Miss Coco Peru has been delighting audiences across the globe for a very long time. Her fab sense of style, quirky personality and amazing comedy skills are things that fans can’t get enough as she continues on her seemingly endless career climb.
She chatted with us recently about a bevy of things going on in her life including details on when and if the Girls Will Be Girls sequel will be released, her time on Will & Grace amid all those pesky Debra Messing/Megan Mullally feud rumors, thoughts on RuPaul and the Drag Race empire and all the fun things coming up in her professional life.
What was the 2020 year like for you both professionally and personally?
Like for all of us, it has been a rollercoaster! Professionally I have had to learn how to accommodate and do shows online. Although I miss a live audience and it’s bizarre to play to a computer screen, it’s been wonderful because you can connect with others from all over the world while in the safe space of your own home. Reading people’s comments and seeing that your work matters to them has been rewarding. Being a perfectionist, I’ve also had to learn that everything cannot be perfect and that that is okay, it’s showing up and doing your best that is important, especially in a time like this. The greatest gift is that my fans have made me feel valued.
Personally, I would say that the most difficult thing is not being able to visit my mother, Helen, who is 94. Again, I’m grateful for technology that allows me to FaceTime with her.
Are you optimistic that 2021 will be better for the entire world minus Trump supporters?
It depends on the day… or the minute! I go from “Everything is going to be fine” to “We’re all doomed” in a matter of seconds! I’ve learned to stop asking, “What else can go wrong?” Clearly, that is not a question I will ever ask again!
What’s going on with Girls Will Be Girls 2012? Fans have been waiting for years to see the sequel and we want answers!
I want answers! This has been so frustrating for me ever since we filmed it. Many things went awry in the post-production, but I have heard that Richard Day, the writer and director, is still working on it. I just hope that when he does finish it, we’re all still alive. The nice thing is that when it finally does come out, I’ll look much younger in it than I am now! I’m trying to stay positive!
Oh, and we just got word that the original film is coming soon to digital platforms in hi-def format, so for the first time you can see just how truly grotesque Evie Harris is. Now if we could only figure out a way for you to smell her as well, then you’d get the full Evie experience… or is it offense?
Something we really enjoyed seeing you on recently was Will & Grace. How did you land that gig and what was the show like behind the scenes?
I had been on the show once before when it was in it’s first run, so in this new incarnation the writers decided to write an episode in a drag bar and I was called and asked if I would do it! It didn’t hurt that one of the creators of the show, Max Mutchnick, is a fan of mine too. From there it led to more episodes over the last two seasons. It was so much fun, but more importantly, this time around, I felt really celebrated. It was overwhelming the day I walked in and saw they had created a big neon light in the shape of my wig! What was even better was how that neon light somehow made it to my house when the show was over!
Sean Hayes was especially kind and we’ve since become friends. He and his husband Scott Icenogle are truly one of the funniest and kindest couples.
I know there were rumors that the two lead actresses were not getting along, but if that is true, I honestly never saw it. Everyone was so professional, and I figured if they’re getting paid that much money to be there on set, they had BETTER be professional. So many of us would love to have a steady gig like that.
You define what the words “longevity” and “relevancy” are in the entertainment world. What or do you credit for both as your career continues to soar?
I’ve been fortunate to have a 30-year career in drag. I was trained in the theatre and one thing that is taught is that you must respect everyone you’re working with. My parents also taught me that. I do believe that treating people with respect and appreciating them is important to a long career.
I also believe that it is important to recognize that your fans are the ones paying your bills and to also treat them with respect and gratitude. When I created Coco, there was no internet, so in order to be recognized you really had to work on your craft and be original. Discipline has also always been important to the way I work and that is also key to longevity.
When it comes to relevancy that is a bit trickier. At times, I’ve worried about that and have gotten caught up in the fear of not being relevant, but my husband is always the one that asks me, “Why did you create Coco?” and that brings me back to my core values, and having that foundation is key to a long career and a sense of self.
What is your take on drag today, specifically with the juggernaut of Drag Race continually taking over our lives?
Drag is ever evolving and I feel lucky that I have evolved with it. As with most things, one can always find positive and negative things to say, but no one can deny that World of Wonder has created something huge and that RuPaul was the perfect host for that vehicle. I believe that because of that show, drag queens in general have benefited, including me. Still, I do hope there will be a time where an interview doesn’t include questions about RuPaul and that show! I’ve been having to answer questions about her since the mid-90s! LOL!
Anything big coming up that your fans should know about?
Besides retirement? Well, hopefully more Casa Coco shows online, a Netflix animated series called Deadendia and some other TV projects in the works, and I’ve been working on a series of “children’s” books for adults and having them published would be really rewarding and another goal met! In the meantime, I’m hoping for the vaccine soon and that things get better so that I can see my mom and perform in front of audiences again. It’s been a rough year! I mean, what else can go wrong? Wait! I take that back!