Ryan Murphy’s ‘Pose’ Makes History With Largest Cast of Series-Regular Transgender Actors

Pose cast
Clockwise from top left: Angelica Ross, Billy Porter, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Hailie Sahar, Ryan Jamaal Swain, MJ Rodriguez, Dyllon Burnside

FX announced that it has cast the largest number of transgender actors ever in series-regular roles for a scripted series with Ryan Murphy‘s new drama Pose. Casting director Alexa Fogel, known for her work on FX’s Atlanta, found the cast after a six-month nationwide search.

Pose is set in 1980s America and “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.”

FX revealed in a press release that the roles include: “MJ Rodriguez (as 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 (playing Angel) in Saturday Church at the Tribeca Film Festival.

“Dominique Jackson (as Elektra) is a fashion model and icon in the current New York ball scene. Hailie Sahar (who will play Lulu) has been seen on Mr. Robot and Transparent. Angelica Ross (as 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 (as Damon), who recently filmed God’s Rock. Billy Porter (set to play Pray Tell) is currently reprising his Tony-winning role as “Lola” in Kinky Boots on Broadway. Dyllon Burnside (as Ricky) was seen in Holler If Ya Hear Me on Broadway.”

Murphy created the show with Brad Falchuk, with whom he worked with on Glee and American Horror Story, and Steven Canals. Canals is also at the helm of writing the series’ scripts along with Our Lady J, known for Transparent, and Janet Mock, who is a transgender rights activist and a New York Times best-selling author.

“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,” said 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.”

FX says that further casting for Pose will be announced soon. Production on the series is set to begin in New York City this November; no word yet on when the series will premiere.

It was just announced that Evan Peters, Kate Mara, James Van Der Beek and Tatiana Maslany have joined the pilot. The Hollywood Reporter was first to report.