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Jinkx Monsoon on comedy, dating and the very naughty thing she asked Rupert Grint

Jinkx Monsoon on comedy, dating and the very naughty thing she asked Rupert Grint

Jinkx Monsoon | Photos: Provided

Jinkx Monsoon won the fifth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and has since gone on to become one of the show’s most popular stars ever.

The 31-year-old’s currently visiting the UK on the Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales: The Ginger Snapped Tour, with dates scheduled in Brighton, Bath and Birmingham.

Here Jinkx, who identifies as gender-fluid, talks causing a stir online by posing naked for a recent photo project, meeting fellow ginger icon Rupert Grint and being an auntie and an uncle to her beloved four-year-old niece…

You’re the headliner of this year’s SHOUT Festival – an arts festival. What LGBTI artists would you like your younger fans to check out?

Everyone should be familiar with the life and times of Oscar Wilde. I also think younger fans should know about Rufus Wainwright. Craig Russell was the most amazing impression and impersonation artist. His videos on YouTube taught me everything I need to know about impersonating celebrities.

You’re going on tour with Major Scales [above] – where do you draw inspiration from for your material?

A lot of British comedy. Absolutely Fabulous, Harry Enfield and Friend, Keeping Up Appearances. I’m probably the only American I know who’s ever heard of Harry Enfield! Musical inspiration, a lot of Regina Spektor, Amanda Palmer, early No Doubt.

I wanted to touch on the very artistic pictures of you naked in bed with that guy on your Insta recently…

The photographer is called Frank Kunster. He’s wonderful. The pictures he and I did are part of a much larger series he did. I’m actually the 51st model to work with him in that series. It’s always set up in front of the mirror in his bed, using his phone for pictures.

It’s so funny, I got so many people criticising those photos. Maybe because there was too many of them, or they didn’t thought because they were taken with a cellphone they didn’t constitute a photo series. I really like Frank’s work and I was so excited when he asked me to do it. I felt probably the most gorgeous I’ve felt out of drag in years.

People seemed to be mistaking him for your lover!

Everyone just assumed… I think that’s where some of the criticism came from. Let me be clear: there was one negative comment for every 90,000 positive ones! But I think what some people assumed was we’d just taken photos of ourselves after we’d had sex and that I was posting them to brag or something… [Laughs] I tried to make it very clear in the captions multiple times! It’s funny how social media works. People make a snap judgement.

Speaking of Instagram captions… Did you really ask Rupert Grint to fuck you?!

Yes! Well, it’s not like I asked him. I wasn’t face to face with him! I was going my comedy bit, my stand up material on stage, and I knew he was in the audience. So I put it out as an open invitation.

What was he like?

He was one of the nicest people ever. They brought him back and we had pictures with us. I thought he’d have the pictures then leave – instead he ended up hanging out with us for an hour-and-a-half backstage. We had drinks and talked. His girlfriend was there. She loved that I asked him to fuck me! Sharon Needles asked him for money. It was a great night!

How is your brother?

Oh, my brother’s doing great. He’s got a cute little boyfriend who makes music. He’s going to college and is still trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life, but there’s no pressure to figure it out right away. I’m supportive of every avenue he wants to go down. He keeps going back and forth about being a veterinarian.

You have a four-year-old niece – do you see a lot of her?

Yes, I always try to coordinate with my brother so she’s with him when I’m in town. I always try to make the holidays with my family a fun time for her. Holidays are so much better when you have a kid to impress! We FaceTime all the time. She’s a big Jinkx fan. She sends me videos of her singing and dancing to my music all the time.

Do you adopt a gender-neutral term for auntie/uncle?

It’s funny, she calls me aunt Jinkx and Uncle Jinkx pretty much interchangeably. It depends on the context.

Ezra Miller came out as gender non-binary last week. What was your response?

I haven’t seen it, but I knew he was queer. I love Ezra. He’s a got a great sense of humour and doesn’t take himself too seriously. Plus he’s gorgeous. He’s such a celebrity crush for me.

Are you seeing anyone at the moment?

No, I’ve been single for about three years. I’m completely cool with it. I’m ready to try and date, if the right person comes along. But it’s asking a lot of someone. Every Drag Race girl tours a lot, but when I talk to other girls, I don’t know what I’m doing differently, but I’m just never home.

Is there much dating within the drag community?

I know drag queen couples. But you have this shared experience and you feel like family. There are plenty of Drag Race girls I find attractive! But we’re more like family than romantic partners. That said, I’ve slept with Magnolia Crawford – I have a great joke about it in my show – but that was before either of us was on Drag Race. I made out with Laila McQueen on her birthday once!

What did you make of Shangela and William in A Star Is Born?

I haven’t seen it yet. That’s only because I rarely go to the theater, unless it has superpowers or witches in it. I was just on tour with Willam and she’s glowing. She’s the most content I’ve seen Willam.

Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales: The Ginger Snapped is on tour across the UK until 9 April. For tickets go to sohotheatre.com.

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