For almost six years, Stevie Ryan, 25, has been uploading hilariously wonky pop culture impressions to YouTube, amassing a cult following that can now tune into her new show, Stevie TV, premiering on VH1 this Sunday at 11 pm. Ryan brings all her go-to, lampoon-ready characters to table, including Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber, and even a Real Housewife or two. Below, she breaks down their pop culture essence.
ELLE: What does it take to become Kim Kardashian?
Stevie Ryan: White, bedazzled dresses, sculpting powder, contouring makeup, highlighter, and bronzer. But I don’t really feel the character until I put on my three butts. I’m not lying—it’s literally three butts stuffed with padding. And when I wear those on and put on my long 22-inch dark wig, I really feel like a Kardashian.
ELLE: Break down the Biebs for us.
SR: We actually bind down my boobs with ACE bandage, and it gets so tight and hurts so much that I get really bad heartburn from it. Then we put a sock in my underwear—you know, to get the real effect. It’s…awkward. Then of course I always have to have a hoodie, a baseball cap, and something purple. For Justin, I always need something purple.
ELLE: It’s a pretty uncanny likeness.
SR: It gets weird! I get women hitting on me like crazy—older women especially can’t get enough of me. A few actresses that I worked with while playing Justin Bieber actually asked for my number afterwards. I don’t think they realized that I’m a girl. And then boys that know I’m a girl are like, I don’t know what it is, but you’re really hot as Justin Bieber. The point is: dude, everybody wants Justin Bieber.
ELLE: You play a mean Kim Richards, whose has a signature altercation style with her sister Kyle on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills—the angry finger point. How do you master that?
SR: A good Kim Richards point is all about being in sync with her sister Kyle’s point. I feel like Kyle is the leader, so the trick is to just going along with Kyle. It’s like a dance class—you’re looking at the dancers around you and getting into a flow.
ELLE: So it’s basically ballet.
Watch the show’s extended trailer, below.