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Legendary's Law Roach On Fights And Dream Guest Judges For The HBO Max Series

Law Roach on Legendary Season 3
(Image credit: Photograph by John Johnson/ HBO Max)

While Pride month might officially be in the rear view, plenty of networks are celebrating all year long. HBO Max has been producing a ton of LGBTQ+ content, including the beloved reality competition series Legendary, which focuses on Ballroom and vogue culture. And Legendary’s iconic host Law Roach recently spoke to CinemaBlend about the on-set fights and dream guest judges for the HBO Max series.

Legendary (opens in new tab) recently ended its Season 3 run on HBO Max, marking the third time that Image Architect Law Roach has graced the judge’s panel. Roach has been in some of the most heated altercations from the series, clashing with contestants or fellow judges when tensions get high. I had the privilege of speaking with Zendaya's collaborator himself, where he spoke about those quarrels on set, telling me:

I love it. It just becomes the great debate in a way. I think this, and you think that, and we talk about it. And we can go back and forth. And it's actually really Ballroom. Ballroom categories and judging can get really really heated, because it’s emotional. We are there because we want to see everybody win. And when we don’t get that our emotions are triggered and we go either way. But my biggest thing is, like the one fight with me and Keke, at the end of it I said ‘Oh you ate that.’ And everybody started laughing. But what I was trying to show is that I can dish it, but I also can take it. And when you get a good one on me, I’m going to give you a high five because I love that. And I do dish it a lot. And I can slo take it and I’m happy for those moments when people can see that. That I’m not this cruel mean person who is trying to destroy each other’s confidence or anything.

He’s got a point. While Law Roach might be involved in some of Legendary’s most iconic arguments, he’s not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings. Instead, Roach is simply offering his perspective and therefore an authentic Ballroom experience. Because within the scene judging isn’t historically so black and white. What’s more, he’s able to laugh and appreciate it when someone like fellow judge Keke Palmer gets him with a good read. 

Law Roach specifically cited an argument he had with Keke Palmer on Legendary Season 3, where the two had words about the various houses competing for the Superior Trophy. But there’s clearly no bad blood there, as Roach broke down and laughed when she got him with a zinger. He clearly knows it’s all in good fun.

Law Roach has also had a few moments with guest judges like Pose’s Dominique Jackson (who returned for Season 3). Later in our same conversation, I asked Roach about who he’d like to see appear as a guest judge in a future season of the show, saying:

There’s a bunch of people really. I would love to see Lil’ Kim or Naomi (Campbell) [...] I would also like to see a couple more of the RuPaul girls there. I think Shangela would be amazing, I think Symone would be really amazing. I think it’s important for the guest judges to reflect the culture.

Sign me up! It would be truly unreal to see Lil’ Kim or Naomi Campbell walk the floor at Legendary, and offer their perspective of the performances. They are each at the top of their game professionally, and are legends in their own right. And they’d no doubt have great advice for the houses in regards to both performance and catwalk. And after RuPaul's Drag Race winner Bob The Drag Queen was included in Season 3 of Legendary, Roach is down to see more notable alumni appear in the future.

Every season of Legendary gets bigger and bigger, so it might not be all that surprising to see the likes of Naomi Campbell and Lil’ Kim end up as guest judges. I asked Law Roach why the HBO Max subscribers have responded to strongly to the show, and he opened up saying:

I think for two reasons, right? First is that it’s a community and it’s a pool of talent that people just haven't seen before. It’s so new to so many people. And I think those newfound fans of Ballroom and the newly made fans of Ballroom are just excited each and every season to see more, and to have more, and to bring more into their homes. And I think the second reason is that the people who were familiar with Ballroom, the people who were in Ballroom are saying ‘Finally. Finally we’re getting the platform that we deserve. We’re getting some recognition. We’re getting new audiences.’ So I think it’s a combination of both of those things.

Well said. Ballroom has been a thriving part of queer culture for decades, but it’s so rarely gotten highlighted in the mainstream. While there are exceptions like the documentary Paris is Burning or through Madonna’s song “Vogue”, Legendary is highlighting the community of queer, trans, and POC performers in a new way. Hopefully the series is only just getting started, and we’ll get plenty more of Law Roach’s fashion genius, reads and (of course) his catchphrase: “You did what needed to be done.”

Legendary is currently streaming all three seasons in their entirety on HBO Max. Be sure to check out the midseason premiere list to plan your next binge watch. 

Corey Chichizola
Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.