This week, it was announced via Youtube that a movie based on 1980?s cartoon/toy property Jem and the Holograms is coming, and director John M. Chu (GI Joe: Retaliation), horror producer Jason Blum and music producer Scooter Braun are the minds behind it. They’re looking for fans to participate, sending audition tapes to their Jem tumblr for their chance to star as a member of the Holograms or the Misfits. What’s kind of very telling of modern Hollywood is that Jem was a property created for girls, by a woman, and is now being revived and by three men. Ok, they’re probably three gay men, but still. (ALLEGEDLY gay, I have no firsthand knowledge here. But three grown men in their thirties and their movie passion project is freakin’ Jem? Speaking as a gay dude in his thirties, they’re probably gay. I mean, just sayin.)
So since the Jem movie is seemingly a total sausage fest behind the camera, I say just go whole hog and make it a sausage fest in front of the camera as well. After all, who evokes the women of Jem and the Holograms and their rival band the Misfits more than the ladies of RuPaul’s Drag Race? The following are ten of the fiercest divas Drag Race has had to offer over the past six seasons, and the roles in the Jem movie most perfectly suited to their talents and/or personalities. As they used to say on the cartoon, “It’s showtime, Synergy!”
1. Willam Belli as Jem/Jerica Benton
Willam Belli is maybe the most infamous performer in RuPaul’s Drag Race history, being the only contestant ever to get kicked off the show, for as yet (officially) undisclosed reasons. He’s also one of the funniest queens the show has ever produced in all of its six seasons on the air. On top of that, he’s also an actor, which he was happy to remind everyone by reciting his IMDB page for all to hear any chance he got during his season. Plus he can sing, which kind of helps since Jem is kind of a pop star.
So it’s only fair that the lead role of Jem should go to a queen with some singing experience and acting chops. While the real Willam is anything but someone like the sunshiny and wholesome Jem, hopefully he can work some of them acting skills and convince us all.
2. Pandora Boxx as Kimber Benton
On the cartoon, Kimber was Jem’s kid sister and the driving creative force behind the Holograms; she’s the songwriter, keyboardist, plays the synthesizers and does backup vocals for Jem. Only a teenager, she was the entire group’s little sis in a way. Perky and impulsive, she was arguably the heart of the group. While RuPaul’s Drag Race has had many young queens in the competition, most of them are snotty little bitches and don’t have any of Kimber’s sparkling personality or kindness.
Season two queen (and winner of Miss Congeniality that year) Pandora Boxx, however, is the Ru girl that no one can hate. Funny without being mean (a rare trait in drag world) Pandora could rock the bright red hair of Kimber in a heartbeat. And just like Kimber, everyone loves her.
3. Ongina as Aja
To show how the Holograms were the “good” pop group, they were portrayed as a multi-ethnic band. The Misfits, on the other hand, were there to teach us that anything that only has white people at the exclusion of everyone else is probably evil. As part of their ethnic diversity, the Holograms had an Asian-American girl named Aja as their lead guitarist and back up vocalist.
Aja was kind of the tomboy of the group, so it makes perfect sense that she should be played by season one contestant Ongina. Ongina was kind of the “tomboy” of Drag Race, for often not wearing a wig and just working her own shaved head, usually a big drag no-no. Although one time she worked a bright blue wig, proving he could totally rock a fierce Aja were she to be cast in the Jem movie.
4. Latrice Royale as Shana
Shana was a Starlight Foundation orphan, who grew up with Jerica Benton and Kimber as a foster sisters. Bass guitarist and drummer for the Holograms, Shana is super loyal and liked by everyone (except the Misfits of course.) Of all the African-American queens who have competed on Drag Race, none are as universally loved by viewers and fans as much as season four contestant Latrice Royale. Ok, so Latrice is a big girl and Shana is a skinny chick. So what? There’s still no other African-American queen from the series who can rock some purple highlights as much as Latrice can. It’s 2014, we can reimagine Shana as a big girl now if we want to. She can be the Hologram’s Mama Cass, even.
Plus Shana is an aspiring fashionista as well as a rock star, and Latrice made some amazing outfits from scratch herself during her season.
5. Yara Sofia as Raya
Raya Alonso was brought on to Jem later in its run, probably when producers fielded complaints that their multi-ethnic band was missing a Latina character. So pretty soon, Shana took a hiatus and was replaced with another drummer, this time of Mexican descent. While there have been many Latin queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race (in fact, every years has had at least one Puerto Rican queen, if not two) in my humble opinion none are as fierce as pint-sized Yara Sofia.
Although the character of Raya is Mexican-American, we’ll just bend the rules a bit and have Yara play her as an all-purpose Latina, like they do on all those CBS shows your parents watch.
6. RuPaul as Synergy
Where would the Holograms be without their female sentient computer, Synergy?? On the old Jem cartoon, Synergy would appear on a giant video monitor and talk to the band and give them advice; on Drag Race, Ru often appears to the girls randomly on video screens to give them their next challenge, or to give them directions. Plus, both Ru and Synergy can rock some eighties big hair and a workout headband like no other.
And while this is just speculation, the drag version of Ru has seemingly not aged in twenty years, raising the possibility that she is, in fact, a hologram. Was there ever more perfect casting?
7. Detox as Pizzazz
Phyllis Gabor, the green-haired bad girl better known as Pizzazz, is the leader of Jem’s rival band, the Misfits. Portrayed on the show as a rich, entitled brat with a bad temper when provoked, usually by her own bandmates. She is easily the most vicious of the Misfits, and rarely shows any vulnerability; the definition of an Ice Queen.
Pizzazz should be played by none other than season five queen Detox. Detox is one fierce bitch who doesn’t take shit from anyone (when she says she’s had it, she’s had it…officially.) Also, Detox gives a mean side-eye and has a truly epic sneer, truly worthy of the leader of the Misfits. She can also rock big ’80s hair better than most of the queens in the show’s history.
8. Sharon Needles as Roxy
Sharon Needles is maybe the biggest star to ever emerge out of RuPaul’s Drag Race, winning season four and gaining a huge following of goth kids and outsider queens in the process. Sharon is as edgy and punk rock as it gets for RuPaul’s Drag Race, which made a lot of the squeeky clean pageant girls hate her guts when competing with her.
Sharon’s aesthetic is perfect for the Misfits’ brand of bad girl rock. Of all the girls in the band, Roxy Pellegrini shows a bit more vulnerability than Pizzazz does, which fits Sharon, who is all spooky and edgy on the outside, but is just a big ol’ teddy bear underneath. Also, more than most girls in the show’s history, Sharon really knows how to rock a platinum wig.
9.Raven as Jetta
Raven is one of the most bad ass girls ever to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race, and she’s been runner up for the crown not once, but twice (first on season two, then on Drag Race All-Stars) As her namesake implies, Raven has a dark edge, and if you cross her, she just might cut you. But much like the Misfit’s Jetta, there is a diabolical brain underneath the tough exterior. During her season, Raven tormented and constantly mocked goody two-shoes contestant Tatiana, much like Jetta enjoyed tormenting the goody-goody girls from the Holograms.
Although she wore a variety of wigs during her seasons, Raven always worked a black wig like it was nobody’s business, making her a natural match for Jetta. On the show, Jetta always clamied to be royalty of some sort, and I’m pretty sure Raven still believes that crown was hers and that she was robbed.
10. Raja as Stormer
Of all the members of the Misfits, Stormer is maybe the biggest softie who is just playing at being a hard ass tough chick. Despite her fierce style, it’s all really an act, as Stormer is a sheep in wolf’s clothing, often sympathizing with the plight of Jem and her poor Holograms. Season three winner Raja is very much like Stormer in this fashion; her style is super fierce, she comes off kind of like a super diva, and from the get-go she intimidated all the other girls on the show.
But underneath all that glamour and glitz and fierce competitiveness, Raja wasn’t really as much of a “mean girl” as some of the others; she was actually kind of a sweetie. Unless she was making fun of Tyra Banks, and then the claws were OUT hunty.
Previously by Eric Diaz: