RuPaul Charles, host of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” has a daytime talk show that premiered Monday in seven cities around the country, and Charlotte was one of those locations.
In the hour-long show, Charles talked with “Late Late Show” host James Corden about how he got started in comedy. He also spoke with Jonathan and Drew Scott from the HGTV show “Property Brothers” about how home renovations can improve productivity.
Upcoming shows will feature interviews with other celebrity guests during its limited three-week run. It will air daily on FOX 46 at 10 a.m.
Charles started his career in the music industry in 1993 before becoming a spokesperson for MAC Cosmetics two years later. He started his TV career in 1996. He has since produced several shows and appeared in more than 50 shows and movies.
The Observer got a chance to sit down with Charles to talk about his new show following the premiere Monday. Responses have been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.
Q: How did it feel to finally see the show air today?
A: I couldn’t be happier and more excited for all the people out there watching from their homes and who beautifully and lovingly welcomed me. Because it’s a very intimate thing, having a talk show like that come into your house and having people talking so candidly.
Q: What inspired you to create the show?
A: More than ever before in our country, in our world, we need to come together and talk about the real issues of love and abandonment, and of why we feel so separate from one another. Even the way the set is, where I have the audience very close to me, I want it to feel like my living room, where we are all having an intimate discussion.
Q: In the first episode, you talked about how it’s not really just a talk show, it’s more about building a movement. Can you talk more about that?
A: The movement is a return to love and return to us as a community. Not just gay people, or entertainers, but us as humans on this planet. There is this sort of singularity that is almost like a virus that’s taken over our world where everybody is doing their own thing. And I think it’s important for us to see ourselves as not only a tribe, but as really one thing: us all together. The ego would have you believe that you’re in Charlotte, and I’m in Hollywood. But the truth is, we are one thing; we are connected. And that’s what the show is about.
Q: Is that the main message that you hope people watching will take from it?
A: I hope so. The main message really is you’ve got to love yourself, you’ve got to learn the techniques to remind yourself every day of who you really are. It’s important to know thyself.
Q: Why do you think that people struggle with learning to love themselves and knowing themselves?
A: Well, because there’s so many distractors out there. There’s so many other messages that are trying to get you to buy things, or they sort of feed on your insecurities and support your insecurities so they can sell you things, which is fine. But you have to be able to counterbalance that information and nurture yourself with the other good stuff.
Q: What is your thought process like for choosing guests for your show?
A: I like people who have been through adversity, who have overcome their dark night of the spirit and who have made peace with their saboteurs. I’m always interested in people who decide, ‘I’m going to get up out of bed today, and I’m going to do it all over again.’ I want to know: What did you do? How did you manage to do that? Because truth is, life is hard. And we don’t talk about that enough.
Q: Has putting the show together been something that you’ve been thinking about for a while?
A: Oh, yeah. I mean, I was rehearsing for a talk show when I was 5 years old, watching “The Merv Griffin Show.” I’ve always loved it, and I’ve always wanted to, even as a kid, I wanted to break the fourth wall and ask people how they were feeling and what was their experience like being a human on this planet.
Q: Your show is just going to run for three weeks as a test run, right? How can people support you?
A: Really, at its core, the show is about the discussion. We want to move the discussion forward in the 21st century, and we want to help people navigate these tricky, strange waters we’re in right now in 2019. So the best way they can support us, aside from watching it, is to talk about it and to continue this conversation on social media.