Jinkx Monsoon Details Her Villainous ‘Doctor Who’ Role: 'Dream Job'

Jinkx Monsoon Disney+Jinkx Monsoon is already a two-time RuPaul’s Drag Race champion and a Broadway star, but now she can add “terrifying sci-fi villain” to her résumé. Monsoon, 36, stars as Maestro on the Friday, May 10, episode of Doctor Who, and she had an absolute blast diving into the role. “As a character actor who likes to work in the absurd and the over-the-top, to get to play a godlike demonic embodiment of music — I mean, roles like this do not come along often,” Monsoon exclusively told Us Weekly ahead of her Doctor Who debut. “I’ve gotten to play some really cool roles, but this has everything all in one character. So it was just a dream job. I still can’t believe I got asked to do this job. It was incredible.” The character of Maestro wasn’t written expressly for Monsoon, but the part has all the campy charm that made her a fan favorite and two-time winner on Drag Race. She landed the gig after showrunner Russell T Davies attended one of her stage shows. 'RuPaul's Drag Rac

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Jinkx Monsoon Details Her Villainous ‘Doctor Who’ Role: 'Dream Job'
Jinkx Monsoon Details Her Dream Job as Godlike Demon Embodiment of Music on Doctor Who
Jinkx Monsoon Disney+

Jinkx Monsoon is already a two-time RuPaul’s Drag Race champion and a Broadway star, but now she can add “terrifying sci-fi villain” to her résumé.

Monsoon, 36, stars as Maestro on the Friday, May 10, episode of Doctor Who, and she had an absolute blast diving into the role.

“As a character actor who likes to work in the absurd and the over-the-top, to get to play a godlike demonic embodiment of music — I mean, roles like this do not come along often,” Monsoon exclusively told Us Weekly ahead of her Doctor Who debut. “I’ve gotten to play some really cool roles, but this has everything all in one character. So it was just a dream job. I still can’t believe I got asked to do this job. It was incredible.”

The character of Maestro wasn’t written expressly for Monsoon, but the part has all the campy charm that made her a fan favorite and two-time winner on Drag Race. She landed the gig after showrunner Russell T Davies attended one of her stage shows.

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“He saw my show Together Again, Again! … I played myself in my 80s in this show that I wrote, and I play a bit of a monstrous version of myself,” Monsoon told Us. “I think he saw something in [there] that he wanted for this villain. Some of the character existed before me and some of it was added to incorporate my strengths.”

Monsoon is a longtime Doctor Who fan, but she was particularly thrilled to appear on the show this season as Ncuti Gatwa takes the helm as the first openly LGBTQIA+ actor to play the Doctor. Monsoon’s character, Maestro, is also nonbinary — and pointedly corrects another character on their pronouns during their first scene.

Jinkx Monsoon Details Her Dream Job as Godlike Demon Embodiment of Music on Doctor Who
Jinkx Monsoon Disney+

Doctor Who has always had a big queer fan base, and the fact that this season is really leaning into the inherent queerness that has always existed in Doctor Who, it feels like it’s very much a new iteration of Doctor Who that is very much for the fan base,” Monsoon told Us. “I feel so lucky that this is the season I get to join because I’ve been a fan of Russell’s writing for so long, and I find his work so prolific and impactful.”

She continued, “Now that it’s giving the fresh perspective of Ncuti as the Doctor and inviting people like me to play guest stars — that’s how we keep these things alive. We have to embrace fresh perspectives, because that’s what audiences want. We want truth. We want authenticity. We want the stories to have meaning because the performers telling the stories care, and the representation matters. It improves everything for everyone really — everyone gets to bring their best self.”

Maestro being nonbinary was written into the script, and Monsoon thinks that gender identity makes perfect sense for the character.

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​​”Why would a god care about gender? Why would a god adhere to gender rules that we created?” Monsoon asks. “They don’t care. And getting asked to play a character that gets to be a rebel in that way? Like, ‘I don’t care about human standards and societal norms. Why? Because I’m so much more powerful than all of that.’ That’s a strong message. Even though I was playing a villain, that’s a very strong message to send to your audience.”

In addition to making a splash on Doctor Who, Monsoon is currently starring as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors at New York City’s Westside Theatre through May 26. She’ll also return to Chicago next month as Matron “Mama” Morton after making her Broadway debut in the role last year. Asked which role she identifies with more, Monsoon chose Mama — but she still loves Audrey.

“I guess I don’t actually identify with Audrey. I’ve always loved the character, but I’ve always seen other women I know in Audrey,” she explained. “So, I honestly actually feel like I’m more in line with Mama Morton. I’m very much the matriarch of my chosen family. And even though I’m not the oldest femme person in my blood family, my mom and my aunt have pretty much relented to me being the matriarch. It’s an Encanto situation.”

Doctor Who streams on Disney+ Fridays at 7 p.m. ET.

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