He called it mingling “each other to death, but in a really loving way.”
Queer Eye star and grooming guru Jonathan Van Ness has revealed how he was cast in the hit reboot of the show. Speaking on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Van Ness said when he heard that Netflix were recreating the show he knew he wanted to be part of the “pink makeover.”
And speaking about the casting process, he said: “You go and you chat, and after you chat you do this little video interview thing.
“Then after that they narrowed it down to, I think there was like 50 of us, so 50 really talented gay men descended upon this ballroom in Glendale, California, and we basically mingled each other to death, but in a really loving way.
“It’s kind of like in America’s Next Top Model, when there’s the top two in the finale and everyone’s like, ‘I just want this so bad.’ That was what we were all like.”
He then added: “But I think what we all had more in common was that we really wanted to create this show.”
And speaking about getting the role, Van Ness said: “When you audition for something, there’s non-disclosures. I was really good about that.
“So I was doing my client’s hair and my assistant and I were there, and the phone rang and I saw it was them. I was like, ‘Oh my God you guys, don’t make a sound, I’m just gonna put this on mute and put this on speakerphone, but you didn’t hear a thing, got it?’”
He added that his Queer Eye co-stars were now his “life friends.”
Earlier this year, the Queer Eye star opened about how the death of his stepfather affected him, and the emotional trauma that it caused him.
“I was 25, and I was watching my stepdad pass away from cancer,” he revealed. “I was in yoga every day, I was in therapy, and I got on and off medication the same year.”
Jonathan stopped taking his medication and quit “cold turkey”, which worsened his condition.
He said he experienced withdrawal from his medication and “six months of psychotic depression”.
“If you do decide to get off, definitely wean yourself off,” the 31-year-old advised. “But the biggest thing about self-care is to be gentle with yourself and remember there’s no one way up that mountain.
“Maybe don’t take advice from this interview about what you should do with antidepressants, because I don’t know you.”
If you’re worried about depression, or want to talk about any other issues, Switchboard LGBT+ helpline are here to listen.
You can read all about them on their website, switchboard.lgbt, and you can phone them on 0300 330 0630 between 10am-11pm every day.
LGBT charity Stonewall also have a section on their website full of advice and plenty of other information at stonewall.org.uk/help-advice.