The Browns: Interview with Performer Kelly Mantle

The Browns
"The Browns" is a belovedly outrageous show that has started its second season on OUTtv with new episodes every Friday!

The Browns has started its second season on OUTtv, with new episodes every Friday! The show stars the sidesplitting drag duo Tammie Brown and Kelly Mantle and re-imagines the family sitcom in a way that is strange, vulgar, and deliciously outrageous. Tammie plays the part of a semi-retired singer and homemaker and Kelly is her drunk best friend.


Kelly Mantle recently discussed the series via an exclusive interview.

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you discover your love for acting?


Kelly Mantle (KM):  I think it was innate. I was very young when I began doing theatre, and when I got on stage, playing someone else, it felt like I’d been there before. And I just knew, this is it. This is who I am. This will be my life.


MM: Was drag your way to break into the industry? 


KM: No. My work in the theatre and my character work at Second City was my springboard into the industry. I’ve always played a wide variety of gender benders, but in the beginning, they were never really “drag.” The characters were always more nonbinary or trans. So, I never really had that full “drag queen” experience doing drag shows 4-5 nights a week at a club pre-Drag Race.


MM: How did you meet and start working with Tammie Brown? 


The BrownsKM: Well, I got booked at a gig on Mars, and of course, she was there. Tammie Brown spun my head round and round when we met. And I’ve never been sane since.


MM: Who thought up the concept for “The Browns”? 


KM: John Mark and Tammie. They telephoned me and asked me to come make some content. So, I showed up with a wig and a wing and a prayer, and Sheila was born.


MM: Which episode is your favorite and why? 


KM: Definitely Sheila’s mental breakdown in the streets of Mexico and her running into the ocean. We shot that in Puerto Vallarta, guerrilla style. It felt so real being surrounded by all the people and tourists just going about their business. And there’s Sheila flailing herself into the ocean and the Browns trying to save her. The locals actually joined in trying to save me too! They thought it was real, they didn’t realize we were filming. 


MM: How is season two different from season one? 


KM:  It’s got twice the amount of stunts, shenanigans and storylines. And a bigger budget! Still just as many laughs and fabulous guest stars!


The BrownsMM: How would you like to see “The Browns” evolve in the future?


KM:  I’ve had no expectations from the beginning so I’m going to keep it that way. I’m enjoying a revolution of organic evolution. 


MM: What are your other career goals?  What do you have planned for the holiday season and beyond? 


KM: In addition to more upcoming acting gigs, I’m going to resume standup in 2022, and I’m also recording some new music. As for holiday plans, I don’t eat and I loathe Christmas. I turn every day into a holiday!