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Interviews

DRDU’s Hollywould Star On Sisterhood, Vulnerability & The Drama Over Her Age

DRDU’s Hollywould Star On Sisterhood, All Stars & That Age Drama

Hollywould Star
Courtesy of World of Wonder

PRIDE interviews the drag star about connecting with her fellow queens, why she was confident she would make it to the end, and why her age is none of your business.

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Hollywould Star was the first queen to enter the Werk Room ofDrag Race Down Under season 3 and immediately made her mark. As she said, the first person in the room gets the most camera time, and that held throughout the season as she quickly became one of the season's narrators and most reliable sources of shade.

Her confidence on stage gagged the judges and her softness in the Werk Room endeared her to her fellow queens, in particular to finalist Flor, who throughout the season became her new best friend. While she fell just short of making it to the finale, Hollywould is one of the stand-out stars of the season, thanks to her charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent — oh, and little age-related shenanigans with RuPaul.

PRIDE caught up with the queen to talk about all this and so much more.

Watch PRIDE's full interview with Hollywould Star below 

PRIDE: Congrats on having such a great run on Drag Race Down Under! I feel like we got to really see so many parts of you and the artistry that you bring to drag. I'm curious how you're feeling about your time on the Drag Race.

HOLLYWOULD STAR: I feel very grateful. I feel grateful, for only doing drag, it'll be two years in November, for the opportunity to get this platform and to have a voice now. I've waited for a voice for a very long time.

Overall, if I had to think of how I feel at this moment, I would just feel grateful. Top four! I feel very proud.

Oh good, because I know it can be heartbreaking to make it so close to the finale, but what I think can get lost in that moment is that you made it the whole season which means fans had a chance to fall in love with you.

I've missed one episode, just one episode. And honestly, they gave me some airtime, I got a lot of airtime. I feel like I narrate a lot of the episodes and things. Which was really great and really funny to see. I've never watched myself back like that, which is quite funny. So I was even giggling at myself. Not making it to the end, of course, it's disappointing. But overall, I feel very proud. I know that I did well, I know I showed myself well, I know I held myself very professional and I turned a lewk, I performed. I just feel happy and proud.

Hollywould on the runway

Courtesy of World of Wonder

There is one moment from the season I want to talk about which I thought was one of the funniest, and it involved some age-related shenanigans. What were you thinking when Ru came into the Werk Room presenting receipts?

Twenty-eight is the new 18 in Hollywood, OK? It is no one's business, what my age is, it has nothing to do with the competition, and it's actually quite ageist for you to ask me about that. If I want to present myself as 28 I think that I should be able to do it.

Like [Ru] said, my paperwork was fine. So what I want to say on reality television shows, I think is my prerogative. She has done it herself. I have the receipts, RuPaul. She's been in interviews and things like that and said funny things like that as well. I think she was on The Graham Norton Show And Graham asked her, 'So you're from Louisiana?' and she's like, 'That's of your fucking business,' and she laughed!

I haven't seen it so I hope it's gonna come off as quite humorous and not deceitful or like I tried to deceive people in any sort of way. I just thought it was funny and you know, I can be however age I want to be.

Also, people have to remember I'm not a real woman. It's shocking, I know. But Hollywould is a character that I made up. Of course, she's a part of myself, but Hollywould Star is not on my birth certificate. Hollywould Star can be whatever age she wants to be.

I found it hilarious and charming!

A couple of people have been very mean towards me about it, almost insinuating that I should be voted off and things like that. So it is quite, I found it a little bit upsetting in the past few weeks that — because, you know, there's spoilers and things like that — people think that I'm going home today because of my age thing.

the final four in the werkroom

Courtesy of World of Wonder

Well, that's ridiculous. Let's talk about something really sweet. I love the shade in the room, but I also love the sisterhood. I feel like your friendship with Flor came across as so pure. Can you talk a little bit about that connection that you guys have?

Flor, I haven't known her very long but I consider her now one of my best friends. A lot of people don't know this, but I speak Spanish… and when she first walked into the work room, I spoke Spanish to her and so that's how we built our first connection.

But a lot of the similarities that we have as well, both being immigrants from different countries and someone who moves across the world with no family ... of course, I'm going to instantly, you know, connect with that person because it's almost the same. That's how we feel. We've had to create new friendships and new families. And now Flor is a part of my family. And so that friendship that you see on TV is totally legitimate. I speak to her on FaceTime, I'm so excited to be going on the Werk the World tour with her. She was one of the highlights of the season for me.

Speaking of your sisters, in the episode you refused to say who you expected to be in the top 4. Are you willing to spill that now?

Oh, that's funny. I predicted the top four to be myself, Flor, Isis, and Ashley Madison.

When Ashley left, I was gagged. She brought a lot to the competition. I'll talk really highly of Ashley. People don't know this, but like, I'm actually a fairly quiet person, especially when I'm around a group of Queens. When I'm performing, I am fierce. But when I'm around a lot of drag queens I'm not very loud, that's just not the type of person that I am, I think. But when I was in the room with Ashley, I felt very safe. Because I felt like she would always bring up topics and things for me to chime in. I never felt like I had the burden of having to hold the room with a huge personality because she just made me feel comfortable that I could just be myself and just talk when I wanted to talk.

untucked

Courtesy of World of Wonder

I love that. It's so funny because many of the other queens talked about her being the shadiest in the Werk Room.

Of course, she's shady. But I don't know she wasn't really that shady to me. It was quite a funny shade, I guess.

On the topic of your performance, that final lip sync was amazing, I was sure it was going to be a double shante. Were you thinking the same thing?

I didn't even think it'd be a double Shante to be quite honest because I was pulling up some stuff that I didn't do all competition. I was pulling out some dips, death drops, I was kicking, spinning, hair flicking doing all these things. Plus the song was the best song of the season and I was voguing duck walking, all this stuff, because the song has kind of like a Vogue sound. And so I thought, 'Oh, this one's mine in the bag.'

But not only just by performing [but also] my track record, [and what it would mean for] Down Under to have a black immigrant in the finale. I thought the moment would have been so much bigger than what it was. So, yeah, definitely gagged that happened, and especially that it wasn't a double Shante but you know, not gonna bite the hand that feeds me.

I actually think Gabriella looked great. I think her makeover definitely looked great. And it was really hard because we all looked really good, I think. But yeah, I was surprised too.

I feel like this is not the last we’ll see of you, would you ever consider coming back for Vs or All Stars season?

I'd rather go to the All Stars but, the All Stars America. That's where the real money is [Laughs]. Imagine if this was like the All Stars for this one and I won two episodes. It's like $20,000 Okay! So like, I want that.

You're making excellent points. You're the next Jimbo. I love it.

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Rachel Shatto

EIC of PRIDE.com

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Dread Central, Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Dread Central, Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.