Four down, five to go… still.
“Roast In Piece,” episode five of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars season 4, promised twists. And henny, did she deliver … twins, in fact, when both Manila Luzon and Monét X Change were named the winners of both the challenge and the lip sync.
“With great power comes great responsibility. I should know,” Ru told the girls. “For tonight, no one is going home.” And with that, for the first time in Drag Race herstory, All Stars rules were suspended… “until further notice.”
So with no eliminated queen to chat with, we decided to turn our attention to one of the season’s lesser recognized —but no less worthy — stars: Stacy Layne Matthews, who appeared in episode two, “Super Girl Groups, “Henny” and made cameo appearances in episode four, "Jersey Justice" and during Friday night’s episode, "Roast in Peace.”
Here, we give the season 3 contestant a call to find out what she’s been up to, her status as a self-professed “underdog”within in the Drag Race universe and whether or not, if asked, she’d appear on a future season of All Stars.
Thanks for calling McDonalds.
[Laughs] Hi, Stacy! How are you? Where are you?
I’m at the car dealership having my car worked on but I have a few minutes now if you want to chat.
I want nothing else from life. So let’s get to it: What did you think when you first got the call asking you to come out and be a part of All Stars season four?
Well, I was first thinking that I was part of the cast. I went through the whole audition process and the evaluation and everything. So I was excited and I was prepared to compete. But, you know, it’s always up to the network who they want to cast on the show. But when I found it, I realized I wouldn’t have the stress of elimination. I could just sit back, relax and have a good time doing what I do and I think it’s worked out pretty good because it’s still entertaining even though I’m not a part of the competition.
What were you told at the time about what your role would be during the season? Did you know you’d be popping up in more episodes than some of the competing queens?
[Laughs] They didn’t really really tell me much. They wanted to keep it a surprise, especially for me. But they told me they would put me in a good light and I think they’ve done that.
What’s it like for you seeing yourself back on the mainstage and on people’s television screens?
You know, I think my career has shown what kind of person I am. I try to be nice to everyone. I think this opportunity is well deserved. You have a lot of girls that have a track record of being not the most kind people or the greatest people to work with and I’ve made a point in my career to be very professional. I’ve earned this. I feel like this is my time, y’know?
How has the show changed your life?
It opened up a whole bag full of stuff, like traveling and doing stuff that I wouldn’t normally be able to do. I sit back and look at the people that I work with locally and how they aren’t given opportunities like we are, especially us Drag Race girls, so I’m very appreciative of everything that has been given to me.
You joke online sometimes saying you are retiring from drag, but I'm curious if you could share the status of your career as a drag superstar. Are you still performing these days?
Oh yeah. I’m actually booking stuff every day since All Stars aired. I mean I didn’t really have to be on the season to be able to work so I’m fortunate that they gave me the opportunity and it’s pretty much quite the buzz now for not having been part of the competition.
What has life been like for you before your big return to the RPDR stage?
I was continuously working, managing myself and trying to stay relevant. It’s not easy but I think I’ve done a pretty good job at it.
Can you talk more about that specifically, the challenges of staying relevant and keeping the fandom’s thirst quenched — especially for someone like yourself who isn’t living in a big city?
Well I can imagine it’s hard for girls, especially the ones living in larger cities where there’s fifteen Drag Race girls living there, but I live in a place that’s so secluded. I live in Lumberton, North Carolina. I’m at least two hours from a major city. So it’s even harder for me. I have to compensate living in such a small place and try to make the best of it, I guess.
Did you have aspirations at any point to move to a bigger city?
I’ve wanted to branch out and live in different places but I’m really close to my family and all of my friends are here and I can’t see myself living in a large city. I like open space and I don’t feel like paying $3000/month to live somewhere.
When people celebrate the world that is Drag Race, do you think your given enough of your due?
I honestly don’t. What I get really annoyed with seeing is posts online where they rank us. I don’t feel like that’s fair to the girls because each girl has their own talents, their own aesthetic, their own abilities. And with the older seasons, a lot of those girls aren’t given credit. The underdogs I would call them. I’m definitely an underdog. Somebody that has been put on the backburner for years. But it’s what you make of it. But I’m trying my best being that I don’t have a manager and have to manage myself.
You talked about your gender identity during a 2011 podcast appearance, saying that you have always felt like a woman. How do you identify these days?
At this point in my life I don’t really identify as anything because I don’t like labels. I don’t want people to say “oh there’s the transgender person from Drag Race.” I just want to be considered Stacy who is an entertainer, a professional, who loves doing drag. So whether it be trans or gay, it doesn’t matter to me.
Now let’s talk game. Which queen on All Stars season 4 do you think has what it takes to win the crown?
I was really rooting for Latrice until… [laughs]. I would probably say Trinity. I think she plays the game very well. She’s gorgeous. She’s a pageant queen and I’m a pageant queen. And I love Valentina and that sauciness about her. I appreciate her drag. I feel like she’s always on for the cameras.
Anyone you’re not rooting for?
I’m rooting for all of them because they were all given this opportunity. I could have been a part of that. But unfortunately I’m not. Still, I’m rooting for all of them because I want to be supportive of all of their careers.
You’ve made it clear how grateful you are, but is there any part of you that’s resentful at the fact that you are a part of the season and yet you don’t get to receive the promotional push and accolades that the competing queens do?
It was a little disappointing. When I got the call that I wouldn’t be a cast member on the show I was in Mexico. I had a little moment where I was upset and cried a little. But when the time is right, the time is right. Once I lose a little bit of weight and I’m a little bit more able to compete comfortably and do everything I need to do, then my time will happen maybe. All Stars 5 if it happens?
Why do you feel like you need to lose weight in order to be back on the show?
Because I want to be comfortable. Cause I’m getting older and even doing what I’ve done for All Stars was a little challenging because it was non-stop. When I filmed my original season of Drag Race I was a little bit smaller, a little bit younger. So I think if I get myself healthier it will be a little be easier for me.
You’ve pretty much answered this but I need to hear it directly from henny’s mouth: If you get the call to compete on a future season of All Stars…
Honey if they would call me tomorrow and say you have three months, I would take those three months to get myself together and make sure I was in tip-top shape and honey I would be ready. to. go.