Interview: You won’t like ‘Drag Race’ breakout Olivia Lux when she’s angry
Olivia Lux proved that nice girls may not finish last, but they do finish fifth.
The self-described “polite diva” charmed RuPaul’s Drag Race fans and the judges alike with her charisma, effervescence and megawatt smile, but ultimately succumbed to the most egregious of curses: being predictable.
After a green screen performance in “Henny, I Shrunk The Drag Queens” that inspired more yawns than it did fawns and a runway look that, well, had pockets and not much else, she was forced to lip sync against Kandy Muse, and ultimately got sent packing.
Daniel Trainor and Sam Stone talked to Olivia about being the nice girl, struggling in acting challenges and what happens when she’s not feeling so bubbly.
Daniel Trainor: Hello, Miss Olivia Lux. How are you?
Olivia Lux: I’m good! You know, eating a little Honey Bun in my little Brooklyn apartment. How are you guys?
DT: We’re great! Let’s talk about this Drag Race journey. Your arc was so interesting to watch because it’s almost like your niceness became a detriment at the end. At what point did you realize that being a polite diva wasn’t really working anymore?
Olivia: That’s a great point. It’s really important to note that having the identity of a polite diva is actually something that is an everyday identity to me. I’m someone who makes the best of every situation. There were times you saw that on the show. When we were on the runway and everybody voted to send me home and Kandy was like “come on, you don’t feel some type of way?” I truly didn’t feel any type of way. So when you look at the season and say that it was a detriment, well, that’s actually who I am as a person. That’s something that I cannot change. I grew a lot on the show and I was proud of what I was able to produce. I was happy I was able to be positive throughout the entire experience. I don’t think I would have gotten as far as I did if I didn’t smile.
Sam Stone: Totally. It’s all about authenticity. In the green screen challenge, how did you feel it was going in the moment?
Olivia: This challenge was odd. I didn’t really feel anything, particularly. At that point in the competition, you’re really proud of the work that you’re producing. I was definitely at peace with the fact that one of us was not going to continue on to be America’s next drag superstar. In that particular challenge, it felt like I was playing catch up a lot. It felt like I may not have been growing as much as some of the other contestants. I didn’t think it was the role for me and it didn’t feel like I was challenging myself enough. But that makes me hopeful for the future, because it definitely feels like there’s some growing that can happen.
DT: Well, that brings me to my next question. On the runway, when all the girls said you deserved to be in the bottom, they suggested that you have the most growing to do. How do you respond to that?
Olivia: I don’t know if it’s just me and my polite diva-ness coming through (laughs), but I took it all as a compliment? I know that sounds so odd. But somebody saying “okay, she may not be America’s next drag superstar right now, but she might be in the future,” that’s a compliment to me. I had to remind myself that I auditioned for the show with one year of drag under my belt. I got all the way here. I made it to the top five. I did so gracefully and with integrity. I kept all of my ducks in a row. I made sure that I was true to myself. That’s all that I asked for. If they decided that, in the moment, that’s okay. Everyone’s journey on the show is different.
SS: How do you think you grew throughout the season?
Olivia: I think most of my growth happened after the season when I was able to look back at everything. When I was there, RuPaul said “you’ll find out a lot about yourself when you see yourself on TV.” At first, everyone is like “oh, I love the idea of seeing myself on TV!” But it’s very eye-opening. You get to see how people resonate, or don’t resonate, with your artistry. You don’t really know until it’s all said and done, and you get to sit back with a bag of popcorn. A lot of the growth happened after the show.
DT: Okay, enough of this nice girl stuff, Olivia. Here’s the question I really want to ask you: what happens when Olivia Lux gets mad? What’s the meanest thing you’ve ever done?
Olivia: (laughs) I will say, when I do get frustrated and angry, it’s amplified because it’s me. When I’m upset about something, everyone is like “oh, this is a real thing because Olivia is not about it. If I’m mad about it, we should probably take a look at what’s going on here. I’m not perfect by any means. I’m not just one feeling or emotion. What’s that animated movie about all the different emotions?
DT: Inside Out!
Olivia: Yeah! It’s like that. Happiness and light can be things that are prevalent in somebody’s identity, but there will always be sadness and anger and all of these other emotions that make up who I am. Although you didn’t get to see a bunch of that on the show, I definitely want to leave with people knowing that I’m not perfect.
DT: It was such a pleasure watching you shine this season, Olivia. We can’t wait to see where this journey is going take you.
Olivia: Thank you. I really appreciate that!