Before producer Ryan Murphy starts his Netflix deal, he still has horizons to explore for the networks that have been his television homes.
The mentor of “American Horror Story,” “American Crime Story” and “Glee” offers another cutting-edge drama as FX's “Pose” premieres Sunday, June 3. Set in New York circa 1986, the “dance musical” examines various facets of the city's society as mirrored by a New Jersey couple (played by Kate Mara and Evan Peters) drawn to the locale. Also featuring James Van Der Beek and Charlayne Woodard, “Pose” includes the largest number of transgender performers yet cast as scripted-series regulars, with Dominique Jackson and Indya Moore among them.
Murphy explains his starting point for “Pose” – along with fellow executive producers Brad Falchuk and Nina Jacobson, and co-creators Falchuk and Steven Canals – was “Paris Is Burning,” the award-winning 1990 documentary about the New York drag scene during the 1980s.
“I felt it was very difficult to take those people that were iconic and make sort of fictionalized versions of their lives,” Murphy recalls. “We put it aside, then we got Steven's script, and I thought that was the perfect way to do it. It was, to me, more interesting and more authentic. However, the survivors of 'Paris Is Burning' are involved in our show. Many of the scenes and incidents are based on stories that they have told us, which was very exciting for me ... because they were rock stars to me when I was growing up.”
“Pose” co-star Jackson says, “This is really an amazing experience for all of us, to be seen as actors that can actually work professionally.”
Mara says she was interested in “Pose” because she “was excited to work with Ryan again. This is our third time working together. He called me and sort of told me what this show was going to be about. And really, before I knew who my character was, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I just thought, “Wow, I would be so honored and proud to be a part of history.' ”