After a six month search for trans talent led by casting director Alexa Fogel (“Atlanta”), Ryan Murphy (“American Horror Story”) made history Wednesday by assembling the largest cast of trans actors in series regular roles ever in scripted television history. All will be playing authentic trans characters. *cue excited screaming*
“POSE,” an upcoming FX series, takes us back to the 1980s ball scene in New York City, juxtaposed against Trump-era luxury and general life and society in New York. Murphy co-created the series with Steven Canals and Brad Falchuck, with Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson of Murphy’s “American Crime Story,” Alexis Martin Woodall (“The Normal Heart”), and Sherry Nash (“Vikings”) as executive producers. Learn more about the new stars of “POSE” below.
MJ Rodriguez (“Luke Cage”), seen above, is a theater and film actress, appearing in “Nurse Jackie,” “The Carrie Diaries,” and “Luke Cage.” She was most recently seen in “Saturday Church” at the Tribeca Film Festival and will play Blanca.
Rodriguez starred alongside Indya Moore, who will play Angel in the upcoming FX series.
Dominique Jackson is a fashion model and legendary child in the New York ball scene. She will be playing Elektra.
Hailie Sahar has appeared on hit shows “Mr. Robot” and “Transparent.” She will play Lulu.
Angelica Ross also appeared on “Transparent” and “Claws,” and will play Candy in “POSE.” All five actors will be playing trans characters.
Additionally, Ryan Jamaal Swain (“God’s Rock”) has been cast as Damon alongside Broadway actors Billy Porter (“Kinky Boots”) and Dyllon Burnside (“Holla If Ya Hear Me”), who will play Pray Tell and Ricky.
But that’s not all. In an effort to accurately portray New York City’s ball scene, writers Canals, Our Lady J (“Transparent”) and trans activist Janet Mock brought in the true experts. Michael Roberson, Twiggy Pucci Garçon, Hector Xtravaganza, Skylar King and Sol Williams, of which latter three were in 1980s ball culture, serve as show consultants.
Trans activist director Silas Howard will serve as co-executive producer on “POSE.” In collaboration with Murphy’s Half Initiative, “POSE” will employ trans directors to be mentored through his Directing Mentorship Program. Leiomy Maldonado and Danielle Polanco will choreograph “POSE’s” ball scenes; Maldonado is known as the “Wonder Woman of Vogue,” while Polanco has choreographed for Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.
Canals said of the series’ casting decisions, behind the scenes and before the camera:
“We are thrilled that POSE pushes the narrative forward by centering on the unique and under-told experiences of trans women and gay people of color. Ryan has assembled a strong team of storytellers and innovators to collaborate on telling this important narrative. As a Bronx-bred queer writer of color, I’m honored to aid in ushering this groundbreaking show into homes.”
Production for “POSE’s” pilot begins in November in New York City. Further casting will be announced in the near future.