Latrice Royale is large and in charge, chunky yet funky, and has won over even more hearts when she returned as a cast member of RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars for Season 4 earlier this year.
Royale's return to All Stars four years after competing in its poorly produced debut season was exciting news for fans who missed Royale on their TV screens, but also exciting news for newer fans who have not witnessed the queen in action. While Royale did not snatch the crown or a spot in the Drag Race Hall of Fame (the season ended a couple weeks ago with a first-ever tie between Monét X Change and Trinity the Tuck), she still got to show both old and new fans why Latrice Royale is more than just a "sickening" drag queen.
Royale is currently performing on the Haters Roast, a tour across the country that features a bunch of former Drag Race queens who sit on a stage and roast the hell out of each other for two hours straight. Latrice says it's all in good fun, but "the shade will be real."
We caught up with Royale to discuss all things Drag Race, the Haters Roast tour, and how she got her voting rights restored in the 2018 election after getting arrested in Florida for possession of Klonopin, a drug used to treat panic attacks, without a prescription.
Metro Times: Let's talk about Drag Race, girl. You didn't make it to the end, but you did have a good run. Any regrets about returning to All Stars?
Latrice Royale: Absolutely not. I came back wanting to show my drag and what I do, and I think I did that. It was great to introduce myself to the new fans, as well.
MT: Do you think the show itself has changed since you last competed? It seems like the challenges have evolved since the earlier seasons.
Latrice Royale: Oh, completely. There are a lot more acting and improv challenges, which make it hard. Look, I don't travel the world and do improv in a courtroom scene in my act, you know? But at the end of the day, I was able to win a challenge, turn some looks, and I had a great time. I'm really happy that Trinity and Monét won.
MT: There is this expectation in the fandom that if you don't excel at Drag Race then you're not a sickening queen.
Latrice Royale: Oh, you're right. We just had a Christmas tour a couple months ago, and I got double standing ovations every night in every city, so I know I'm sickening. Drag Race makes you do a lot of things that queens normally don't do onstage in the clubs.
MT: How did you feel about two queens winning the crown? That's never happened in Drag Race herstory before.
Latrice Royale: You know, at least VH1 gave each of them the prize money of $100,000. Like, at least they got their coin. [Laughs.] That's all I would care about if that happened to me! [Laughs.]
MT: How is the Haters Roast going so far? Have you had any issues with fans being too offended by any jokes?
Latrice Royale: Well, it is a roast, so you better come knowing that you're going to hear some shit. But it's been so much fun. It's like, I'm getting paid to read the hell out of my sisters? Sign me up! [Laughs.] We all love each other so everyone knows we're just playing and we don't get mad about jokes or anything.
MT: You've been incredibly open about your past and when you served time in prison. How are you feeling since getting your rights restored after Florida passed an amendment to restore the right to vote for convicted felons?
Latrice Royale: Besides getting married this past year, it has been the most incredible thing ever to happen to me.
MT: A lot of people might be ignorant of the fact that convicted felons can't vote in some states.
Latrice Royale: It's a very real thing, and we need to make sure that we're educating ourselves. I'm just happy I can use my voice to speak out and actually vote now.
You can catch Latrice Royale and other drag queens on Saturday, March 16 Haters Roast at the Detroit Music Hall 350 Madison St., Detroit; 313-887-8500; musichall.org; Doors at 7 p.m.; Tickets are $35 and $50.
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