The RuPaul's Drag Race creator and host talks stuffed donkeys, biopic casting, Broadway dreams and more
RuPaul has some stories to tell – but they’re not all true.
The creator and host of RuPaul’s Drag Race, which is in the midst of its seventh season, talked to PEOPLE about some of his most random (and mostly real) memories.
Read on to find out some little-known details about the “Supermodel” singer, 54 – but keep in mind that one of the items below is as false as a Drag Race contestant’s eyelashes.
Can you spot the fake?
1. Every night he sleeps with a stuffed donkey named Jimmy.
“On Christmas night of 1986, I found a stuffed animal that was left in front of a toy donation bin in Atlanta. Someone had taken the bag and opened it up, and all these stuffed animals were strewn all over the street. I found this stuffed donkey that was probably at least 25 years old, and I kept it. I’ve had him for almost 30 years.”
2. He was friendly with Ariana Grande long before her upcoming turn as a Drag Race guest judge.
“I met her on the red carpet at the MTV Movie Awards. I’m friends with her and her brother [Frankie] through Twitter. The first thing I said to her was, ‘Hey Kitty girl!’ I say that to everybody. I took it from an Aretha Franklin song where she has an interlude when she talks to her friend on the phone. She starts the conversation by saying, ‘Hey Kitty girl, what’s happenin’?’ ”
3. Speaking of the Queen of Soul, Franklin once thought his real name was "Ruth Paul."
“I performed for her private parties in 1995 and ’07 – once was her birthday party, and the other was a Christmas party. The first time in 1995, she wrote me a personal check to – get this – ‘Ruth Paul.’ I have it somewhere still.”
4. He has a fantasy cast in mind for his biopic.
“Idris Elba should play me in The RuPaul Story. I was incredibly impressed by his work in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and he’s almost as good-looking as I am, so it could work. Chanté, he can stay.”
5. He loves traveling by car.
“From 1976 until 1982, I drove across the United States about 50 times. I was part of my brother-in-law’s high-end car brokering company. I was never able to sell them because I wasn’t good at it, but I was able to transport them for him. I would do it again.”
6. He’d like to bring Faye Dunaway‘s portrayal of Joan Crawford to Broadway.
“[I would love to star in] Mommie Dearest: The Musical. I heard they were doing it. Part of my behavior on Drag Race, especially when I say something really serious but tongue-in-cheek [is that] I’m doing it exactly the way Faye Dunaway would do it in Mommie Dearest. ‘No Wire Hangers’ would be the finale of the first act!”
So which is the lie?
Spoiler: While we’re sure Ru is a fan of the handsome and talented Elba, he had this to say about whom he’d cast in a future biopic: “I think it would have to be Raven-Symoné.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race airs Mondays (9 p.m. ET) on Logo, and RuPaul’s album Realness is in stores now.