Exclusive: Drag Race Down Under’s Rhys Nicholson reveals what RuPaul is really like behind the scenes

Rhys Nicholson isn’t slowing down as the Australian comedian is due to headline the closing night of the LGBTQ Stand Up Comedy Festival on Sunday before embarking on his first UK comedy tour of his own on 13 June.

Sitting with Hello! Ahead of their show, Rhys spoke about how they couldn’t be more different and revealed that performing at the festival was his “dream” gig. “I get to go and hang out with a bunch of people that I really love, and have a good time with them and put on a good show with a bunch of great people,” he added before joking. Am.” No need to spend long hours on stage and it’s every comedian’s dream, to hang out and have a good time and be a part of a good show but not bang out for too long. Just be like, ‘Hi, I’m funny. And we’re all gay. That’s good, bye.’

The sold-out performances are going over well with audiences, with Rhys quipping: “It shouldn’t be crazy and it shouldn’t be like a hard sell. I personally think the funniest people I know are queer people and that’s not even speaking as a queer person,

Rhys Nicholson is clapping© Jonathan Kemp
Rhys will headline closing night

For his own tour, Rhys shared his excitement about traveling around the UK, teasing: “I never cease to be fascinated by how many bloody people you’ve got to travel around that little island and packed into the other islands of the U.S. In Australia, we have one. Pronounced and it gets a little nasal at the top and then you pretend to push down. But it really fascinates me that a city Different accents in the UK are fascinating to me, I’m excited to see different cultures around the UK, as it’s not something we really experience in Australia. I visited the states last year, if it did well in Indianapolis, it sure can do well in Leeds,

Outside of comedy, Rhys is famous as a permanent judge on the Australian version of drag race And talking about the upcoming third series of the show, he revealed that it was “haunting” knowing the cast list and the top three as well as the guest judges who will be joining the panel, all of them in this series. was included for the first time. -Person, as opposed to over zoom.

Rhys Nicholson in a striped suit holding a microphone© Brittany Long
Rhys embarks on his own UK tour

She also opened up on her relationship with the show’s host RuPaul, saying: “The first thing RuPaul said to me was ‘Welcome to the family’ and I took it with a handful of salt. Then as soon as we started making the show Started, I was like: ‘This is really it’. He’s my boss so it’s not like we’re texting each other every night about our favorite things that are happening in the world,

Rhys said: “It took me about four years to get comfortable with the fact that I’m sitting next to RuPaul for four hours a day. He teases me because sometimes he’ll catch me staring because he looks so handsome Yes, we’ve got filters on us and everything, but Rue looks incredible in real life, and he always says: ‘stop staring’.

Art Simone stands with Rhys Nicholson© Sam Tabone
Rhys is a popular judge on Drag Race Down Under

It’s not just his professional life that’s keeping him busy planning his wedding to longtime partner Kieran Wheatley, Rhys also came out as non-binary last year. Reflecting on his journey of discovery, Rhys explained: “With Covid, we spent a lot of time indoors looking within ourselves, some of us finding more questions than answers. It was always going to happen, I’ve never been uncomfortable and it hasn’t changed my life in any particular way. I was talking to friends about how we feel about gender and I was sharing my thoughts on it and literally one of my friends was like: ‘I mean that feels like non-binary. ‘ As I get more comfortable with it, realizing how a lot of people are, I think we’re at a moment where it’s really becoming quite a strong community.”

He said: “It feels good and it feels light, it’s nice to be able to talk about it and it’s nice to be able to talk about it comfortably when it’s not eating me up. I can because I’m lucky. I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who aren’t as comfortable and hopefully, I can be something good for someone to look up to and get inspiration from.”

Kieran Wheatley standing with Rhys Nicholson© Sam Tabone
Rhys and Kyran got engaged in 2019

As far as the wedding is concerned, there has been a lot of tinkering with the initial ceremony planned before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Speaking about the issues of rescheduling, Rhys shared: “There are some weird little nightmares about rescheduling the wedding three years later, do we have to invite the same people? Because so many people are now part of our lives are not. There are some interesting politics involved in re-planning a wedding, but for now we are very excited about it.

“We have a whole bunch of new friends we’re inviting. We made the mistake of buying our suits, before COVID and then we put on 10 kilos. I have a cute suit in my apartment and a cute Yves Saint Laurent suit It’s in my roommate’s room, but it’s a bit of a scramble to get in.”

But on a set full of drag queens, Rhys joked about creating their own “secret challenges” where they could easily get their suits refitted. “It’s not a bad idea,” he smiled. “Starting Your Own Drag Competition Within Drag Race.”

To learn more about the LGBTQ Stand Up Comedy Festival, visit here here,

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