With ‘Glamorous,’ Miss Benny Gets a Platform Makeover

Four years ago, Miss Benny (real name Ben J. Pierce) was obsessed with makeup. youtuber When I had some small TV credits, a job photo shoot, and various chores, I got a call about starring in a new series. The main character is a YouTuber who is particular about makeup.

“I remember thinking, ‘Okay, if I don’t know this, I’m not going to get anything because this is as me as possible,'” they recalled. (Benny is aware that he is non-binary and uses the they/them pronouns.)

In Glamorous, a new series that premiered Thursday on Netflix, Benny plays Marco, a gay Latino who transitions from a job at a shopping mall make-up counter into the world of luxury cosmetics, to supermodel-turned-mogul. Madeline Addison (Kim Cattrall). Madeline liked the boy’s style and offered him a job as a second assistant. The series puts a strange twist on a tried-and-true tale, with a well-known shoutout to “The Devil Wears Prada.” Newcomers are plucked from obscurity and thrust into a new world of high-stakes pressure.

In addition to his high-maintenance boss, Marco has an arrogant sales manager’s son (Zane Phillips), two potential love interests (cheerful Graham Parkhurst and nervous colleague Michael Sue Rosen). , and he must also contend with the bitter feeling of not being himself. Not good enough for his new job. Tone is a light workplace comedy. As expected, the makeup is great.

“Glamorous” entered Netflix following a winding road. There was a pilot shot for The CW, but it wasn’t picked up, and then it was rewritten extensively, and then rewritten due to the effects of the new coronavirus infection. But the interesting result is that Cattrall’s old “Sex and the City” castmates will be returning for the new season of “And Just Like That…,” which Cattrall specifically refused to participate in. On the same day, this program will arrive. (However, she has a brief cameo in the new season.)

We spoke with 24-year-old Benny from his Los Angeles home to discuss getting his dream job, growing up gay in the Bible Belt, and the benefits of YouTube. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

How has “Glamorous” changed since its birth?

It was originally supposed to be a very flashy show, like you just graduated from high school. Well, the show has matured a little more and has a little more breadth. What used to be written very briefly about Marco’s experience stepping into the make-up industry is now about relationships, friendships, family and just general adult experience. I am very happy about that. I felt like I was ready before, but now it feels very tight and special, so I’m very happy that I had the time to keep improving.

When and how did your passion for makeup start?

I had a lot of costumes at home and a lot of time, so I made a lot of home movies. My sister always dressed me and her little brother, and I had to be Padmé Amidala from Star Wars. It required a lot of makeup, and I remember thinking makeup was such a cool and transformative thing. At night, when everyone was asleep at home, I stole the make-up from the costume and my mother’s make-up and hid in the bathroom to do my make-up. Then I washed it all off and went to church the next morning hoping no one would notice I had put on makeup the night before.

How did it make you feel?

You’ll think it’s amazing. As I’ve gotten older, it’s always been important to me to express myself and express my femininity. However, as I became more familiar with makeup, I became more aware of the fact that walking around the world wearing makeup as a person born male is not as easy as it sounds.

I wasn’t too comfortable with being considered masculine, so it was really a change. So makeup was for me a way to declare to the world that this was me and that this was where I was comfortable. Whenever I had time to put on my makeup, I always felt like I was wearing a super suit and getting ready to go out. Because I felt like I could be my best self when I had time to put on makeup.

You are from a suburb of Dallas, Texas. What was it like growing up gay in the Bible Belt?

My family was very religious and my parents homeschooled all their children to keep them out of the world. But I knew I was queer from the age of six. I had a crush on one of my soccer teammates and I remember picking flowers by the goal post and giving them to each other.

Actually, for a long time I thought the word “gay” meant “ugly”. Because I heard the word said on his Xbox Live where my brother’s friend plays. I remember thinking, “Since you’re saying this to insult someone, it must mean something ugly.” At the time, I knew I was queer and that I had these attractions, but I didn’t know it was a bad one. And when I was about 11, those thoughts came to me through what I was being taught in church. It was the moment I went into evacuation mode. The last few years may have been the hardest. I was very lucky to move to Los Angeles at the age of 14 to pursue my acting career. From that point my whole world opened up and suddenly I could understand myself.

You have a big presence on YouTube with comedy skits and music videos. What does the platform mean to you?

The first time I saw happy queer people was on YouTube. When I was a kid, all the representations I could find were TV or movies, and it was usually at the expense of a joke or someone going through trauma. When you see queer characters on television, they are usually facing the dreaded process of coming out, or the end of their lives. There was nothing in between.

And I found a few queer YouTubers who look very happy. They were just talking about going to the store, going on first dates, going to concerts. And I remember thinking, This seems like exactly what I want in life, so it’s about getting it. “

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