Trixie Mattel is ready to prove that a working woman can have it all.
Since winning the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars last year, the fan-favorite queen's star has only continued to rise. From her new comedy special, Trixie Mattel: Skinny Legend, to a highly anticipated documentary and in-demand cosmetics line, Trixie seems to work non-stop. Now, she's gearing up to launch a new tour, Grown Up, which will feature songs from her upcoming third studio album, as well as observations from a new perspective on maturity.
"I turned 30 just a few months ago, and it hit me all at once that I am now officially a grown-up," Trixie told ET's Brice Sander on Tuesday, as the two sat down to discuss her seemingly endless list of projects, including the aptly named tour. "The new show is sort of the marriage between adulthood and childhood, 'cause if drag has taught me anything, adults just want to feel like kids. That's why adults go to drag shows... I guess I like a show where we can make the audience feel like kids, but also address their adulthood fears."
While she's been candid with fans about some of the more personal details of her pre-drag life -- her stage name was inspired, in part, by an abusive stepfather who would call her a "Trixie" for behaving effeminately -- and opens a window to her creative process and impressive hustle almost daily on Instagram, the drag superstar is "very private" about at least one detail of her life: her three-year relationship with producer David Silver.
"I like having that boundary," she explains. "I am so deeply, over-the-top committed to my work that it has helped my reality check that I can't work all the time. If it was up to me, I would be in drag all day every day, working all day every day. Having a relationship and having the responsibility to someone else to be present and take the wig off and put it in a closet for a few hours is really good to me."
Trixie recently shared her first photo of the couple together -- out of drag -- on her Instagram page, to celebrate their anniversary. "I'm not, like, ashamed of it or anything," she laughs of the relationship, which sparked after the pair met on Tinder. It's just nice, she explains, to have something that's compartmentalized separately from her career, and not shared with the world.
"I am also private for the reasons, like, if we ever broke up would I really want people to know or message me like, 'I'm sorry you are going through a hard time'?" she adds. "But after three years, we can post about it. I have a thing for beautiful, hairy, Jewish men."
Getting "pretty serious" about the relationship, the longest of her life, Trixie explains, made it prime fodder for her new tour show -- tales of domesticity, blissful or otherwise, replacing the stories of singledom and hookup horrors of her earlier performances. "At Ages 3 and Up, at my show, some of the comedy was about being broken up with, and in Moving Parts, a lot of the comedy was about being single again. In Grown Up, this stuff is drawn from a three-year relationship, it's a different world."
"It's one thing to fall in love with someone, it's another thing three [years] in, to try to keep it fresh. You fall more in love as you find new things to hate about each other. It's a thick, rich broth," she notes. "Three years, for me, has flown by but there is definitely a lot of hiccups -- as you'll hear in Grown Up -- there is a lot of things you learn about yourself, three years in a relationship, you start to go like, 'Oh, it's me. The problem is me, and it's always going to be. Like, I'm a monster.'"
For his part, Trixie says her boyfriend "hates when I put him in my show." "He's like, 'Did you really have to tell dick jokes about my dick in front of my mom?' and I'm like, 'Does she think we are gay so we can share clothes?'"
The tendency toward candor comes under something of a harsh spotlight in Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts, the Nick Zeig-Owens-directed documentary which premiered at Tribeca in April and is due for a release later this year following more festival appearances. Moving Parts tracks Trixie on tour, through the airing of All Stars 3 and during the tumultuous filming of her Viceland TV show with fellow Drag Race queen, friend and collaborator, Katya.
"It was bracing," Trixie says of the doc. "It's not my favorite movie to watch. I watched it with an audience once, wine drunk, and that was enough for me. Because, you know, I'm a drag queen. I want to put hairspray and concealer on everything. I want everything to show me in the best possible way. And in that documentary, it was someone else's point of view."
"The director, Nick, he sort of-- He didn't know about drag, so he saw it from fresh eyes. And he definitely highlighted things in my life that are not my favorite things, like a rough patch with Katya or the history of my family... I don't like people seeing me getting ready in drag and being insecure about going onstage. I like people to think that it's always fine."
Describing the film's unvarnished look at her life as revealing "the Elmer Fudd that lives inside the Jessica Rabbit," Trixie quotes the mother of modern popular drag in explaining why fresh-faced and anxious isn't her favorite look.
"RuPaul says that people love drag because we represent the superego. We represent the most beautiful, the tallest, thinnest, confident, talented version of ourselves. And that's why people love pop stars and stuff, because that's what we see in them."
While she made the decision not to spotlight her romantic life in Moving Parts, on which Silver served as a producer, Trixie's relationship with Katya is certainly a central point of tension in the doc. The pair's popular World of Wonder webseries, UNHhhh, springboarded them to Viceland to do The Trixie & Katya Show, but midway through filming on the first season, Katya was gone, announcing a hiatus from drag due to struggles with mental health and substance abuse.
A fraught moment from one of Katya's final episodes plays out in the film (Drag Race season 8 winner Bob the Drag Queen eventually joined Trixie to finish out the season), and while it's hard to watch, Trixie explains that the goal in including the clip was an attempt to show what happened between the two "as real as possible."
"When we showed it to Katya, our whole goal was, let's just all agree that it's gonna be shown exactly as it happened," she says. "And me and her and management and our assistant from the tour, we all watched it. We were like, that's how it happened."
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Trixie and Katya on Why They Make the Perfect Team (Exclusive)
"It's told from my point of view. So it's more about how that affected somebody else. Even though the whole documentary is about my touring career at the time, it was sort of like a Charlie Brown gray cloud," Trixie says of the rift. Another particularly tough moment in the film shows her receiving a string of troubling texts from Katya. "The type of text that you would only get from someone who's out of their mind," she explains, "sort of mean and sort of purposefully hurtful."
The pair have since "completely reconciled," Trixie says, and returned to work together on UNHhhh'supcoming fifth season -- as well as a book, Trixie and Katya's Guide to Modern Womanhood, due out next year. And while Katya has admitted that seeing things play out in the documentary is "so tough to watch," they had her approval to include the dark moments.
"I think it's important that people can see that a friendship like that can have a rocky patch and bounce back. And by the end of the movie time, 40 minutes later, we're friends. She's gone through treatment. The pieces are picked up," Trixie says. "I think that, because gay people have so many tendencies to have issues with mental health and depression and substance abuse, not telling stories like that would be part of the problem. Like, how many people will see that and be like, oh my god, somebody I respect, somebody's who's another normal person had this hiccup and survived."
"When she was kind of feeling more herself and we got back in the studio and we started season 4 of UNHhhh, she-- We finished one episode and she stepped out for a smoke break and it was like I was being showered with sunlight. I was so happy," she recalls. "I looked at [the cameraman] Pete, and we looked at each other and went like, 'It's all better.' It's back to what it was, and it's that chemistry."
"For both of us, that YouTube series is what we live for. It's both of our favorite thing to do. And so we're filming season 5 now, and unless the views stop rolling in, we're not gonna stop."
From web videos to worldwide tours, Trixie's talent, drive and truly unique look have garnered her a global following of sometimes-rabid fans, and while it can be hard for the queen to wrap her head around it, she doesn't take the adoration for granted.
"I'll never understand what this means to them, but I know what Trixie means to me," she says, "and even for me, this has been, like, the way I put clothes on my back and travel the world and have all my dreams come true, it's the way I reconcile with a lot of the darker things that happened to me."
For the Wisconsin native, the Grown Up tour is an evolution in storytelling as well as music, with the promise of a lighter tone on her forthcoming third studio album, Barbara, as compared to the gloomier singer-songwriter vibes on earlier works Two Birds and One Stone.
"I love my sugary, handclappy stuff, but also I fully think I am John Denver and love depressing music too," she teases. "It's funny because my show is all comedy and then someone will be like, 'Your album got me through a breakup,' and I have, like, a rubber chicken in my mouth."
Barbara, Trixie teases, is a little more "electro-folk, is what I call it, there is acoustic instruments, there's more handclaps, the lyrics are more sugary and sweet. My first two records were really fun to make and a little heavy, this one I think of as just like more of a dessert, a rich dessert."
And the retro vibes will still be there in many ways. "I haven't told anyone yet, but we are sort of doing it like a side A, side B 8-track," she explains, "so the first half will be songs that are supposed to be like AM radio, going to the beach in Malibu in 1969, and the B-side is the songs you turn on and play at the campfire at night on the beach."
The touring show is also designed with a throwback look in mind -- inspired in part by Trixie's recent viewing of early seasons of The Brady Bunch. But for this queen, her signature look is only part of the experience.
"I try to write the music and the jokes for Trixie, but my whole thing is to make the jokes and the music good whether you are dressed up or not. Because then, we are not dependent on people liking you because you are dressed up."
See below for the complete list of North American tour dates for Trixie's upcoming Grown Up tour:
2/5/20 - Seattle, WA - Moore Theatre
2/6/20 - Portland, OR - Revolution Hall
2/7/20 - San Francisco, CA - Regency Ballroom
2/9/20 - Boulder, CO - Boulder Theater
2/11/20 - Kansas City, KS - The Truman
2/12/20 - Detroit, MI - Royal Oak Music Theatre
2/14/20 - Cleveland, OH - The Agora
2/15/20 - Columbus, OH - Express Live
2/16/20 - Minneapolis, MI - Pantages Theatre
2/18/20 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall Ballroom
2/19/20 - Chicago, IL - Park West
2/21/20 - Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE
2/22/20 - Toronto, CA - Danforth Music Hall
2/23/20 - Albany, NY - The Egg
2/25/20 - Portland, ME - State Theatre
2/26/20 - Boston, MA - Royale
2/28/20 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
2/29/20 - Philadelphia, PA - Temple Performing Arts Center - Lew Klein Hall
3/1/20 - Washington DC - Lincoln Theatre
3/3/20 - Fort Lauderdale, FL - Broward Center for the Performing Arts - Amaturo Theater
3/4/20 - Orlando, FL - The Plaza Live
3/6/20 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
3/7/20 - New Orleans, LA - Civic Theatre
3/8/20 - Houston, TX - Lillie and Roy Cullen Theater