LGBTQ

Drag Race royalty to play iconic queen Divine in Dan Radcliffe’s Weird Al film

Drag icon Nina West and Divine each serving amazing looks. (Getty)

Weird Al’s totally accurate biopic is serving chaotic realness with Nina West set to play the one and only drag icon Divine.

The season 11 Drag Race star’s inclusion as the self-proclaimed “filthiest person alive” in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story was announced in an Entertainment Weekly exclusive on Thursday (8 September).

“Things are getting WEIRD! Happy TIFF, y’all!” West said in an Instagram post that also thanked director Eric Appel and Weird Al himself.

The Roku original film, which is set to release publicly on 4 November 2022, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday (8 September). Judging from its wacky trailer, the movie appears to be a larger-than-life parody of Weird Al’s origins, including a by-the-numbers self-destructive lifestyle and racy romance sprinkled in.

While it isn’t clear whether Divine and Weird Al had ever met before Divine’s death in 1988, the movie also features a completely satirical relationship between Weird Al and pop sensation Madonna, so take from that what you will.

Harris Glenn Milstead, better known as Divine, was an iconically vile drag performer who starred in several John Waters films from the 1970s. She became memorable for her eccentrically outrageous acts and decrepit performances that set the stage for raunchy drag artists that viewers couldn’t turn away from.

Interestingly, Divine was also known for starring as Edna Turnblad in the 1988 rendition of Hairspray – a character whom Nina West herself is currently starring as in broadway’s Hairspray performance.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the drag queen explained that she felt the gravitas of the queer legacy that the character holds, saying: “I’ve felt they were my queer parents in a way,” West said. “These men are titans of our community. I feel the weight of it. I feel the enormity of it. But I also feel incredibly at east about the whole thing, as I know I’m supposed to bring my own version and self to Edna.

“That’s what each of these men did, and I’m lucky enough that I get to do my own version of Edna now.”

Since her Drag Race debut, Nina West has done a number of amazing things for both drag and the LGBTQ+ community. In 2021, she was featured in a Pride sing-along on an episode of Blue’s Clues.

In the segment, a cartoon West sings about various different identities going by on parade floats. She showcases same-sex families that have “two mommies” or “two daddies” that “love each other so proudly”.

After the spot, she tweeted saying how excited she was to “help lead a Pride parade with my pal Blue!”

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