Four months before Alexis Arquette‘s death, the star talked about the 1995 documentary Wigstock: The Movie during a panel for RuPaul’s DragCon in May.
RuPaul’s DragCon released the footage on Monday, September 12, one day after Arquette died at age 47. In the video, the late actor — who is featured in the film — speaks with director Barry Shils about how the project came to be.
“Alexis inspired me to make this movie. I remember you were so excited when I told you I was thinking of doing this and trying to raise money, and it just got me going,” Shils says in the clip. “Wigstock really represented [how to] be your authentic self. It’s not so much about being another gender necessarily.”
Arquette chimes in: “I was living in New York [at the time]. I was trying to be an actor there.”
As previously reported, Arquette died on Sunday, September 11. Alexis, who was born Robert Arquette, was surrounded by her famous family — including actor siblings David, Patricia, Rosanna and Richmond Arquette — when she passed.
Alexis documented her transition from male to female in the 2007 film Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother and is also known for credits such as The Wedding Singer, Down and Out in Beverly Hills and Pulp Fiction.
Wigstock: The Movie, in particular, was a standout for Alexis. She admitted to crying while watching the film again in May. The documentary gave viewers an inside look into the annual drag festival and performances by drag divas such as RuPaul.
“I totally cried today — three times. Just watching it,” Alexis said during the panel. “It’s good to see this. It’s good to see that people are interested in drag now. There’s money to be made from drag, that people can be superstars from drag. It’s fantastic. I love it. It turns me on.”
“It’s also a little scary that people think it’s also marginalized. It’s starting to get boxed up,” she added. “I don’t want people to think they can’t be a part of this because they are not good at putting on makeup … I think it’s cool that you can be living the life of drag or being your authentic self, whether you are working at Starbucks or at a boardroom or just the idea that you can do anything.”
Shils had the same sentiment. “Clearly the movie is about [being as outrageous as you want],” he said. “That time, especially in New York, was an amazing place where all these people gathered. At the same time, the AIDS crisis was at its height. You can see throughout the film I tried not to make a heavy-handed film about AIDS, but there’s a tribute to certain people. There’s plenty of people in the film that aren’t here anymore.”
Watch Alexis discuss the documentary here.
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