Whether it's trans contestants being showcased proudly or shocking eliminations, "RuPaul’s Drag Race” continues to be groundbreaking television.
That has never been more true than on Season 14, where Maddy Morphosis joined the show as the first straight male contestant in the history of the competition. When the initial surprise wore off, both competitors and the viewers found a talented performer underneath the hype. I sat down with this dynamic and humble performer to chat about the road to "Drag Race", what it was like being a "first" for the competition, and that now-famous “Untucked" moment with Jasmine Kennedie.
Michael Cook: Suffice to say, you have changed the "RuPaul's Drag Race” game forever after your turn on Season 14. How does it feel to have gone through this experience?
Maddy Morphosis: It still feels weird honestly, Watching back on the show, it is just surreal that I was there experiencing all of it. It is very exciting; very terrifying, but very exciting.
MC: It sounds like it's almost like watching a movie of sorts, is that fair to say?
MM: It is like a weird valley in between almost. Like, I know it's me, but it doesn't feel like me. It's like someone took a clone of me and put him on "Drag Race”.
MC: You being cast on "Drag Race” was polarizing to say the least. We have heard so many people's opinions, but how did it feel for you to go through the entire process from making your initial tape, to being cast?
MM: I have been doing drag for about four years by the time I got the call for "Drag Race". For me, doing drag I have always been embraced in the scene and have never been discriminated against for my sexuality or anything. When I got the call for "Drag Race”, I really didn't think it was going to be that polarizing. When I got the call for "Drag Race”,t was like "I feel comfortable in my drag, I'm just gonna throw out an audition, there are so many applicants, I probably won't get a call, but you never know” and I ended up getting a call! It's really just throwing it out there, seeing what happens, and going from there.
MC: Your drag style is very unique and seems to be representative of the drag scene that you come from. What is the scene like in a small Southern town in Arkansas from your perspective?
MM: I feel like Arkansas has some really diverse drag. It is very pageant-centric and pageant heavy, it is home to the very first Miss Gay America, the longest-running gay pageant system; that is a huge mark on everything around here. Aside from that, there are other scenes like alternative performers. In the middle of nowhere, a lot of are broke so there is a lot of DIY, patching things together just to make them work and make a fun performance.
MC: Your final runway appearance was very representative of that hometown and patch-together style that you mention; it gave me a very "Coat Of Many Colors."
MM: I've never felt more in my Southern roots than in that runway. Patchwork and I are about to go to square dance.
MC: The South still holds a great deal of discrimination for some people in you're a gay person. Conversely, you are straight and feel totally accepted in the drag scene. Perhaps there is more growth than we are aware of.
MM: Yes. And it's really not just in the South either. I have traveled around to different states, pageant systems and cities and have never felt any kind of pushback for me doing drag. I think a lot of that comes down to a lot of the people doing drag, are part of the queer community, have been treated that way, and don't want to make others feel the same way.
MC: You and Jasmine Kennedie truly made the first "Untucked" viral moment of the season also. What did that feel like and what actually happened?
MM: I don't even know to be honest. When I got home and told my girlfriend that I got into a fight with someone in “Untucked" she couldn't believe it. I've never gotten into an argument like that with somebody, especially in the drag scene. "Drag Race" is the most stressful, emotionally and psychologically draining experience that you can go through. Then, you are with someone in “Untucked” and you know you have a fifty/fifty chance of going home and then she made a comment that felt disrespectful to me at that moment. I just had the mindset of "you want a cute moment, let's have a cute moment. We're in "Untucked", let's get that Emmy"!
MC: "Drag Race" is known to have a multitude of challenges and certainly puts you through a battery of challenges and a variety of runways. What do you think your favorite part of the experience was?
MM: For me, other than making all the new connections and my new drag sisters, some of the challenges I got to experience were my own creativity. The acting challenges, writing our own scripts and jokes, showing where I really shine in drag, ideas, just being stupid and having fun with it. Definitely not the design challenges (laughs)!
MC: You didn't get the chance to participate in the "Snatch Game” challenge. Male characters have been known to be daring and be both very successful and then sometimes, not be successful. Were you going to do a male or a female character?
MM: I did have a few different characters in mind, and I did think about doing Joe Exotic but it was going to be a temperature check thing to see how people were feeling about him at the time. The documentary came out and everyone was all about him, and then everything turned a little bit. I'd hate to do a character that everyone was hating at the time, but I definitely had male and female challenges in the chamber ready to go for that one.
MC: Now, the whole world is ready to experience Maddy Morphosis. Are you ready to experience the post "Drag Race" fame and all of the trappings that come from it?
MM: I tell people, I am very famous in a very specific group of people (laughs). I am really excited to travel and see a lot of the world. My viewpoint of the world has been very homogenized, being from Arkansas and my little corner of the world. I haven't had a chance to travel a lot and see more of the world. different drag scenes and different people. I just want to experience more of the world with this opportunity.
MC: Your girlfriend must find the "Drag Race” experience so incredibly surreal.
MM: Oh she is so stressed about it. It's a really stressful thing, it went from me doing some shows locally where no one really cares, but now everybody is watching everyone that I do, is weighing in, and has an opinion on it. It is very overwhelming, especially for someone that is on the periphery of it all.
MC: When does Maddy Morphosis feel the most herself?
MM: Whenever I am out at the club with friends or at home with my girlfriend. When I can just relax and not worry about expectations or outside opinions. Definitely not when there are a bunch of cameras looking you right in the eye (laughs)!
Follow Maddy Morphosis on Instagram @maddymorphosis.
Read about the other contestants on the homepage.