Nick Murray (‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’) on ‘overwhelming’ Emmy love: ‘I’m living the dream’ [Exclusive Video Interview]


“It’s a little overwhelming at times,” admits Nick Murray, the director of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” on VH1, during Gold Derby’s Meet the Experts: TV Directors panel. He’s already won two Emmys for helming the reality TV show in 2018 and 2021, and is now one of the eight nominations it nabbed this year. “I didn’t expect this yesteryear, as a teenager wanting to direct television many, many moons ago, so this is beyond my wildest dreams. I’m living the dream, if you will.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.

Murray is nominated for directing the Season 14 musical episode “Moulin Ru: The Rusical,” a technical feast that included pre-production, choreography, music, set design, lighting, camera blocking, rehearsals, etc. “We shot it over 12 hours … pretty much as live, which is a testament to the crew,” he recalls. Even though the musical episodes are obviously quite challenging, for Murray they are his “favorite part of shooting the show.”

SEE over 200 interviews with 2022 Emmy nominees

As longtime viewers are already aware, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is constantly evolving and getting stronger from a technical standpoint. The director declares, “Every year I like to think that we add a little bit more production value, a little bit more visual flare, small nuances in the way we move the camera around, just to convey these great performances that our girls give.” Indeed, there is no comparison between how the show looked in 2009 to how it looks in 2022.

Murray says “never say never” when it comes to the chocolate bar twist making a comeback in future seasons. Remember, that was the twist that allowed Bosco to stay in the competition after she lost a challenge and subsequent lip sync, because she was lucky enough to pick the golden candy. “Every year we always come up with something new and compelling and interesting and invariably super fun to keep everyone interested in the show,” he notes before adding that a “select few on the production team” knew Bosco was carrying the golden chocolate.

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As the director, does Murray ever find himself rooting for one contestant over another? “Not in particular,” he readily admits. “They’re all so good and they’re all winners in their own way.” That said, he felt a special connection to Lady Camden being that they’re both from the U.K. “I thought her finale performance was incredible, as was Willow’s, obviously,” he concedes about ultimate winner Willow Pill.

Also in our fun webchat, Murray talks about how the program is a “safe space” for people to be their authentic selves, what it means to be on a show that’s already won more than two-dozen Emmys (and counting), and how “Drag Race” is one of the most “culturally important TV shows of this generation.”

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