Scarlett Johansson Schools Drag Race’s Trans, Queer Queens in Acting
Author: Daniel Reynolds
Scarlett Johansson surprised the contestants of RuPaul’s Drag Race with some acting advice.
The actress, who portrays Black Widow in Marvel films, Zoomed into the Werk Room in Friday’s episode to help prepare the queens for an acting challenge inspired by Honey! I Shrunk the Kids!
In the challenge, called “Henny, I Shrunk the Drag Queens,” the contestants were tasked with portraying miniaturized drag queens fleeing from a cat and Michelle Visage — in front of a green screen.
“It’s been a dream of mine to participate [in Drag Race] for a long, long time, so this is really exciting for me,” Johansson prefaced.
As for the challenge, Johansson said, “I think it’s all about making a situation that’s unreal feel very real. So I would say that the most important thing is that you have a lot of conviction, whether you’re fighting Thanos or like a giant spiky heel. And so that comes from believing in yourself. If you don’t believe in your own self, then no one in the audience is going to believe you.”
Johansson also provided tips on portraying a villain: “I think the most important thing when you’re playing a villain is you have to love the character that you’re playing, even if they’re like evil to the core, you really have to have a lot of sympathy for them. You know, you really have to feel for the character.”
The contestant Gottmik asked the actress “how to really stand out when you don’t have a lot of lines.” To which Johansson replied, “Remember that there are no small parts. There are only small queens. So you guys want to make sure that even though you don’t have as much screen time, that you have made the character in your mind, you have a whole story for your character so that the character feels really complete.”
Johansson’s husband, Saturday Night Live star Colin Jost, made a cameo to ask if the film would be called Size Queens. The contestant Rosé replied, “You’re looking at a roomful of size queens.”
Johansson’s appearance on Drag Race follows a 2018 controversy in which she was the recipient of advice from trans activists and actors to back down from her casting as a transgender man in Rub & Tug from director Rupert Sanders. She listened and later admitted she “was uneducated” when it came to the complex history of discrimination that has led to cisgender actors being cast in trans roles.
Jost, the cohost of SNL’s Weekend Update news spoof, came under fire in 2016 when he joked that Tinder’s support for nonbinary genders led to Donald Trump’s presidential victory. The couple’s appearance on Drag Race — this season includes the first trans male contestant, Gottmik — could be viewed as a public relations campaign to atone for this problematic history.
Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Daniel Reynolds