splitting queens. There will be two shows that night at 7 and 10 p.m., but get your tickets soon because you won’t want to miss these bitches.
We caught up with Willam to talk about her roots, the show, and if she prefers silicone or water-based products — you know, the important issues of the day.
Queerty: Where are you from?
Willam: I live in Inglewood.
Where do you consider home to be?
I’m a citizen of the world but I get mail in L.A.
Tell us about the first time you put on full drag. How old were you? What was the look?
I remember being 6 or 7 and piling on my one-eyed great aunt’s costume jewelry and furs. She was from Jersey so there was a lot to play with. The look was eclectic and very community theater dowager.
Who were your gay role models growing up?
My lesbian aunt and my gay uncle made it really easy for me to see that gay was a normal thing. I remember she was pissed I turned off a Gloria Estefan video because she liked her.
What about your first crush?
I wanted to marry all of New Kids on The Block. Now I just want to fuck one of them (Danny).
Were you picked on as a kid?
I was quite overweight but I wasn’t picked on much. I always had a slick mouth and my sister was one grade ahead of me and friends with all the kids who would’ve been inclined to be douches to me.
Do you have a drag mother?
No. But I had someone who steered me early on, sneaking me into clubs and was very kind to me though. His name is Momma and he is an L.A. staple.
Who are some of your favorite queens to work with?
I like working with Courtney Act, Alaska Thunderfuck, Bianca del Rio and Michelle Visage. Oh, Logan Hardcore is a hoot, too. And all the girls at Play in Nashville and S4 in Dallas.
When did you start acting?
My first paid acting gig was at 16.
What was the first time your drag wold and your acting world collided?
My first paid gig when I was 16 was an MTV show that I was in drag for.
I read somewhere Divine is one of your inspirations.
He is. I want to bring that shock and in-your-faceness that he had back to drag.
What’s your favorite John Waters movie?
My favorite John Waters movie is probably Cry-Baby.
Do you have a straight guy crush?
My straight guy crush is Blake Griffin (he plays basketball).
If California runs out of water where would you go to find something to drink?
I haven’t paid for a drink in a gay bar in three years. So a bar.
Have you been watching Drag Race season seven? Anyone you’d put money on?
I like Turtles.
No one loves Ru more than us, but did you ever get tired of calling everything Ru-this and Ru-that on the show?
I think this question calls for a Rupaulogy.
Tell us about the show Drag Queens of Comedy 2015 at the Castro Theater (May 23, 2015) — what can we expect?
It’s interesting to see what each performer does. Like if someone’s act bombs, do you still call it stand up comedy or just a spoken word performance?
We’ll go ponder that in the woods later, but in the mean time let’s play a little rapid-fire:
Taylor Swift or Robyn?
Little Shop of Horrors or Rocky Horror?
Leather or latex?
Looking or Transparent?
Can balls be sexy?
Sam Smith or Adam Lambert?
Martha or Oprah?
Silicone or water-based?
Grindr or Scruff?
Great, we know where to find you! Thanks for playing.