A Chaotic Interview With Katya About UNHhhh, Trixie Mattel, & the Tour Life
Katya has been up to quite a lot lately.
The drag legend is gearing up for the seventh season of her popular comedy web series UNHhhh, touring the world alongside her co-host Trixie Mattel (who she met while competing on the seventh season of RuPaul’s Drag Race), writing her parts in the duo’s upcoming book Working Girls: Trixie and Katya’s Guide to Professional Womanhood, and booking dreamy vacations to visit the coast of Italy with friends. (Sound like quite the life!)
Katya spoke to Out and dove deep into filming more UNHhhh, reaching her “Saturn Returns” era with Mattel, and recently turning 40 years old.
Watch an exclusive clip from the upcoming episode of UNHhhh season seven below.
Out: After season five, UNHhhh was picked up for three more seasons, which means that you’re currently renewed until at least season eight. Did you approach doing the show differently while knowing that you had three upcoming seasons?
Katya: [Laughs] Well, much like the way you run from a serial killer, you don’t have the long game in mind. You just try to take it moment to moment. But I think it’s hopeful that they would sign me on for that much, that length of time. It indicates faith that I would remain on this plane in human form with a pulse for that long. So, I’m just going to say, ‘Hey, that’s great. Let’s do that.’
Hey, as long as you’re wigged and vertical.
Yes, wigged and vertical! [Laughs] They might have to dub it, but Ron and Jeff had to do much more with worse. We only recently started referring to seasons of it because it always just existed as this amorphous thing. But now I like to think of it as The Big Bang Theory, and we’re getting paid millions of dollars an episode to be weird nerds on CBS or whatever. But yeah, it’s fun. We look great. Well, I do actually. Trixie looks a little weird in this new season, but I look particularly ravishing.
You both look great! So, as you mentioned, Trixie just went back to touring with her solo show “Grown Up,” and you are hopefully getting some downtime before your joint tour, “Trixie and Katya Live,” comes back in June. How’s this little break going for you?
Well, I thought it was going to be my year of rest and relaxation in a month’s form. It still is. I don’t really do [anything]. I’m pretty lazy. But I’m going to the Amalfi Coast soon in Italy, to Capri. And that’s the most glamorous thing I’ve ever tried to do. Me and my friend Andrew are going to go do that – and that’s a real vacation, so that’s going to be awesome. But we have so much to do for the tour. And then we’ve also written this book, and there’s the pig farm down the street that I babysit. So, there are a lot of things that need to be tended to even in a downtime period.
Side note: I already have tickets to see you on September 4th in Miami.
Yeah! I’m really looking forward to that.
The bar’s set extremely low for us. So, we benefit from that. Wigged and vertical, like you said. But we do a lot more than that [on the show], I even go horizontal a few times.
During the first episode of UNHhhh season seven, which was about complaining, you both mentioned finding different things to complain about while going on tour. What are some of the new things that you have found to complain about?
Oh, are you kidding me? How much time do we have? First of all, there’s the air conditioning. I think our podcasts and all of the stuff that we do together have just become less about fun improv between two comedic people and more about HVAC and air conditioning units and temperature control in buildings. It’s so deadly boring because that’s the first thing I complain about. ‘It’s too hot in here. I’m sweating too much.’ It’s just hot everywhere in drag. So that’s number one. But then, also, I just have a preternatural ability to make anything into a horrible situation. Even if my dream is coming true, I can just be like, ‘Oh, this is horrible.’ But AC I would say, and then food and then sleep.
So there’s plenty of new material for the shows and podcasts!
Oh my god, yeah. But it’s the same old story. It’s the same old record being it’s spun every time. It gets pretty old. So I have to shut up eventually.
I mean, but that’s why we love you both.
At least we’re pretty when we do it.
Now I have a very serious question for you actually. In episode two of UNHhhh season seven, you were asked what was inside your safety deposit box-
Oh my god, I still don’t know! I cannot believe it. I can’t believe it.
Finding out what’s inside your security deposit box in Boston was a topic that came up in season six and carried over to season seven.
Oh, I know, I know. It’s turning out to be The DaVinci Code. And you know what’s going to be in there? Mary Magdalene’s blood or something. I still don’t know because now it’s too late. See, every time I realize, I think about it, it’s past banking time on the East Coast and I don’t think that bank branch is open anymore. But I went through all this paperwork — the most ridiculous! And I had to get it notarized. I spent all day there in Boston.
The people need to know, Katya.
I need to know. I need to know! I know, I know. When I find out, I’ll probably be like, I don’t know what. I just literally have no idea. But obviously, I’m not that interested. I don’t really follow up on it that much. But yeah, I’ll let [the people] know once I find out what’s in there. It’s crazy.
So we still don’t know what’s inside that security deposit box. This topic will probably carry over into season eight of UNHhhh.
I know. I know. Leave it to me.
During episode three of this season-
Yes, the one about help. You literally slapped Trixie on the arm!
Oh, I know. Violence. We pivoted in season seven to assault and battery. I slapped her really hard.
Is UNHhhh eventually going to become a wrestling match?
Well, see, this is the great thing about the show: we do it pretty far in advance, so I don’t really know what happens. I don’t even remember what we wore, what we talked about. And obviously, I don’t know how it’s going to be edited because that’s the whole lovely part of it. So I didn’t know that I was a perpetrator of felonies. I was a violent woman. Struck my co-star. Yeah. And then she liked it, which makes it even worse. Like, is this that Lana Del Rey song from 2012?
I would dare say that this is the most culturally significant slap since Will Smith at the Oscars. Are there any unresolved issues there that you’d like to discuss?
Oh, I don’t think so. You can see her documentary [Moving Parts] for that stuff. No, you know what it is: I think it’s unresolved from my childhood, where when boys would ‘rough house.’ I am a very adamant opposer of roughhousing. So I think maybe I was just, when you get slapped, you get punched playfully, I think I’ve just been bottling all that up. I think I’m going to take it out on her. And there’s a lot more where that came from, so stay tuned for this.
You guys touch each other a lot. This was just the first actual slap that we’ve seen.
Yeah, well, I’m upping the ante. We’re going to go from touching to punching or slapping. Maybe then punching, maybe then headlocks and noogies and wedgies, even. Who knows!
Season 14 of UNHhhh will just be a boxing ring.
Yeah, it’ll literally just be ultimate fighting, MMA, or whatever. I would kick her ass, by the way. I would kick her ass. I have the training.
Oh, I know. Your dad trained you, right?
Yeah. And my dad just turned 68 years old. He’s still a karate master.
Oh wow, congrats! A lot of people have recently noted the fact that UNHhhh has gotten to season seven since you both met during the seventh season of Drag Race. But what that really means is that you’ve now been official friends for seven years.
Love wins. Love wins.
What are the biggest changes in your friendship over time when you look back seven years ago versus now?
Well, she’s immensely rich, that’s a huge change. And thus she’s insufferable to be around. She is friends with Lisa Vanderpump and now will only hang out with billionaires. So she’ll only squeeze me in if I’m adding to her bank account. But other than that, she’s the same. I’m wildly different. I’m wildly inconsistent, I should say… So it works. You always know what you’re going to get with her, and you never know what you’re going to get with me. That’s what keeps it fresh and fun, I think.
Totally. 100 percent. I know you’re both fans of What’s The Tea and RuPaul’s infamous question, ‘who would play her?’
[Laughs] Oh, totally!
One of the others things RuPaul repeated all the time on the podcast is that life comes in cycles of seven years. You may remember that Ru calls it ‘Saturn Returns.’
Oh, yes, ‘Saturn Returns.’ I love it when Ru earnestly conjures horoscopes and astrology to deal with deep psychological issues.
Well, at this moment, we’ve reached ‘Saturn Returns’ for the friendship between you and Trixie. It’s been seven years.
Oh my god.
Do you think your friendship is entering a new era now that you’ve been friends for seven years?
Yeah, it is, I think so. Well, I know so – especially because of the tour. I thought to myself before, ‘This is going to go one or two ways. And one’s good, and one’s bad.’ But it’s good, and it went good. We hardly ever see each other. We regroup when we’re on the stage, and then we do our thing together, and it’s always fresh and fun. Or at least for the past month, it has been. And I think there were many moments where I was actually able to look at her in the wings of the show and during the little break and say earnestly, ‘Oh, I really love doing this with you. I’m so glad we’re doing this. And I’m grateful.’
Yeah. That kind of thing. I would never say that in front of the fans because they would start jerking off. But it’s true. Neither of us is sentimental. I would say she gets more earnest than I do. But yeah. It’s nice to have those moments. I think we’re entering the earnest era.
So RuPaul was right.
RuPaul is always right, especially when it comes to horoscopes. Science, math, biology… you can’t really trust those. But the stars, that’s where you should look when you want to figure out a problem or solve the problem.
We are now three episodes into UNHhhh. You’ve talked about complaining. You’ve talked about hoarding. You’ve talked about help.
What can we expect from the upcoming episodes of season seven?
Sports. Time. Body change. Or shame? We’ve done shame before, I think. But yeah, a lot of these topics, by the way, deserve a revisit or two. We tackle broad, abstract nouns like time or even jealousy. That could be a mini-series. ‘Saturn Returns.’
I know Trixie has two albums coming out. You’re not that much of a music person, but-
Excuse me? Excuse me?! How dare you? Excuse me, how dare you?
I mean, you did put out my favorite Drag Race album of all time, Vampire Fitness, but you get what I’m saying.
Okay. Thank you. That’s a nice little backpedal you did there.
Will we get a sequel to Vampire Fitness?
Well, what comes after fitness? You get… Let’s see. I don’t know. No, I don’t. I don’t know. So probably not. But maybe.
Before I leave you, just because it was just your birthday, happy birthday!
Thank you so much.
What can we expect from Katya 4.0?
Oh, now more than ever, old. You can expect the same stuff, just a little bit older.
But still baby.
Oh, the oldest baby you’ll ever meet. And the youngest oldie you’ll ever know. Yeah.
UNHhhh season seven is now streaming on WOW Presents Plus.