Plastic will always be fantastic for Trixie Mattel.
Mattel, whose drag is an irreverent take on the world of Barbie, quickly became a fan favorite on the most recent season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. She was famously eliminated on episode four in one of the most controversial eliminations in the show’s herstery. Fans were so angry that they threatened to boycott the show, igniting #JusticeForTrixie on Twitter. Trixie was ultimately brought back onto the show in a somewhat anticipated twist. In reference to the process, Mattel jokingly proclaimed, “I think I read somewhere that it builds character to have all your dreams crushed on TV.”
Of the almost 100 drag queens who’ve competed on RuPaul’s Drag Race over seven seasons, Mattel is definitely one of the most memorable. She has continued to grow her fan base after the show, due in part to her popular online personality, unique style, and energetic live performances. Mattel will be coming into the Twin Cities this weekend to headline a show at Flip Phone on Saturday, which will be Mean Girls-themed and also feature local queens.
We were lucky to pull Mattel from the Dreamhouse to have a quick chat with her about following in Barbie’s footsteps, staying popular, and picking a fight over hotdish.
Didn’t you just move? Is life in plastic just as fantastic in L.A.?
I moved from Milwaukee to Los Angeles a few months ago. I live in West Hollywood, so I am the ugliest, fattest, poorest, least famous person on my block. Fun fact: Barbie is originally from Wisconsin and moved to Malibu. So I follow in the footsteps of greatness!
You’re pretty stellar at branding. Are fans supportive of your concept?
If you have a fantastic product without fantastic marketing, you might as well have no product at all. In an industry of an almost endless number of drag queens, uniqueness is key. My world is full pink plastic and blonde hair. My makeup and comedy might not be your favorite, but it’s definitely burned into your memory.
My act truly isn’t for everyone, but those who feel the fantasy definitely feel the fantasy. I’m just a homo with a dark sense of humor who dresses like the Barbie doll he never had. If you’re not here for it, you probably were just raised right and you have good taste.
Do Reddit queens get old?
As far as Reddit and fan comments, one of my favorite comics Chelsea Peretti said reading about yourself online is like a version of cutting yourself. LOOK AWAY!
To me, it seems like you’re pulling from some different performance traditions than a lot of queens. Besides everything Mattel, are there other aesthetics or performers you draw from?
Visually, I’m a reflection of the girl toys I was never allowed to play with: Barbie, My Little Pony, Polly Pocket. I think you can also see some of my favorite TV and movie characters: Peg Bundy, Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors. Many of my drag idols used their signature looks to conquer the industry: Lady Bunny, Coco Peru, etc. Even RuPaul used her iconic hair color and silhouette to strut into the mainstream during the '90s.
I’m a dancer and a comic, so I love doing tight comedic lip syncs to custom mashups when I work in clubs. In comedy, my standup is truly Midwestern: dark, dry, and sharp-witted.
Has the Midwest influenced your approach to the performance of Trixie?
The Midwest is truly everything. We might be riddled with domestic abuse and alcoholism, but we can laugh our way through anything. We also are extremely nice people. When we ask how your day is going, we actually want to know. People always tell me how nice I am and I’m like, “In the Midwest everyone is nice.” But when the air is so cold that you drink whiskey to stay warm, you have to laugh.
What would Trixie put in her hotdish?
Hotdish is truly disgusting, and if anyone in Minneapolis has a problem with that you can come to Flip Phone on Saturday and FIGHT ME, BRO.
Do you know any of our Minneapolis queens?
Local drag legend Max [Malanaphy] and I went to college together! I can’t wait to meet the other Minneapolis queens.
IF YOU GO:
MEAN GIRLS with Trixie Mattel, presented by Flip Phone and Palm Breeze
9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, December 5
Rev Ultra Lounge
731 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
$10 cover, cash only, 21+
For more information, check out the Facebook event.