Talking “Terrifying” Libra Season, Cruel Intentions, and Catholicism With Benito Skinner

Published October 9, 2019

Making people laugh is not easy, but Benito Skinner, better known as Benny Drama, has built a career around making people crack up. Skinner penetrated the comedy world with his iconique impressions of Kris Jenner, and his highly-anticipated videos shading the zodiac signs. Aside from his quick wit and spot-on impersonations, what makes Skinner such a delight is the array of coo-coo-crazy characters he’s brought to life. And now, Skinner can add pop star to his list of accomplishments. His collaboration with Svedka has allowed three of his characters (Benita, Hailee, and Mama Paula) to live out their rosé-tinted fantasies in the music video for his song “Brand New” as part of the Bring Your Own Spirit campaign. The inspiration behind the certified bop came from classic female-led films like Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, Thelma & Louise, and Coyote Ugly, as well as culture-defining characters like Heidi Montag, Britney Spears, and Schitt’s Creek’s Alexis Rose. “It’s always a beautiful thing when a brand just wants you to be yourself and just go off and be as creative and, in my case, absurd or camp as possible,” Skinner says. Mere hours after filming the “Dating A Libra Be Like” video for his fans, Skinner took time to give us his two (or 10) cents on 15 topics chosen at semi-random—from Fleabag to kombucha girl to Kendall Jenner’s blonde hair, because if it walks like a basic and it drinks like a basic, then it must be Benny Drama.

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LIBRA SZN

“Oh! Terrifying. Once the season starts I know that the video is expected, so I’m terrified. But I’m excited as well because that was the one I got to be Kim [Kardashian].”

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SCHITT’S CREEK

“Oh my god. I feel like I could watch Schitt’s Creek for years. I’ll put it on just to watch it normally, and then I’ll rewatch the same episode like five times just by putting it on in the background. I feel like it was so a part of my year—in a way that I feel like I’m truly obsessed. I think maybe the most enjoyable show to watch, ever. It’s so light and fun. It’s genius.”

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IMPEACHMENT

“Exciting. I love it. I’m a huge Saint Hoax fan, I think they’re just a genius. I was just watching all the impeachment videos together today.”

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CRUEL INTENTIONS

“Obviously, I think of the show I do with Mary Beth Barone. We do like a monthly comedy show, and in the next one we’re doing a live reading of a few of the scenes. That movie was such a queer awakening for me because, obviously Ryan Phillippe’s ass in it, but also just stanning only legends. I mean, Sarah Michelle Geller is just so perfect in that film. I really could talk about that movie forever. It was such a defining part of my childhood, sneaking into my sister’s room and watching it. It’s camp, it’s so fucked up, it’s so good.”

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PENNYWISE THE CLOWN

“Well, I just saw IT Chapter 2, and I loved the movie. Anything Jessica Chastain’s in, I’m there. I felt kind of sorry for him in the end, so it’s like I’m not necessarily scared of him as much as I am interested in his origin story. I’m not really interested in seeing anyone do that for Halloween.” 

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CATHOLICISM

“I grew up going to Catholic school. I feel like I’m always interested in it, because every pop star has songs about it. I’m always kind of taken back to when it was required that I go to mass once a week. My family was Catholic, but we weren’t really practicing. Just going to school and learning and reading the Bible in fourth grade, which is really messed up. It was a lot for a kid. I think that maybe a few of the teachings of it got a little lost in translation over the years.”

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CO-STAR

Co-Star is complicated. I will say that because I had no idea there were so many intricacies about astrology. I found it before I studied for the astrology videos, so it’s been a huge resource for me in that way. I could just lose myself so quickly and easily in it. I love that it’s a slick app and that it’s very chic, and I think that astrology kind of gets a bad name, or is shrugged off. I promise, everything that you do is explained by astrology, literally.

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THE NEW CHARLIE’S ANGELS MOVIE

“I’m so excited. I’m a huge, huge Kristen Stewart fan. That new song also—like, Lana! I think it’s probably clear from my work that Lana is my mother. Actually, my mom recently asked, “Why do you keep saying mom? Is that like a thing?” I was like, “Okay, literally chill. Don’t get jealous.” I don’t remember what birthday it was, but I had my mom take me to the first Charlie’s Angels as my birthday present, probably thus confirming my queer identity. So any reboot of that, I’m in.”

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                                                                                                                                     KENDALL JENNER’S BLONDE HAIR

“I loved it so much. I really, really wanted her to keep that for longer. I was very disappointed that it was gone by the time that Emmys were here. But I was very into it, and I liked the color she did; the kind of like natural blonde. I truly love the blonde.”

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PHOEBE WALLER-BRIDGE

“So, in a lot of ways, Fleabag ruined my year because it bespeaks me that there’s not more to watch. I have analyzed that entire show start to finish. I think it’s definitely the best TV show I’ve ever seen. I thought the first season was perfect, but the second season is so genius. I know she’s been a part of the writing process in the new James Bond movie, so I’m very excited about that.”

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GRETA THUNBERG

“Why did I just immediately think you meant Greta Gerwig for a second? I was like, Little Women, can’t wait. I feel like throughout history it’s always been young people who finally say something, and hopefully we listen. Her speech was inspiring and devastating at the same time, and I love that it went viral. I’m so glad that I’ve seen her face all week and her name all week and that you’re bringing her up now. That is kind of the beauty and the power of the internet. It can be a scary and dark place at times, but in other ways it can be culture-changing.”

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JAWLINE ENHANCING GUM

“I can’t say I’m interested. I like regular gum, but if it works, that would be great to get rid of the old turkey neck. Love it, another thing to tell us that we need to lose weight. “

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MATTEL’S GENDER INCLUSIVE DOLLS

“I’m jealous of kids growing up now, and I’m so happy. I’m really impressed by companies that have that much power who step up to the plate. As a kid, I would have loved if there was a doll that resembled me or my brother. Also I saw the dolls, and they’re not like stick thin, which I think is also really productive. I think that a lot of these societal norms and these things that we impose on people—I’m really glad we’re not putting them on kids anymore. I feel like that’s the age where you might get molded into a bias. I’m shook.”

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KOMBUCHA GIRL

“She’s a genius. I’m dead. The beauty of the internet.”