Ahead of the Call Me Mother finale, Michael James spoke to Drag Race star Miss Peppermint.
In an in depth chat, the Drag Race star opened up about her time on the show, representation on-screen and her latest projects.
Watch the full interview with Miss Peppermint and Michael James here, or scroll to the bottom of this page.
Miss Peppermint and life after Drag Race
Season nine of Drag Race race opened with a bang.
After Peppermint was the first queen to enter the workroom she was followed by 12 other queens and Lady Gaga.
“I was preparing to go in a meet a bunch of other queens and the room was empty!” She laughs.
“I’d been waiting backstage for hours so I thought that surely I was last, turns out I was first!”
It was a hell of a way to open a season, particularly a season that would change so much for Peppermint herself and the show.
“I knew that it was going to be life-changing for myself and for my career. I auditioned a few times to try to get on and third times a charm, I made it on.”
“I wasn’t worried about how I was going to come off. I felt very connected to who I am and what I was doing how that would play out on TV. But I certainly didn’t know how people would receive it. Having watched Drag Race back I was very pleased. I was like this is who I was representing, this is me.”
But Peppermint walked away feeling good about her time on the program.
“I knew that to expect when watching it back. I got more out of it than I ever thought I would.”
A Milestone for trans representation on Drag Race
For Peppermint her appearance on Drag Race was a milestone.
Stepping into the workroom as an out black trans woman was a first for the program, paving the way for others.
“I’ve been extremely blessed and I feel very fortune to be able to not only hold space as a queer person of colour on a mainstream TV show. But to also have the opportunity to tell some of my own personal story.”
“That doesn’t fall very lightly on me because I know that these days especially in the world of Hollywood pre-pandemic. We were really stuck in the conversation of if and/or how transgender stories and queer stories should be told in the media.”
During her time on Drag Race Peppermint and her stories wove their way firmly into the narrative of the season.
Audiences fell in love with her authentic nature and captivating stories.
“I wasn’t putting anything on, I was just being myself. I feel very grateful for that and that my story did resonate with people with some of the things I said and did on the show.”
“I feel so good about that and I’m hopeful that will remain there. That my existence as a trans woman on that show will remain and that idea will remain.”
“I didn’t have those types of examples growing up”
That representation and the knowledge that people do look up to her is something Peppermint carries with her, with pride.
“I didn’t have those types of examples growing up and I’m so grateful now that even in this season we’re seeing this.
The season fourteen cast has been generating plenty of attention for the inclusion of a cisgender straight man.
But she’s quick to point out the other very important representation that is on screen this season.
“Two of them are out trans women and that’s fantastic. It’s something to celebrate.”
While other trans contestants came before her, Peppermint was the first to be open and out from the beginning.
“My contribution as a trans woman on Drag Race, I’m very proud of it.”
“I wanted to make sure that I had the ability to be out from the get go on the show.”
“I’m grateful to have been able to be an out trans woman and I believe the first out trans woman to enter the workroom already out as trans and that was not easy to do.”
The alternate Drag Race top 3 we never got to see
Whilst speaking of Drag Race, Peppermint reveals the secret ending to the season that never aired.
Whilst the rest of the world watched Peppermint, Shea Coulee, Trinty Taylor and Sasha Valour ascend to the final four, it was a different experience on set.
“When we were going from four to three, we had to record and do a song. Up until that time I had the worst record, I had the least amount of wins.”
“So I expected that they would send me home. That seems to have been the vibe.”
To Peppermint, that looks like what was about to happen.
“We filmed it, we did the challenge, we had the runway and they said Peppermint, sashay away and I did” she laughs.
But that ending was not to be.
“They ended up calling us all back in and they filmed each and every one of us going home and then they filmed a take where no-one went home.”
In the end, just a week before the finale was set to air Peppermint was advised she had made the final four.
Ultimately she would place runner up to Sasha Valour and become a long-standing fan favourite.
“I was asked to do All-Stars!”
After participating on one of the most successful seasons of the show, many have wanted to see Peppermint return.
Season nine has already produced three winners of the show and six returnees.
So will we see Peppermint return?
“I was asked to do All Stars and it was a couple of years ago. But I was unable to do it because of scheduling.”
“I’m so sorry about that, I know there are fans that mentioned they would like to see me back on the show.”
“Maybe it’ll happen, maybe they’ll ask me to do it again?”
Peppermint is optimistic about returning to Drag Race, but it will be a matter of timing.
“The process of returning is much different to applying.”
“They would have to invite me back again and I’d have to be making sure my calendar was completely clear, which means in New York not paying my rent while I’m waiting!”
Miss Peppermint on Call Me Mother
In 2021 it was announced that Miss Peppermint would be fronting a new show with UK Drag Race Alumni Crystal.
She would also go on to be an executive producer on the show.
In October the show launched with a refreshing take on drag that captivated audiences worldwide.
“My biggest role in the show was as a mother and a judge. Of course in that way, I was involved in the casting. It was a wonderful experience.”
At first it wasn’t a job she leapt at. Going back into such familiar territory was something was something Peppermint was keen to avoid.
But Call Me Mother was to be something much different to Drag Race.
“When they first asked if I wanted to do another drag reality TV show I said, hell no! I have to do something else!”
“BUT when they explained to me they wanted to be more inclusive with their casting and their representation and all of these things.”
“However it was more about the family aspects, the houses and the connection between the mothers and drag children/artists.”
“Then it became much clearer to me if I was going to do another drag reality TV show this is the kind of thing I would want to make.”
Call Me Mother saw ten drag artists from all walks of life compete for a spot in one of three houses under the mentorship of the house mothers.
Contestants included drag kings, queens, trans and non-binary folk as well as cis women all competing equally.
The house of Dulcet
During the program, Miss Peppermint became a drag mother to Felicia Bonée in her house, the House of Dulcet.
As a fellow black trans woman, Felicia connected deeply with Peppermint, the pair striking up a beautiful bond on the show.
“To know that we had a black trans woman on the show who does drag who says that she was inspired by me was so touching” she gushes.
The connection was something that came about by chance when Peppermint selected Felicia for her house.
“The producers did not give us the resumes or bios of the drag entertainers before we saw them.”
“Most of them did not tell us how they personally identified in their tapes.”
“So I didn’t even know Felicia was trans, it wasn’t until after I chose her that I found out she was trans.”
“It felt very, sort of fate like it was meant to be. I saw some of myself in her. It was a special connection.”
The house of Dulcet proved to be a powerhouse in the competition with a truly diverse cast.
“Having differently identified drag entertainers in my house felt wonderful. I had someone of trans experience and someone who’s non-binary in my house.”
The winner of Call Me Mother ultimately was selected from the House of Dulcet.
It was also announced today that Call Me Mother has been renewed for a second season.
So What’s next for Miss Peppermint?
Viewers can watch her short film, A Girl Like Me on OUTtv.
Like all of her work, it’s a personal story told by Miss Peppermint.
“It’s basically the story of an out proud black trans woman and her journey through life.”
Also on Amazon Prime, Miss Peppermint will be appearing on the television series Harlem.
On top of this we can expect to see Miss Peppermint appearing in the new Rupaul Christmas movie.
Peppermint will star along 19 other former Drag Race contestants in this camp Christmas film.
“Just like Drag Race they take the best parts of some of the classic Christmas movie storylines and put them all into one.”
“It feels a lot like the Devil Wears Prada. That’s the tone in the beginning of it.”
“It’s about a fashion journalist who goes to a small town to infiltrate and learn all about their Christmas paegant lifestyle.”
“It’s a big of a Christmas caper. The ladies in the town, have to win the Christmas paegent to save the inn. I’m one of the four ladies who live in the town.”
Letters to my Lovers
Rounding out Peppermints list of on and off-screen achievements, you can also stream her latest music.
Her album, A girl like me, letters to my lovers is now available to stream everywhere online.
“It’s a throwback 90’s RnB album.”
“It’s all about a relationship I was in where I got dumped!”
But it’s more than just making music for Peppermint, this album is also about visibility for the star.
“I really wanted the opportunity to talk about, not in a coded way or a secret way. But I wanted to talk about in a straight forward way being a queer black woman in a relationship and have that be the truth.”
“I think we take that for granted these days. Because it’s not like we have an overwhelming amount of out queer artists in the music industry first of all.”
“Even of those who are they’re relatively new, but we know that queer people have been around for a long time, they just haven’t felt good about coming out while they were working on their careers.”
“So I wanted the opportunity to have a song or an album that was out that people could listen to an connect to in a way that I know that I would have wanted and that I needed when I was coming out and figuring things out.”
Watch the full interview with Miss Peppermint and Michael James below.
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