Ryan Murphy Casts Five Transgender Actors for New FX Pilot, Pose!

POSE — Pictured: MJ Rodriguez as Blanca. CR: FX

A nationwide search has culminated in the casting of five transgender actors for Ryan Murphy’s new FX series, Pose.

Set in the 1980s, Pose looks at the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York: the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe, the downtown social and literary scene and the ball culture world.

The cast includes transgender actors M.J. Rodriguez (above), Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, Hailie Sahar and Angelica Ross.

The Pose pilot goes into production in November in New York City.

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LOS ANGELES, CA October 25, 2017 — Ryan Murphy, the Emmy® and Golden Globe® award-winning producer behind FEUD, American Crime Story and American Horror Story has set several series regulars for his new FX Networks show POSE. Set in the 1980s, POSE looks at the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York: the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe, the downtown social and literary scene and the ball culture world. Murphy co-created the show with Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals. Murphy’s American Crime Story collaborators Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and the upcoming The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story) also serve as executive producers. Alexis Martin Woodall (The Normal Heart, FEUD, American Horror Story) and Sherry Marsh (Vikings) will additionally serve as executive producers of the series.  The series will be produced by Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions.

After a six-month nationwide search helmed by casting director Alexa Fogel (Atlanta), Murphy and his collaborators are making television history by assembling the largest cast of transgender actors in series regular roles ever for a scripted series.

MJ Rodriguez (Blanca) is a theater and film actress who has appeared on Nurse Jackie, The Carrie Diaries, Luke Cage and was recently featured with Indya Moore (Angel) in Saturday Church at the Tribeca Film Festival. Dominique Jackson (Elektra) is a fashion model and icon in the current New York ball scene. Hailie Sahar (Lulu) has been seen on Mr. Robot and Transparent. Angelica Ross (Candy) was recently on Transparent as well as on several episodes of Claws. All will be playing authentic transgender characters.

Additional casting for the series includes Ryan Jamaal Swain (Damon), who recently filmed God’s Rock. Billy Porter (Pray Tell) is currently reprising his Tony® award-winning role as “Lola” in Kinky Boots on Broadway. Dyllon Burnside (Ricky) was seen in Holler If Ya Hear Me on Broadway.

Further casting will be announced soon.

Co-creator Steven Canals has been writing scripts for the series with Our Lady J (Transparent) as well as with transgender rights activist and New York Times best-selling author Janet Mock. The writers have also brought on ball culture consultants Michael Roberson and Twiggy Pucci Garçon to help populate the series with people from within the New York ball community, as well as to help develop authentic ball world stories to be featured in the show.

Hector Xtravaganza, Skylar King and Sol Williams — participants in the ball culture world of the 1980s — will also serve as POSE consultants.

Trans activist director Silas Howard will serve as the Co-Executive Producer for the series. In conjunction with Ryan Murphy’s Half Initiative, the series will be bringing on emerging transgender directors to be mentored through his Directing Mentorship Program.

Leiomy Maldonado (known as the “Wonder Woman of Vogue”) and Danielle Polanco will be choreographing the series’ ball scenes. Polanco has choreographed for Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.

“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,” says Canals. “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.”

The pilot of POSE goes into production in November in New York City.