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Drag Me to Dinner Stars Dish About Their New Reality Show

Jun 1, 2023


This summer, it’s all about shiny pumps, batting eyelashes, and drag queens hosting fabulous dinner parties (ish). Or at least trying to. That’s the inventive premise creators/producers Neil Patrick Harris and husband David Burtka put in their new Hula drag-a-ganza, deliciously dubbed Drag Me to Dinner.

The lowdown: In a fourth-wall-breaking, tongue-in-cheek send-up to traditional reality show competitions, two teams of popular drag queens go beehive to beehive to in order to toss together the most “drag-tastical” dinner party ever. The winners are crowned by three judges — Harris, drag superstar Bianca Del Rio, and Haneefah Wood (Hello Tomorrow, Truth Be Told). The host is none other than the New York City legend Murray Hill, “the hardest-working middle-aged man in show business.”
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The set-up: Every episode revolves around a specific theme, which is revealed by Burtka, who made a dent as a lifestyle expert in Life’s a Party. Teams will focus on: food and drink, design and decor, entertainment and “vibe.” Drag queens fussing over mixers in a kitchen? Bring it! At the end of every episode, one drag duo struts away with the best “prize” in television history: The Glorious Golden Grater. Because, as the show tells us, “one team may be great, but the other is grater!”

MovieWeb caught up with Bianca Del Rio, Murray Hill, and Haneefah Wood in an exclusive interview. Check out the clip above and the interview below.

Here a Drag Queen, There a Drag Queen, Everywhere a Drag Queen

Hulu

To be sure, Drag Me To Dinner is destined to be one messy, faux competition show. It’s not intended to be taken seriously. The joke is on, well, reality competition shows, in general. And who better to do that than a posse of drag queens. And there’s plenty of them here — from Jinkx Monsoon and the late Heklina to Jackie Beat and Peaches Christ.

For drag legend Bianca Del Rio (aka Roy Haylock), being part of the show was a thrill ride. This hilarious, larger-than-life drag queen isn’t afraid to shock or offend. She became the breakout star on the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and The New York Times once dubbed her the “Joan Rivers of the Drag World.”

Related: Best Hulu TV Shows You Can Binge in One Weekend

When asked what was most fun working alongside Murray Hill and Haneefah Wood, De Rio quipped: “You know, I never considered myself tall until I stood next to these two, so that was a perk, number one. But you know, the insanity of all of this is that Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka did this together with their friends, and I didn’t know any of them before this, so we instantly became friends.

“It was like ‘Here, pick yourselves up, show up at the studio, be yourself. Let’s film it, and it’s a TV show. This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and I have been on Intervention,” added Del Rio — wink wink. “It was a blast to go to work every day with that many drag queens in one room. A good time.”

Honey, Just Be Yourself

Murray Hill has been a fixture in the New York City club scene for many years. The performer can also be seen playing Fred Rococo in Bridget Everett’s outstanding HBO series, Somebody Somewhere. He also appeared in Life & Beth, opposite Amy Schumer. He credits creators/producer Neil Patrick Harris, David Burtka, and Hulu for allowing everybody, “to really just be ourselves.”

We didn’t have to stick to a script, or messaging or all that stuff,” he added. “All of us brought our talent we’ve been slugging in the clubs forever right into a kind of mainstream setting. Nobody said, ‘Oh, tone it down. You can’t do this, you can’t do that.’ The best part was just being able to improv with a lot of my heroes and to get to work with everybody. And, you know, to finally got a job.”

Haneefah Wood was quick to note that the show arrives at a perfect juncture. “It’s a good time for a show like this to come out now because of everything that’s happening in the world right now. It’s perfect to see this show highlighting drag queens and inclusion and having a good time. And highlighting fashion and fun. And you don’t have to think a lot when you’re watching it. You just need to laugh and have a good time. It’s genius creativity. Like, let’s stop taking ourselves so seriously. Let’s have a giggle with each other.”

The Perks of Being Dragged to Dinner

Hulu

Not everything sashayed as planned. For instance, Bianca Del Rio “fretted” about being a judge. “I don’t know if you know, but I’m a delicate wallflower who is very afraid of expressing my opinions, so this truly was a challenge, and you know, to act, to perform.”

“I’m kidding,” she gushed. “No, what’s great is having the opportunity to basically just go to a party. We got to sit in a party and just be entertained, fed, sometimes good food, and enjoy the ambiance. And at most dinner parties, you give your opinion usually on the ride home. Like, ‘Girl…!’ But in this situation, we had the opportunity to teach them in real time. And surprisingly, a lot of the drag queens are really good. We did not see them prepare the food, but the taste was not too bad. I’m more of a vibe girl. I wanted a good vibe going on. And Haneefah was all concerned about the food. So, we worked well together. We really did.”

Related: The Best Movies and TV Shows About Drag, Ranked

As for what viewers will be surprised by, each episode boasts distinctly colorful themes. There’s “Tropical Kiki,” which should delight island lovers. “Whoring 20s” and “Divorce Party” are a hoot. What’s not to like? We’re talking outspoken drag queens here — how can this not be anything but fun. Haneefah Wood immediately noted the camaraderie on set.

“I’m such a huge drag fan, so walking into set every day, not knowing who the drag queens were going to be, was great,” said Wood. “I’m such a fan of most of these women. I’ve been watching these people for so many years. Now, I actually know them. Some of them are in my phone. I never thought that that would be the case, right?”

“I think people will be surprised that drag queens can do more than lipstick,” Hill noted. “I hope that’s not a shame. You know, we don’t get to see drag queens talking to each other, making jokes, reading each other, and we certainly don’t see drag queens in the kitchen. You know what I mean? I’ve never seen one directly in the kitchen in my life until the show. So, we’re going see a behind-the-scenes snapshot of drag queens’ lives.”

Meanwhile, when Wood was asked what the most exciting thing about this romp was for her, the performer was candid: “The most exciting part for me was when my check cleared.”

“You got a check?” Del Rio shot back.

Hill looked shocked. “You got a check? Mine didn’t even clear yet.”

Experience the fabulousness of Drag Me To Dinner beginning May 31 on Hulu.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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