That Brad Pitt assailant wasn't the only one who upstaged Angelina Jolie on the Maleficent red carpet Wednesday night...
Ladies and gentlemen, we present Shokra!
The performance artist (whose real name is Russell Barslou), who went full Maleficent for the premiere at Hollywood's El Capitan Theatre, made a big impression on the titular villainess herself. Jolie paused from her autograph-signing, photo-posing, question-answering duties to mug for the camera with Shokra, who nailed the Oscar winner's fierce, pouty stare.
Disney executives invited Shokra to the premiere after seeing how good he looked as the horned fairy queen during a club performance a couple of weeks earlier. Luke Nero and Andrés Rigal, promoters at Eleven nightclub in West Hollywood, had rechristened their popular Saturday night party Plastic Fantastic the "Night of 1,000 Maleficents" — and Shokra stole the show in a costume of his own creation.
[Related: Following Angelina and Brad Down the Chaotic 'Maleficent' Red Carpet]
Calling the Sleepy Beauty baddie character one of his "all-time favorites," Shokra came dressed in a skintight black dress, horns, collar, full makeup, and a scary set of eyebrows.
"What I do for a living is costume design and production," he explains. "I've been doing it for 17 years. I created the horns and the collar and the shrug myself and it came together super well. My whole aesthetic for the drag that I do is very theatrical and over the top. I'm not so much a female impersonator as I am a performer."
A group of Disney suits attended the "Night of 1,000 Maleficents" party and posed with Shokra for pics. Those pics then made it all the way back to Jolie, who loved them. Then Shokra and Luke got the invite from Disney to come to the premiere.
"I didn't know what to expect," Shokra adds. "I didn't know I was actually going to walk the red carpet. I was trying not to get my hopes up. I was hoping she'd see me and like it."
And like it she did. As soon as Jolie arrived on the red carpet she waved at Shokra.
"She was unbelievable," Shokra continues. "The first time she saw me, her face just sort of lit up and she smiled at me. And then she went to do her interview with Entertainment Tonight. When she was done she made a beeline right to me. And she told me that she thought I looked great, but all I could do was say how great that I thought she looked.
"I was overwhelmed because I wasn't used to the paparazzi and situations like that. She was just so professional. It also said a lot to me about her that she wanted to make sure that I got a great pic of us together with my phone. She knew exactly where to look to make sure I got a picture that I'd love."
After posing with Angelina, Shokra also posed with Modern Family star Sarah Hyland and then joined a couple other costumed Maleficents for a quick photo opp.
When the carpet was over and Shokra had changed back into his regular outfit for the night, he caught an intimate moment between Jolie and her family.
"It was just after the carpet, before the movie had started," he says. "When everyone else was already in the theater. And we watched her and Brad and all of the kids walk by. She was holding one of the little ones, and she was absolutely beaming. You could tell that the night was just a huge moment for her."
the attack by prankster Vitalii Sediuk against Brad Pitt. "While we were waiting for her on the carpet, and she was being interviewed, we were asking 'Where's Brad?' And I saw him signing autographs and it looked like a fight broke out. And there was a lot of commotion and I didn't know what happened. But even after that happened, we saw Brad still signing more autographs. I saw him walk by and he was smiling and seemed to have just brushed it off. It certainly didn't seem to faze him at all." Shokra also witnessed
As for Maleficent the film? Shokra gives it a big thumbs-up. "The movie is just beautiful," he adds. "I'm just such a huge fan of hers. Like I said, I'm all about horns and wings, so I knew that I was going to love it."
And if Disney does Maleficent 2, we know a certain person who would make the perfect stand-in for the title role.
—Additional reporting by Jenny Depper
- Arts & Entertainment
- Angelina Jolie
- Brad Pitt