Glamorous star Miss Benny ‘got to their knees and cried’ after ‘flamboyant’ audition

Miss Benny as Marco in Netflix series Glamorous.

Queer actor Miss Benny recalled the powerful moment they unleashed their truly “flamboyant” side while auditioning for Netflix show Glamorous.

What do you get when you mix Ugly Betty with The Devil Wears Prada and neatly package it for a Gen Z audience? That’s right, Netflix’ latest queer show Glamorous. The 10-episode series tells the story of Marco Mejia (Miss Benny), a young gender non-conforming person stuck in a rut until they land a job working for legendary makeup mogul Madolyn Addison (Kim Cattrall).

Under Madolyn’s firm but steady guidance, Marco finally figures out what they want out of life and what it really means for them to be queer. The show, which has now landed on Netflix, brings much-needed authentic LGBTQ+ representation to the small screen, as Miss Benny (aka Ben J Pierce) told Variety in an exclusive interview.

The 24-year-old rising star – who released their latest single “Break Away” in May – is no stranger to adversity after growing up as a non-binary creative in the deeply conservative US state of Texas.

While speaking with Variety, they recalled how difficult it was finding authentic roles after being “told for years that it wasn’t time for someone like me”. But that all changed when they arrived in the audition room for Glamorous.

 Miss Benny as Marco, Kim Cattrall as Madolyn in Glamorous.
Miss Benny as Marco, Kim Cattrall as Madolyn in Glamorous. (Netflix)

“When I got the audition for Glamorous four years ago, I remember I went into my first meeting as like a diet version of myself because I was certain that even though they had written Marco to be flamboyant and be gender non-conforming,” they recalled.

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“I was like, ‘They don’t really want me to be me. They want me to do a sanitised, smaller version of me.’ But the only note they had for me was, ‘Just relax. We want you to be as flamboyant as you are in real life. We want to capture that magic.’

“That was so validating so when I got the part, I fell to my knees and cried. I know I could be a bit melodramatic but it really was the first time someone in the industry ever looked and me and said, ‘Yeah, this works. We don’t need to change a thing.'”

The cast boasts a diverse array of LGBTQ+ talent including non-binary actor Damian Terriquez as drag performer Dizmal, and also features cameos from Drag Race legends Monet X Change and Priyanka.

Michael Hsu Rosen as Ben (L), Miss Benny as Marco, Jade Payton as Venetia, Ayesha Harris as Britt (R) in Glamorous.
Michael Hsu Rosen as Ben (L), Miss Benny as Marco, Jade Payton as Venetia, Ayesha Harris as Britt (R) in Glamorous. (Amanda Matlovich/Netflix)

Miss Benny praised the show’s diversity, saying it was something that was rare to see on the small screen.

“Having a melting pot of the LGBTQ+ community is so rare on TV,” they continued. “Because usually we have one character to represent everybody, right? I don’t know about you, but I live in such a homo-normative world.

“Anytime I see something where it’s just one gay character with a bunch of straight people, I’m like, ‘I’ve never seen that in real life ever.’ If I throw a rock around me, I’ll hit 10 gay people.”

Sex and the City legend Cattrall – who reprises her role as Samantha in season two of And Just Like That … – agreed to take the role after watching Miss Benny play a “sexual, raunchy and queer” character (Dee) in American Horror Stories.

“That blows my mind because I did that whole part saying, ‘What if I do it with a little bit of Samantha?'” they added. “I mimic her portrayal of Samantha a lot in my campier work.”

Glamorous is available to stream now on Netflix.