Aura Mayari Just Wants to Live Her Zombie Apocalypse Fantasy
Spoilers ahead for the latest episode of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 15.
Queens are never truly safe from getting the chop on RuPaul's Drag Race, just ask Aura Mayari.
So far in Season 15, Aura had one maxi-challenge win — for the old lady girl group challenge — but she was never in the bottom two until the acting challenge in Episode 7 where the queens were tasked with acting in a reboot of "The Daytona Wind." After stumbling over her lines in the scene, Aura served a glamorous Memoirs of a Geisha-esque "Puffa Please" runway look, but it wasn't enough. In the end, the Nashville queen found herself in the bottom against Jax, whose impressive moves during the Lip Sync For Your Life saved her, leaving Aura to sashay away.
Aura spoke with Logo about her time on Drag Race, what it was like being directed by RuPaul during "The Daytona Wind" acting challenge, how she's crushing on Pedro Pascal, and how she would slay during a zombie apocalypse.
So let's talk about this week's episode. What was it like being in "The Daytona Wind" acting challenge? Because Ru said you had a "set idea." What did he mean by that?
So I was very excited. One of the things that I was really looking forward to coming into the show was definitely the Rusical, the acting challenge, and the girl group challenges. I was looking forward to just being goofy as hell, acting, and doing a soap opera type of thing. But with this, I got this part, and I think what RuPaul was saying was that I had my own idea of the character coming onto the set. There were some instructions on the script that said to cry while saying this line or stuff like that.
So I understood it as, "Oh, I'm really sad about this death. I'm really sad about my husband's death." I was playing the role that way. And when we were on set and we started filming, we had to stop a couple of times because RuPaul wanted something different. He wanted me to be like that boss bitch kind of girl that didn't even love the husband, and she's just there just because. And so it took me a minute to restructure my idea of the character. And with the show, you don't even have a lot of time. It's not like a play where you can process it and characterize in a day or so to change it up a little bit. It was improv. So it took me a minute.
It must be pretty nerve-wracking to all of a sudden be on the spot, acting in front of the other queens and having Ru directing you.
I was like, "Holy crap." I feel like that was the most time I've had in a room with him. I was very intimidated. I was like, "Fuck, I have to do really good." I got in my head, for sure.
Moving on to the runway challenge, I loved that puffer look, but it was so big. How did you pack that? Did it take up a whole suitcase?
It did not fit. I was crying during the whole preparation, and even while packing my stuff when I realized that the puffer was not going to fit anywhere.
But it looked fabulous.
And imagine how heavy that was. Heavy! They called an EMT on me.
Because my shoulder muscles, my deltoids, started cramping. And it started just, I don't know, squeezing itself. And you can visibly see it, that it was moving.
From holding your arms up?
Yeah, because I was holding it for hours. It was heavy.
So I guess you were feeling it at the end of the day?
Oh, yeah. I was beat at the end of that day, and then it wasn't a good day to be beat. If I had won, I would've been like, "Fuck yeah, I don't care. Break me now, break me. I don't care. I won." But no, I didn't.
So let's talk about the Lip Sync For Your Life. This was your first one. Were you nervous going into it? You saw Jax pull out those moves and send Robin Fierce home...
Right. I was very nervous for this number because I was terrified of the words. I didn't know the rap part.
I did memorize it. But when I woke up the next day and I tried to listen to it, I just... all the words were gone. So that's what I was scared of. And that whole time when I was lip-syncing, I was literally just thinking of, "What are the words? What are the words? What are the words? Let me walk around, let me move." So I don't even remember what I did on stage because all I was thinking about was, "Give me the damn words." And I didn't get any of them, except for the Dua Lipa part when she was singing. But the rap was gone, and I was really upset with myself. But at the same time, I couldn't really regret or blame myself for it. It just happened. I couldn't have done anything. My brain just said, "This is it. We don't have the words anymore. Just do what you can."
In her confessional, Jax says how she thought you were trying to block her during the lip sync, but I think you two were just going all over the stage and just happened to be in front of each other. What was going on in that moment?
At the moment you don't even know what you're doing. It's a high-pressure situation. And no, I didn't think of blocking her or anything like that. I was just trying to move because again, I was worried about them looking at my mouth and not lip-syncing the right words. I was just trying to move around as much as possible.
Were you surprised when Ru asked you to sashay away?
No, absolutely not. I feel like I didn't do the best I could during that lip sync. But at that time, that was the best thing I could do.
Did you see a difference in your drag after leaving Drag Race? Did you take away anything from your time on the show?
What I learned, from observing myself, is just my nerves. I was always nervous every day I was on set. And if I were to do it again, I feel like I would just let it go, just believe in myself. "You made it. You already made it on the show." You're not trying to impress anyone else. You're already on the show, just do what you're supposed to do. And during that time, I was just very nervous, and I feel like I wasn't able to represent myself the best way I could have, which is really upsetting.
When I went home, I was thinking about it almost every night. I was depressed for a minute, but coming back to it, I said to myself, "I should be proud of myself for performing the way I did with the nerves and the pressure I was feeling because I probably couldn't have changed anything because, at the end of the day, that's how you were feeling at the moment. And I pushed through, and I didn't quit, and I tried my hardest to do my best."
Well, I thought you were fantastic on the show.
Oh, thank you.
So I was scrolling through your Twitter... Do you have a little crush on Pedro Pascal?
Oh my God, yes, ever since Game of Thrones. I was like, "Oh, this is a daddy." And then suddenly, there's a scene of him with a bunch of prostitutes and male escorts. And I was like, "Oh, he's sexually open."
Have you been watching The Last of Us?
I have. It's incredible. I've never played the game, but I am obsessed with zombie anything; zombie films, zombie series. I even watch zombie Korean stuff. I don't care if I'm watching the subtitles. If I'm seeing zombies on my screen, I'm in.
So how do you think you would do in a zombie apocalypse?
You know what? I dream about this almost every night. I literally want a zombie apocalypse to happen just for 30 days and then everyone's cured. I just want to see how I would do. I feel like I'm street smart and I feel like I could be strong enough to fight them off, but I don't have the right resources. I don't have any weapons. So I don't think I would survive.
You just want to live that zombie apocalypse fantasy.
Yeah, in drag and I'm slaying.