Watch enough Ryan Murphy shows, and you know what you’ll encounter: Sarah Paulson’s wry smile, Evan Peters’ sulk, Jessica Lange’s side-eye. Pose, out 3rd June on FX (UK release date tbc), defies all those expectations. In the show, Murphy unveils a cast of electrifying newcomers to the Murphy Universe (plus Evan Peters, because it’s not a Ryan Murphy show without Evan Peters).
Pose’s cast makes television history. The series, set in the drag ball scene of 1987 New York, has broken the record for the highest number of trans actors in series regular roles. All five trans actors will be playing trans characters. Dominique Jackson plays the unforgettably fierce Elektra Abundance, the house “mother" who guards over her “children” with control and a competitive spirit. Blanca (MJ Rodriguez) plays Elektra’s HIV-positive “child” who breaks out to form her own house, and goes head-to-head with Elektra on the ball floor.
While Blanca and Elektra’s rivalry is the churning centre of the show’s action, the series' other characters are just as memorable. With Pose, Murphy has carved a space in the TV landscape for trans actors and queer actors of colour. “This is one of the best casts I’ve ever worked with," Murphy told Vox. "Many of them, when we were shooting, had never been in front of a camera. That was more exciting to me, to be blunt — to make stars and create opportunities."