After three action-packed seasons, ‘Pose’ climaxed in a blaze of glory with its penultimate episode.
As fans wave goodbye to the gripping (and game-changing) ballroom drama, three of its central figures assemble for a stunning Harper’s Bazaar feature spread.
MJ Rodriguez and Indya Moore, who play Blanca and Angel Evangelista respectively, are joined by Janet Mock who – in her role as executive producer and writer – serves as one of the show’s driving forces.
Fan-favorite Dominque Jackson (Elekra) was set to appear alongside the ladies on the cover but fell ill on the day of shooting. Still, she joins the trio (remotely) in weighing in on the impact of ‘Pose.’ An impact that is just as resonant with them as it is with the viewing public.
Head below for pics and quotes…
MJ Rodriguez On Her Personal Journey:
“I had let the world know about my transness before, but it was on a smaller scale. But being a part of something like this? I asked myself: “Are you willing to put yourself out on a limb and also be ready for the possible backlash? Because you are not only a trans woman, but also a Latina and African American woman. Are you truly ready?” So I was nervous but also diligent in knowing my message and purpose when it came to Pose, which was to show who we are and what we’ve done, not only from 1987 through 1994 [when the show is set] but what we’re capable of now and in the future. And the fact that I got to work with you women and stand in solidarity at these events that people never thought they would see us at, to stand in our power, to stand in knowing who we are and affirming our positions? I was ready. More than ready.”
Indya Moore On Embracing The Spotlight:
“I’ve always been uncomfortable with referring to myself as a “star.” I’ve never allowed myself to because, I don’t know, I felt like it just wouldn’t be healthy. But when I saw myself on a TV screen as Angel, it was so hard not to feel like, “Oh, my God, I’m a star.””
Janet Mock On Being Unapologetic:
“I’m so glad that you were able to see yourself onscreen and belike, “B*tch, I am a star.” Because it’s necessary. We have to own that. We have to hold it. Writing and directing for you ladies has been the greatest gift of my life. I don’t know if I’m going to have a more creatively fulfilled experience than working on Pose with you all. It’s the legacy of our foremothers who, when no one offered them anything, made their own shit up and showed up and showed out, and made their dreams come true with no societal acceptance or any kind of resources. To me, Pose is a love letter to those women and to those people who made magic out of nothing.”
Dominique Jackson On Her Path To The Role Of Elektra Abundance:
“I had settled into understanding that there were certain levels in life that I would never get to. I did Strut [the 2016 reality show about trans models], executive-produced by Whoopi Goldberg and Tom Leonardis. And I faced the age barrier because I was already 40 years old. Whoopi had to fight for me. People were ready to see me audition, but as soon as they heard my age, they thought: “You’re Black. You’re trans. You’re an immigrant. And you’re 40?” And in my head I’m going, “But just look at me!”
And so I went to the first audition, and I dressed up. I remembered Octavia Saint Laurent and Danielle Revlon, and how they represented and how they came forth, and it was so bold. I went in and I knew every single line off-book. The scene was the read Elektra delivers to Blanca [bragging] about her cheekbones.
[Casting director Alexa L. Fogel] and her assistant just exchanged these looks, and I’m standing there thinking, “Just give me my 10’s and let me move on.” I was not expecting a callback. I thought: “You just got your Green Card, you already have a job, you’ve already been blessed. You’re asking for too much.” And I have to be really intimate with you all right now. At the time I was also in the process of fulfilling a lifelong dream: completing my gender-affirming surgery. [When I got my callback], I picked up my heels, and I said to myself: “If you put on these heels, you could pop these stitches. You could end up back in the hospital.” I didn’t have much money, so I borrowed some for a cab. I was in tears because once I put on my heels, I didn’t feel as comfortable in them as I normally do. I was in pain. But I walked into the room and something just clicked.
I cried going home also, not because I was in pain but because I accomplished something. I showed up. I pushed through. And when I got the call that I had the part, as someone who didn’t have the means to go to acting school, it was the most joyous, most validating accomplishment that any person could have.”
As for our sentiments after the ‘Pose’ series finale:
— ThatGrapeJuice (Sam) (@thatgrapejuice) June 7, 2021