On Romijn: Leather jacket by HUGO, tank top by Aritzia, jeans by Mother Denim. On Peck: Suit by BOSS, sweater by Tom Ford at Harry Rosen. On Mount: Shirt by HUGO, pants by Ermenegildo Zegna from Harry Rosen, watch by Accutron

Photo credit: Saty + Pratha / CBS

By Oliver Jones

It's one of the biggest What-Ifs in sci-fi history: What if the original Star Trek pilot episode shot in 1965 had been picked up instead of rejected? That episode, “The Cage,” starred Jeffrey Hunter as the dashing Captain Pike, Majel Barrett (later Barrett-Roddenberry, after she married the series’ legendary creator, Gene Roddenberry) as his trusted Number One, and Leonard Nimoy as a Vulcan officer named Spock.

Photography by Saty + Pratha. Styled by Zeina Esmail.

Stream Star Trek: Strange New Worlds on Paramount+.

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Intergalactic Journey

Anson Mount looks upwards with his arms crossed while wearing a knit sweater.

Sweater by BOSS

Photo credit: Saty + Pratha / CBS

While that episode (currently available on Paramount+) is now considered a classic, at the time executives found it too heady and demanded a new pilot. Star Trek: The Original Series and the adventures of Captain Kirk and his famous crew were born. Captain Pike and his cohort—save, of course, for Nimoy’s Spock, who would become one of the most indelible characters in television history—were consigned to Starfleet lore.

That was until January 2019, when Pike, Number One (now named Una), and a deeply troubled Spock restarted their intergalactic journey with a thrilling season-long arc on the Paramount+ series Star Trek: Discovery. Played by Anson Mount, Rebecca Romijn, and Ethan Peck, respectively, the new adventures of these groundbreaking Federation originals quickly captured the imagination of both longtime Trekkies and neophytes discovering the depth of the show’s mythology.

Now this trio of adventurers—along with a crew of both new and familiar characters—is ready to boldly go where they should have gone more than a half century ago.

Classic Approach

Rebecca Romijn wears a denim dress.

Dress by Balmain

Photo credit: Saty + Pratha / CBS

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds premiered on Paramount+ Thursday, May 5, 2022, and its first 10-episode season is set to run through July 7. The second season began shooting this past January.

“Our approach to this show was very classic,” explains Strange New Worlds co-showrunner Henry Alonso Myers. “We asked ourselves a simple question: “If Gene Roddenberry were doing this show today, with a modern sensibility, modern budgets, and a modern approach to character, what would it be? This is not a reinvention. It’s a reimagining for today’s sensibility.”

In other words, if the warp drive isn’t broke, why fix it?

“The Original Series tapped into this magical formula,” says Romijn. “This show is all about embracing that Original Series tradition with its amazing mix of levity and horror, science and social issues, and just good, breezy fun. That’s exactly what we are shooting for here.”

We sat down with Mount, Romijn, and Peck to talk about the enormity of taking on these legendary characters, the friendship among the three of them, and the surprises in store this season and beyond.

“I’ve never had a response to my work like the one that I had after Discovery,” says Mount. “I hope we can live up just a bit to audience expectations and the trust they have placed in us.”

Strange New Worlds

Ethan Peck in profile wearing a textured tuxedo and white shirt.

Tuxedo by Tom Ford at Harry Rosen, shirt by BOSS

Photo credit: Saty + Pratha / CBS

Did you have any idea that Strange New Worlds was in store for you after you finished these characters’ season-long arc during the second season of Discovery?

AM: There were no official plans for the show after that—at least that we knew about. I came to find out later that the powers that be had been talking about a Pike show even before Season 1 of Discovery. Thankfully, they never shared any of that with me, or I would not have known what to do with myself. I realized the other day that it’s three years ago this month that I first got the call where they said, “I think we got a show going.” Three years, my friend, three years … My life has changed in every conceivable way over that time.

RR: I would like to think that when my character ordered a cheeseburger with habanero sauce during her first scene on Discovery, I knew I would be playing her for years to come. But that definitely was not the case. But there was a magical moment when Anson, Ethan, and I walked onto the Enterprise bridge set for the first time during Discovery, and we all had this intense physical reaction. We started to look around and say, “What is happening? They didn’t build this set just for a one-off, did they? Really? Would they do that?” We had no inkling of what was to come, but standing on the physical set of the Enterprise bridge, it started to all feel very possible. I turned to the guys and was like, I would do this. Would you do this? That was a magical moment. After that, you could really start to envision what was to come.

EP: I had a recurring role on Season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery, and the possibility of that becoming something more regular was little more than a wonderful dream. After we finished on Discovery, Anson and I did a convention tour that I saw as the two of us unofficially campaigning for the existence of Strange New Worlds. I think that it contributed to its genesis; at least I hope it did. We put a lot of time and care into each convention. Still, when I was told that the show was going forward, I couldn’t believe it. I was floored. I still am.

Welcome Pressure

Anson Mount in a double image wearing a stylish black tuxedo.

Tuxedo by Saks Fifth Avenue, shirt by BOSS, watch by Accutron, shoes by Magnanni

Photo credit: Saty + Pratha / CBS

Star Trek fans are deeply invested not just in this show but also in each of your characters. Is that ever daunting?

RR: The pressure is always there to make them happy, but it is a welcome pressure. It is part of our job to protect these legacy characters in much the same way that the show’s fans want them protected. But to do that, we also have to have some artistic liberty on the side. It always makes for an interesting balance: On the one hand, we are caretakers of these great characters, and on the other, making our own creative decisions and hoping that the fans who love these characters as much as we do are pleased with the outcome.

EP: This fandom is fervent and definitely had that same pressurizing effect on me, especially in the beginning. Not only do I want to do a good job for myself—I am a recovering perfectionist—but I want to do well by them. My main focus is on delivering a performance with integrity and authenticity. I will never be Leonard Nimoy—he is inimitable. But I am trying to create something true to both Nimoy’s invention and my own. The fans became just further inspiration for me to really dig deep.

AM: Star Trek fans are never a burden. Their love for the franchise is a responsibility and, more particularly, a privilege. They literally changed my life. Not only did it provide me with a great job at a time when that is not an easy thing to get as an actor, but it also provided me the wherewithal to start a family. As often as I can, I try to say thank you.

Cultural Impact

Anson Moiunt glances dramtically to the side while wearing a knit sweater.

Sweater by BOSS

Photo credit: Saty + Pratha / CBS

Were any of you intimidated by taking on characters that had already had such significant cultural impact?

RR: I watched that original pilot episode, and I appreciated Majel Roddenberry and everything she did with the character. What was put into my head was that because Star Trek had been a Desilu production and Lucille Ball had been very involved with bringing Star Trek to the world, Lucy was in love with that initial Star Trek pilot because there had been a female first officer. She felt that that was an enormously important thing. Of course, that pilot was rejected. As a result, the character was pretty much just a blank slate. All we had was 14 minutes of screen time to work with. We know that she works well with the captain and is very good at her job. So that really gave the writers and me an opportunity to flesh her out.

AM: Pike is older now than when Jeffrey Hunter first created him. He’s a bit more established in who he is and the captain he wants to be. Obviously, huge changes occur at the end of Season 2 of Discovery that affect how we start this show. Dealing with those events becomes a very intricate part of the first season.

EP: To be perfectly honest, I was completely terrified about taking this on. I experienced absolute terror while I was on Discovery, and then there was a whole new batch of it when we started Strange New Worlds. They had laid out things on this show that Spock had never done before. There’s no blueprint for what he experiences. So to carve that out on my own without the guidance of Nimoy was a huge challenge. Honestly, I had no idea how I was going to do it. It has been a really long journey in terms of accepting and understanding this role and the impact it has had on my life. Being the keeper of this character is such a huge deal.

Big Secret

Rebecca Romijn sits on a stool wearing a black dress with a blazer positioned on one shoulder.

Dress by Alexandre Vauthier from HBC The Room, blazer by Balmain

Photo credit: Saty + Pratha / CBS

Rebecca, Number One has a big secret that’s revealed early on in Strange New Worlds. How did that affect the way you play her?

RR: Oh, it’s a big one, isn’t it? She is very good at her job, but she also likes to make sure people are intimidated by her as a way to keep them at a distance. It is her way of hiding her secret. This level of shame that she carries as part of Starfleet— and Una is someone who loves Starfleet more than just about anyone—was really the most exciting layer to play. I had a lot of fun with that.

​Captain Pike

Ethan Peck gives a dramatic side-eye.

Sweater by Tom Ford at Harry Rosen, coat by HUGO

Photo credit: Saty + Pratha / CBS

Anson, are you anything like Captain Pike?

AM: I’ll let you know when I figure out who he is! I will say that there are certain roles that you have to really stretch to fill, while there are others where the person just happens to be closer to your skin. This is definitely one of those. It is weird to me that I went to acting school to learn how to be like different people, and suddenly people are responding the most to someone who is just closer to me than I have ever done before.

Most Famous Vulcan

Ethan Peck sits with his knee tucked to his chest.

Sweater and pants by Ermenegildo Zegna from Harry Rosen

Photo credit: Saty + Pratha / CBS

Ethan, how do you begin that process of playing the world’s most famous Vulcan?

EP: There is a culling of my expressions, responses to things, and sense of humor that occurs before I go on set. I have to do this process of withdrawing all of that within myself—which is not the same as detaching from it. Spock is a deeply emotional person, but it is so contained and controlled. That process has become more nuanced over time as I have become more comfortable with the character. I have found more and more emotional life within that little chamber inside of him. It seems to become brighter with my further experiences playing the character.

Leadership Figures

Rebecca Romijn wears a leather jacket and smiles at the camera.

Leather jacket by HUGO, tank top by Aritzia, jeans by Mother Denim

Photo credit: Saty + Pratha / CBS

For Anson and Rebecca, has playing these leadership figures affected your own ability to lead?

AM: Whether you like it or not, being number one on the call sheet is a leadership position. Pike is definitely a better leader than I am, and I try to learn from him. I was fortunate that I had the great opportunity to learn from Sonequa Martin-Green when I worked on Discovery. She is a tremendous leader on that set. I don’t think that anybody really feels like a natural born leader. If they do, they are probably a tremendous a**hole. To be a good leader, you need to have a sense of doubt and deep humility.

RR: I like to think that I have become a much better leader due to this show—my six dogs really listen to me now! Actually, that’s not true: Only three out of the six dogs have started to listen to me. The other three still don’t give a crap what I have to tell them. I try the best I can to be a leader, but in truth I’m only successful at it when playing this character.

Relationship Changes

Mount and Peck sit on a table and chair against a canvas backdrop.

On Peck: Suit by BOSS, sweater by Tom Ford at Harry Rosen, watch by Accutron. On Mount: Shirt by HUGO, pants by Ermenegildo Zegna from Harry Rosen, watch by Accutron

Photo credit: Saty + Pratha / CBS

How should we expect these characters’ relationships to change throughout Strange New Worlds’ first and second seasons?

RR: The captain and Una regard each other as best friends, but we still don’t know what our backstory is. We have talked about the possibility that we are exes who can speak straight to each other. You know, those people in your life where you can read each other like a book? I think these two have that. Those are the people you can trust the most.

AM: I am not the guy to ask about the on-screen relationships—I take my cues from the writers. But I can tell you about the off-screen relationships: I could not be luckier to have this group of actors to work with. It was clear pretty early on when we were making Discovery that Ethan, Rebecca, and I generally had the same sense of humor. We would really enjoy spending more time together if we had the opportunity. We hang out together in the off-season. After we finished shooting pickups last fall, Ethan and I drove to Detroit together just because neither of us had seen Detroit before. This past weekend, we hung out with Rebecca and her family at the park. I genuinely enjoy the people I work with on the show, and I know enough not to take that for granted.

RR: It’s true. Anson, Ethan, and I have been in this together going on three years now. It has felt like the longest pregnancy in history! We have created this extraordinary friendship between the three of us, which we have extended to the rest of this cast, all of whom we adore.

EP: I now share this incredible bond with Anson and Rebecca that has evolved from Discovery to Strange New Worlds. The world shared among the three of us is really spectacular. It is something that I may never have with anyone else. That is just so unique—to become family with the people you work with. That is what this is to me, family.

Romantic Side

Rebecca Romijn wears a sequined dress as she leans forward onto her elbows.

Dress by Galvan London

Photo credit: Saty + Pratha / CBS

Ethan, the early episodes of Strange New Worlds hint at a more romantic side of Spock. Can we expect to see more of that?

EP: There is a lot more exploration of Spock’s human side on this show than we have ever seen before. That, of course, includes human nature. Many of us are sexually compelled, and he is no different. I think it is a part of him that we will encounter in the series based on the amount of time we spend with him within his inner chambers. People will really be surprised and amused by what they discover there.

​Lasting Impact

The three main crew members of Star Trek Strange New Worlds standing on the bridge of their ship.

Star Trek Strange New Worlds’ three main crew members on the bridge

Photo Credit: Marni Grossman/CBS

Why do you think Star Trek has lasted so long and had such a lasting cultural impact?

EP: I can speak to the ongoing appeal of Spock. We are all trying to find this comfortable place between logic and emotion, between being human and Vulcan. It is something we all struggle with within our own lives. He is such a unique, lasting character because he shows us so much about ourselves. He gives us a lot to hold on to.

RR: This show is as relevant now as it was in the ’60s when Gene Roddenberry created it—almost more so. And it is not even just in our country, but internationally. What it stands for has never been more relevant. I’m a mother now, sharing it with my daughters, and I was introduced to the Original Series by my mother when I was 8 years old. It carries on a conversation that has been vital across generations. It helps to explain what is going on in the world through vibrant storytelling. That’s a real gift that Star Trek just keeps delivering. Sure, you can enjoy the show just as shallow entertainment, but it’s designed to have a takeaway at the end of every episode, something that sparks a conversation and often asks you to take a different point of view.

AM: Part of the joy of Star Trek is in the joy of exploration with a sense of empathy rather than a colonial or empirical perspective. When asked about space exploration, the vast majority of people on this planet say that, yeah, we should be engaged in space exploration. Why? Why do we have that as a species? Something in us is called to turn around and walk away from the campfire and into the dark forest to see what’s out there. We often assume that the sum total of human endeavor is based on greed. I disagree with that. I think that one of the main reasons we first walked out beyond the firelight was because it was the best way to look at the stars. We have always wondered what was up there. I think that Star Trek taps into that specific dream. It’s something that’s a deeply primordial part of ourselves.

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Stream Star Trek: Strange New Worlds on Paramount+.

Paul McCartney joins James Corden for Carpool Karaoke in London on THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH JAMES CORDEN

Photo: Craig Sugden/CBS ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

By Rebecca Reisner

When James Corden debuted as host of The Late Late Show in 2015, he had such a low profile in the U.S. that he had to tell the audience he wasn’t Andy Richter (Conan O’Brien’s stocky blond ex-sidekick).

“As shocked as you are I’m doing this job,” the British comedian and actor said on that first night, “you will never be as shocked as I am.”

Corden went on to make his mark by mixing up the typical late-night talk show format. He introduces guests before his monologue and brings them out to be interviewed together, instead of one by one. He even reverses the optics by placing his desk camera on the left.

As he prepares to exit the show in 2023 to pursue other interests, Corden’s greatest legacy will be Carpool Karaoke. In the popular segments, he invites famous singers into his Land Rover during his “commute” to work to justify driving in a carpool lane. (In truth, there is no carpool lane on his route and he sometimes pretends to drive while a truck tows his car.) Then, he turns on music and sings live duets with the stars.

Here are eight of his most memorable Carpool Karaoke segments.

The Late Late Show With James Corden airs weeknights at 12:37a.m./11:37p.m. central on CBS and Paramount+.

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Guest: Barbra Streisand (November 1, 2018)

Known for: Gift-from-God singing voice, EGOT status (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony winner), general fabulousness

Songs performed: Memories, Enough is Enough, Don’t Rain on my Parade, Imagine, What a Wonderful World

What makes it memorable: The Cleopatra-eyeliner-wearing star does the driving herself after answering a distress call from Corden. We get to hear what a pretty voice he has when he starts out by singing Memories alone. Streisand shares what happened when she called Apple CEO Tim Cook because Siri mispronounced her name. The Funny Girl star, 76 years old at the time of her appearance on The Late Late Show, also reveals that she failed her written driving exam three times. “If this is how I go out,” Corden says, “I’ll take it.”

Guest: Cardi B. (December 17, 2018)

Known for: Rising to fame on reality TV, New Yawk accent, openness about her roots as a stripper

Songs performed: Bodak Yellow, Money, Drip, Be Careful

What gives it “sole”: Wearing a skintight yellow suit, the South Bronx–raised “these is bloody shoes” singer and rapper shows her vulnerability during a driving lesson courtesy of Corden, swivels her hips at the Culver City Senior Center, and tells kids at a playground to stay in school.

Guest: Niall Horan (March 3, 2020)

Known for: Rising to fame in boy band One Direction, going solo, buying his mother a six-bedroom mansion in Ireland

Songs performed: Slow Hands, Steal My Girl, Nice to Meet Ya, Put a Little Love on Me, No Judgment

What makes it fly: Corden and the Irish singer-songwriter imitate each other’s accents. Horan explains that he’s afraid of pigeons because “they’re not scared of us until you get really close.” Then, at a pit stop, a professional bird handler deposits three of the so-called sky rats in Horan’s hands and on his shoulder and head. He survives.

Guest: Madonna (December 7, 2016)

Known for: Earning a lifetime fortune of $850 million, being so famous that helicopters spied on her wedding to Sean Penn in 1985, changing her look and religious affiliation

Songs performed: Vogue, Bitch I’m Madonna, Papa Don’t Preach, Express Yourself, Ray of Light, Music

Why it’s great “material”: The Get into the Groove singer—whose latest accent sounds faintly Scouse (like a native of Liverpool)—twerks the driver’s side window. Corden impersonates Eva Perón. Madonna tells a bicyclist to express himself, and she reveals how she once helped Michael Jackson loosen up.

Guest: Lin-Manuel Miranda (June 6, 2016)

Known for: Writing and starring in the musical Hamilton, which won 11 Tony Awards (tickets can cost $1,000-plus apiece)

Songs performed: Alexander Hamilton, Seasons of Love, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, One Day More

What makes it a great “shot”: The playwright discusses his career before Hamilton turned him into a household name. Audra McDonald, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Jane Krakowski crash the party and join in on the singing. McDonald goes full operatic in the closing scene.

Guest: Adele (January 13, 2016)

Known for: Soulful voice, working-class British roots, power breakup ballads, winning 15 Grammy awards, having vocal cord surgery

Songs performed: Hello, Someone Like You, Wannabe, All I Ask, Monster, Rolling in the Deep

What makes it so deep: Filmed in the U.K., this segment was so British there should have been fish & chips. Corden and Adele, who were both born in London, drive on the left side of the street while singing her comeback hit Hello. Many fans would later say the diva sounded as good live in the car as she does in studio recordings.

Guest: BTS (February 25, 2018)

Known for: Being the best-selling South Korean musical act ever, winning four 2022 Billboard Music Awards, sporting creative hair colors

Songs performed: Mic Drop, Finesse, On, Circles, Black Swan

What gives it “Seoul”: Corden and the seven members of the K-pop boy band—whose name translates to “bulletproof boy scouts”—spend most of their time singing in the car, making the segment into a mini-concert. The group spokesman reveals which U.S. sitcom helped him learn English. And Corden attends a plyometric dance class with the guys.

Guest: Paul McCartney (June 21, 2018)

Known for: Being half of the McCartney-Lennon songwriting juggernaut, status as the wealthiest ex-Beatle, breaking hearts the world over when he married in 1969

Songs performed: Penny Lane, Let It Be, Blackbird, When I’m Sixty-Four, Come on to Me, Love Me Do, Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, Back in the U.S.S.R.

What makes it a high note: The segment, filmed in Liverpool, functions as a 23-minute homecoming documentary for the former Beatle. McCartney and Corden visit Penny Lane and surprise local pub goers with a free musical performance. McCartney gives a tour of the house where he spent his teen years and recounts how his father wanted to revise She Loves You.

The Late Late Show With James Corden airs weeknights at 12:37a.m./11:37p.m. central on CBS and Paramount+.

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The cast of Season 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars

Richard Phibbs/Paramount+

By Kathy Passero

We’re seeing stars—All Stars, that is. Season 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars gears up just in time for Pride Month, with eight beloved winners from past Drag Race seasons hitting the runway to compete for the title “Queen of All Queens” and a cash prize of $200,000, the biggest prize in Drag Race herstory.

Here’s a Ru-veal of this season’s contenders for the crown. Get ready for talent, towering stilettos, and plenty of tea!

Stream the new season of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars exclusively on Paramount+. New episodes drop weekly on Fridays.

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JAIDA ESSENCE HALL (Winner, Season 12)

\u200bJaida Essence Hall wears an updo wig and a diamond sequined bodysuit with transparent panels and matching long gloves and thigh high stockings

Jaida Essence Hall

Richard Phibbs/Paramount+

“Look over there!” Jaida, who won in the first-ever virtual finale thanks to the pandemic, combines the elegance of a pageant queen with the quick wit of comedy queen, as she proved in the memorable political debate challenge that gave rise to her trademark catchphrase. She also impressed the judges by making all her own runway fashions.

JINKX MONSOON (Winner, Season 5)

Jinkx Monsoon in a long white dress with crystal beading and a red wig with ringlets

Jinkx Monsoon

Richard Phibbs/Paramount+

The quirky, narcoleptic, musical theater queen charmed fans with her sweetness in the face of nonstop heckling from Roxxxy Andrews (It’s just “water off a duck’s back,” as she often muttered under her breath), her unexpected fashions, and her killer Snatch Game performance as Little Edie from Gray Gardens.

MONÉT X CHANGE (Winner, All Stars Season 4)

Mon\u00e9t X Change wearing a Medusa wig with fishnet stockings and a white patterned mini dress with cutouts and puffy sleeves that slide off her left shoulder

Monét X Change

Richard Phibbs/Paramount+

Season 10’s Miss Congeniality tied with Trinity the Tuck for the Season 4 All Stars crown. Not only does Monet have comedy chops, but she’s also a lip sync assassin known for her jump splits—and even more for the famous (among fans) fake-out when she didn’t do the jump splits in her lip sync against Dusty Rae Bottoms.

RAJA (Winner, Season 3)

Raja in a blue Marcel wave wig with a flesh toned sequined jumpsuit with cowl neck and boxy jacket covered in beads


Richard Phibbs/Paramount+

The OG glamor queen is as stunning with silver hair as she was with ebony locks. America’s Next Top Model fans might remember her from her pre–Drag Race days as a makeup artist. Raja is revered for her supermodel legs and her iconic runway fashions, which have channeled everyone from Sally Bowles to Marie Antoinette to Stephen King's Carrie (complete with blood bucket hat).

SHEA COULEÉ (Winner, All Stars Season 5)

Shea Coule\u00e9  in a crystal and rhinestone beaded jumpsuit with shoulder and hip details that look like crystal clusters of

Shea Couleé

Richard Phibbs/Paramount+

This Chicago queen has described herself as “a classic black glamazon ... equal parts bourgie and banjee ... high class but also ‘Lemonade’ budget.’” With a background in costume design, Coulée won praise for her inventive fashions (including a memorable twist on Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus), her comic chops (an epic Snatch Game as Flavor Flav), and her lip sync prowess.

TRINITY THE TUCK (Winner, All Stars Season 4)

Trinity the Tuck in a platinum wig and a shimmering transparent dress with panniers dripping with beaded fringe

Trinity the Tuck

Richard Phibbs/Paramount+

Self-professed plastic surgery junkie and queen of the tuck to end all tucks, Trinity shared the Season 4 All Stars crown with Monet X Change. Not surprisingly, this fantastic plastic queen is known for serving body-ody-ody. She also revealed an unexpected talent for comedy with her performance as Caitlyn Jenner in the Dating Game challenge during All Stars Season 4.

THE VIVIENNE (Winner, Season 1 RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K. )

The Vivienne in a gravity defying white curled wig and a shimmery gold and rhinestone jumpsuit with a matching wraparound skirt slit to the waist

The Vivienne

Richard Phibbs/Paramount+

The first-ever U.K. Drag Race winner proved queens on the other side of the pond could SLAY with her killer impression of Trump and her incredible runway fashions. (Remember the Rainy Day Eleganza look?) "I like to have a really fierce look, but I like to be hilarious on stage so I’m kind of old school and the new school put together,” she has explained. She also won praise for her professionalism in the Werk Room.

YVIE ODDLY (Winner, Season 11)

Yvie Oddly in an asymmetrical beige faux fur and rhinestone striped outfit with one sleeve draping to the floor and one pant leg covered in beaded fringe while the other is in a fishnet stocking

Yvie Oddly

Richard Phibbs/Paramount+

The name says it all. The quintessential drag “oddity” (her word) stands out for her sublimely varied and unexpected runway lewks, her ability to bend and twist like a rubber band during lip syncs, and her deep, distinctive laugh. The designer, rapper, and recording artist is also known for her candor in the Werk Room, which rubbed some of her competitors the wrong way.

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Melody Thomas Scott in a dress by Alexander McQueen, short necklace and rings by Missoma, long necklace by Miranda Frye, and earrings by Simon G.

Photography by Andrew Eccles | Styled by Christina Pacelli

Watch spoke to cast members of The Young and the Restless past and present on what they think of their characters. Whether heroic or villainous, the residents of Genoa City are undeniably compelling—and complex. That's what makes actors (and fans) adore them. Robert Newman politely describes his own character Ashland Locke as “ethically challenged.” You could say that about a lot of Y&R characters!

Watch The Young and the Restless weekdays on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.

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Melody Thomas Scott on Nikki Newman

Melody Thomas Scott in a yellow dress standing by a pool

Melody Thomas Scott in a dress by Alexander McQueen, short necklace and rings by Missoma, long necklace by Miranda Frye, and earrings by Simon G.

Photography by Andrew Eccles | Styled by Christina Pacelli

“She can be cunning. She can be so much worse than that. She can step up to the plate and be whoever she needs to be at that moment. She’s not anybody I would want to be friends with. I wouldn’t trust her for anything. She grew up in a very rough, abusive environment. Yes, of course, Victor [Eric Braeden] has taught her a lot. She’s catapulted into this whole other class of life and married well, but you still see the tough Nikki come through. I don’t think she’ll ever lose that.”

Robert Newman on Ashland Locke

Robert Newman sitting at a desk in a suit with his hand on his leg

Robert Newman as Ashland in business attire

Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS

“I don’t want to characterize Ashland exclusively as a bad guy. I don’t really believe in that idea. I always talked to the writers at Guiding Light [Newman’s previous Daytime role] about not putting Josh in the box of a good guy because it’s not interesting, and it’s not real life. With Ashland, I think he’s more ethically challenged than Josh ever was, but I think he’s a good businessman who is very driven to get the result he wants.”

Richard Burgi on Ashland Locke

Richard Burgi in a white button down shirt with his arms folded

Richard Burgi in his Y&R days

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Richard Burgi

Before Robert Newman took over playing the character of Ashland Locke, Richard Burgi played the character. Here's what he had to say about Ashland:

“He’s cagey. He’s worked hard. He’s gone through some tribulations and trials in his life, and I think he’s arrived at a place where he’s enjoying the fruits of his labors and the little quiver of arrows that he can throw at people insofar as psychological manipulations in his world of big business.

“He’s a terrific, personable, charming, intelligent, kind person … who, like many characters that have been labeled as nefarious, is just misguided. I think Victor Newman was castigated as a bad guy for a while. He’s just misunderstood!”

Jason Thompson on Billy Abbott

Jason Thompson in a gray suit and maroon polo shirt

Jason Thompson suits up for The Young and the Restless.

Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS.

“Billy is a pretty reckless dude. He’s kind of all over the place all the time, which is super fun to play. I’m excited to go to work every day. My character has had a big couple of years. He has a gambling addiction, then fell off the wagon, and had to get his life back!”

“He lives on the edge and is reckless at times with his heart, but I don’t think he wants to be a bad guy.”

Courtney Hope as Sally Spectra

Courtney Hope as Sally Spectra in a leopard coat posing in front of a Spectra sign

Courtney Hope as Sally Spectra, circa January 2017

Photo Credit: John Paschal/JPI Studios.

“Sally is very feisty, very determined, and very artistic. But given her last name, people have a tendency to not expect a lot from her. She and her family have quite a patchy reputation of being tricksters and causing a little bit of … what’s the word? Nonsense! So people don’t totally take Sally seriously, which makes for fun, but also makes her want to try harder to prove herself and get people to like her.”

Joshua Morrow on Nick Newman

Joshua Morrow in swim trunks

Joshua Morrow shows off his physique.

Photo credit: Ed McGowan/CBS

“Nick has always had a real eye for the ladies and a real lack of judgment.”

Brytni Sarpy on Elena Dawson and Devon Hamilton

Brytni Sarpy smiling over her shoulder at the camera in a white dress

Brytni Sarpy flashes a megawatt smile.

Photo Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS.

“Elena met Devon when he was going through so much tragedy. Everyone was rooting for him to finally have something positive. Elena’s character represented that. Still, I didn’t think people would fall that hard for them, because I saw what a strong fanship there was for Devon and [his late wife] Hilary.

“In a way, Elena could have been just another distraction before Devon ended up with [Hilary’s doppelganger] Amanda. But there’s an honesty and a true connection there. There was so much drama surrounding Devon and Hilary, which was great. But it was a lot! With Elena, it feels like a seamless love story.”

Melody Thomas Scott on Nikki and Victor Newman

Melody Thomas Scott and Eric Braeden posing on an ottoman

Melody Thomas Scott and Eric Braeden

Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

“[Nikki and Victor] did indeed have … something. That very rare spark that, for the lack of a better term, entices our souls into dancing together.”

"Together, our souls become one. May the two of us always be one."

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