What Andrea Brillantes, JC Alcantara and Christian Bables discovered about dressing in drag for ‘Drag You & Me’ | Inquirer Entertainment

What Andrea Brillantes, JC Alcantara and Christian Bables discovered about dressing in drag for ‘Drag You & Me’

/ 12:30 AM May 31, 2023

Andrea Brillantes (far right) with Jon Santos (left) and Romnick Sarmenta

Andrea Brillantes (far right) with Jon Santos (left) and Romnick Sarmenta

I feel so invincible,” said actress Andrea Brillantes when asked what it was like to dress up—and act—in drag, particularly for her latest project, the romantic-comedy series “Drag You & Me.”

Inquirer Entertainment also asked her to give three important things that she discovered about drag queens and their lifestyle while she was working on the series. “First was that ‘tucking it in’ for drag queens is really tough. It’s done in such a way that it will be really difficult for you to use the toilet [to pee]. You should really reduce your water intake. That would be a major adjustment for me if I were in their shoes, because I get thirsty often,” Andrea pointed out. “The struggle for drag queens to become women is real. They have to wear heels and corsets to achieve that womanly figure.”


In the series, she plays Betty, also known by her drag name Valentine Royale, a cisgender woman and the ultimate LGBTQIA+ ally. She ends up joining Manila Queen Supreme, the grandest drag competition in the country, in order to earn money and save her family’s gay comedy bar. But her fellow competitors are unaware that she is a woman and not a real drag queen.


Her drag queen dreams get complicated when her friendship with Jason/Shanaia (JC Alcantara), a male-bisexual drag queen and her fiercest competitor, blossoms into something more. Their journey as young individuals will get even more interesting because of their drag sister and Jason’s mentor, Charlie (Christian Bables) and his indifference toward Betty.

“Second, being a drag queen takes guts. Not only do you have to be strong-willed, you also have to be witty. That’s hard because you always need to entertain people. Along with being witty, you have to be explosive, but not too much, so you won’t end up being cringey or unpleasant to watch. You need to find the right balance between OK and OA (overacting),” she said.


“Lastly, it’s fun to be in drag. You feel like you’re perfect, especially in the aspect of makeup. I’m always self-conscious when it comes to my face. I feel that turning my face a little to the right is my good angle, but when I’m in drag makeup, I don’t have any good angle. I’m perfect,” Andrea beamed. “My nose is tiny, my lips are super pouty, and my eyes are big. I feel confident. I feel invincible. In fact, the first time I wore drag makeup, I slept with it for a whole night. I just couldn’t bear removing it so quickly after spending hours on the set trying to put it on.”

Andrea said it wasn’t too hard to decide whether or not she should accept the project, which will start streaming on IwantTFC starting June 2.

Promote the drag community

“I really enjoy watching drag queens perform. I find them fascinating. I felt excited when I got the offer. This is a first in the Philippines. Why would I say no? I also feel that I’m capable of portraying Betty and that I will be able to promote the drag community, so I gave it a go,” explained the 20-year-old actress.

JC, who has portrayed gay roles in the past, said he didn’t expect playing a drag queen to be so difficult. “I was wrong in so many aspects! I thought makeup would just be normal, but no. They applied makeup on me from my face down to my feet. I was also not used to wearing stockings and high-heeled shoes. I got blisters on one foot after standing in heels for a day. And they also asked me to twerk, which took a lot of getting used to,” JC recalled.

“The wig on my head felt too heavy and warm, too. I cannot imagine how hard all these things are for drag queens. I salute them! I wish people will give these performers the importance they deserve. I hope the fact that the audience will see in this series how difficult it is to transform from a normal person to a drag queen will help promote the craft,” JC pointed out.

As to how he prepared for his role, JC said: “I knew right away that I needed to give my best here. I asked for help from Lady Morgana. I spoke with her before I went to taping. She’s my drag mother. That’s why I got my own surprises on the set. As JC, I am never confident, but when I dressed up in drag, I felt like a different person. I tried to enjoy being Shanaia. She was my confidence booster. In my mind, I hear myself say, ‘Ang ganda mo!’”

Playing a villain

Meanwhile, Christian will be playing a villain to Andrea for the first time. “Charlie is a proud gay guy who cannot find love from within himself. He tries to seek this from other people and so he becomes mean to those he considers a threat, like Betty,” he explained.

Christian Bables as Charlie

Christian Bables as Charlie

Christian, who is also seen in the revenge series “Dirty Linen” as Max, said he took effort into making sure that his audience would see him differently as Charlie. “I always try to determine the challenge [of] portraying each of my roles. I know I can’t be attacking them in the same manner. Both Max and Charlie may be vengeful, but Max is coming from a different place—his father was killed and he wanted to seek justice. For Charlie, all is a facade. He simply wants love and attention and grew devil horns along the way,” Christian pointed out.

“He is so selfish,” Andrea interjected. “I know! I would sometimes say, ‘Charlie, enough already! You’re already so evil!” added Christian.

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“Drag You and Me” is directed by JP Habac and also features real-life drag queens Brigiding, Viñas Deluxe, Xilhouette and Precious Paula Nicole. It is a production of Dreamscape Entertainment. INQ


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TAGS: Andrea Brillantes, Christian Bables, drag, Entertainment, JC Alcantara

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