Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Ike Barinholtz Reveals What It's Really Like Working With RuPaul On Chicago Party Aunt - Exclusive

Almost any actor can name that one Hollywood figure that they're dying to work with — and Ike Barinholtz is no different. The "Chicago Party Aunt" actor and executive producer only had one name in mind when it came to the show's fabulous hairstylist, Gideon: RuPaul from "RuPaul's Drag Race." Who can blame him? With a fierce attitude and the ability to dress down someone at any minute, the iconic host was the perfect person to play Diane's voice of reason and boss. The show wouldn't be the same without him, but luckily, the "Chicago Party Aunt" powers that be never had to dream up a second choice for Gideon.

Of course, alongside RuPaul is Lauren Ash to helm the show as the rough-and-tumble aunt who never entirely left the booze, the partying, and the hair bands that came along with the territory. Like RuPaul, "Superstore" actress Lauren Ash was the perfect choice to play animation's new favorite antihero, Diane. 

During an exclusive interview with Looper for "Chicago Party Aunt," Barinholtz dished on being a major RuPaul fan, what it was like working with him, and how Lauren Ash's casting came to pass.

Drag royalty's in the house

On working with RuPaul and if he always had the "Drag Race" host in mind to play Gideon, Barinholtz said, "I have been obsessed with Ru for a very long time. I'm a little bit older, so I remember the '90s, and "Drag Race" is just ... my wife and I love it." He added, "The episode with [Lady] Gaga on "Drag Race" is really one of my favorite episodes of TV ever. And so, when we were creating the character of Gideon, kind of from minute one, it was like, what if RuPaul did this? Do you think Ru would do this?" Even without a strong connection to him, RuPaul was down for the gig.

"And none of us know Ru. I've met him once. We know some of the same people, but we sent him the script. And God bless Ru. It's like, yep. And as with the case of a lot of the characters, you initially kind of write him or her a certain way, and then the actor brings a whole new dynamic and elements to it that you never really thought of," Barinholtz noted. "So yes, Ru, just on who he is, had a ton of input into how Gideon was formed, and I still can't believe he's on the show. It's incredible."

Do they have Superstores in Chicago?

Barinholtz only had lovely things to say about Lauren Ash and how her casting came about as the lead. "Everyone has known Lauren for a very long time. Jon, my brother, was literally cleaning the floors in Second City when she was on the main stage. And obviously, I've now watched her countless times on "Superstore," just absolutely destroy, Barinholtz explained.  And as we started developing the character, we were really kind of looking for just that kind of powerhouse element: someone who doesn't take any s***, tells it like it is, has very strong opinions, and is not afraid to let you know it, but is also fun and bouncy." 

He added, "And you just want to get close to her and tell her to stop and then run away and come back. She just has that energy, and she just absolutely killed it. And yeah, it's really great to hear ... When you first see the animatic cuts come in and you hear Lauren's voice, it just feels really great." On the fact that Ash grounds the show, Barinholtz added, "Yeah. She's a very, really special talent."

Well, the wait is over. The series just dropped on Netflix, and fans can now binge that special talent doing her thing as Diane in "Chicago Party Aunt."