RuPaul Opens up About the Biggest Challenge He Faced While Working on ‘AJ and the Queen’

If you thought RuPaul’s Drag Race was the show to watch, just wait until you experience the fierceness that is RuPaul‘s brand new Netflix show, AJ and The Queen.

The scripted series was release on January 10 and it has already been embraced by fans all over the world.

RuPaul at the premiere of Netflix's "AJ and The Queen"
RuPaul | Presley Ann/Getty Images

While this series speaks to those who know what it’s like to get down on their luck, it also did the same to RuPaul, who drew from many of his own life experiences when writing the script.

This series is a reflection of RuPaul’s own childhood

It hasn’t even been a month since AJ and The Queen premiered on Netflix and many of us can already agree that 10 episodes definitely wasn’t enough.

On January 10, the series everyone has been patiently waiting for finally dropped and just like we thought, this show did not disappoint in the slightest.

The series follows RuPaul’s character, Robert (Ruby Red), a beloved drag queen who goes on a cross country performance road trip after his life savings gets stolen by a man he thought loved him.

Along the way, Robert meets AJ, a spunky 11-year-old who stows away in his RV and quickly becomes the drag superstar’s pint-sized side-kick.

Together, Ruby and AJ navigate through life as they discover love, loss, and a newfound family during their journey together.

While this show is everything Drag Race fans were in need of—especially since RuPaul’s Drag Race is on a break—it turns out this series was a long time coming for Mama Ru.

During an August 2019 sit-down with Judge Judy for Interview magazine, RuPaul shared what it was like working on AJ and the Queen.

Though the show allowed the Emmy winner to step out of his comfort zone, it also gave him the opportunity to reflect on his own upbringing, which he says was extremely challenging.

“You know, on my new show, AJ and the Queen, my character parents an 11-year-old child, so I was able to really emotionally revisit myself as a kid,” he said. “It was a trip. I’ve never done anything like that before. It was the most challenging thing for me as an actor and as a human. The big thing for me is that I wish I’d learned how to process feelings earlier. The human body is kind of like a computer program, and a lot of the feelings that I felt were based on the experiences I’d had. Knowing that feelings are not facts was a message I wish that 11-year-old Ru had heard.”

This series allowed RuPaul to let out those feeling he’s kept hidden

Since he’s been in show business for more than three decades, RuPaul has had to learn to keep many of his feelings at bay.

With his career skyrocketing in the early 90s and continuing to soar to this day, the RuPaul’s Drag Race star hasn’t had the opportunity to be completely transparent about certain things in his life.

“I’ve been doing this for 38 years in show business, and there’s a part of myself I’ve had to emotionally shut down to power through it,” RuPaul recently explained to Variety. “This is an opportunity to get reacquainted with those emotions and actually let them out in front of people.”

AJ coming into Robert’s life introduces him to a different kind of love, which allowed RuPaul to open up in ways he’s never thought he could.

Now that RuPaul has been able to wear his emotions on his sleeves, we wouldn’t be surprised if we see a more emotional side of him moving forward.