Ryan Murphy’s groundbreaking new series, “Pose,” will expose New York City’s ballroom culture, and actress Indya Moore says it’ll be inspiring for the transgender community and beyond.
Moore stars in one of the series’ leading roles as Angel, someone she describes as being “empathetic, sweet and grounded.” The gig is the trans actress’ first major role since being cast in the breakout film “Saturday Church,” which also focuses on the city’s LGBTQ community.
“‘Pose’ and ‘Saturday Church’ display great examples of how important family is,” she says. “They deeply explore the freedom to express one’s self and both projects reaffirm how art plays a significant role in the definition of culture.”
While many LGBTQ projects, including “Saturday Church,” explore a struggle with gender identity, Murphy’s 1980s-set musical series will center around a group of trans people who are confident in who they are. The project is seen as a chance to redefine this trans representation in the media.
“I see storytelling as a powerful tool for deconstructing social and racial hierarchies,” Moore said. “People are much more inspired at this time to cultivate universal stories featuring the least respected or seen among us.”
The women, including Angel, are “beyond the struggle with their bodies, with people calling them by their right name,” writer-producer Janet Mock said at the Television Critics Association press tour earlier this month. The series will follow its group through expressive ballroom competitions.
If you’re unfamiliar, NYC’s ball culture (detailed in the 1990 documentary “Paris Is Burning”) is made up of houses, or “chosen families,” where glammed-up groups join in on competitive voguing. As a member of the House of Xtravaganza, Moore was more than ready to take on the role.
Murphy opened his talent search to local houses for authenticity, and Moore was offered the chance to audition for the role through talent agent Lisa Calli, who worked on “Saturday Church.”
Though Moore hesitates to divulge much more about the script, she says her relatable character has “gone through so much.”
“But, she has lasting dreams of being loved and respected,” she adds, which she’s expected to chase as the episodes go on.
The eight-episode series from the creator of “American Horror Story” and “Glee” was picked up by FX in December. It made history with the highest number of transgender actors cast as series regulars in any scripted TV show to date. According to a statement from Murphy, the debut season will feature more than 50 LGBTQ characters.
Moore will star alongside Kate Mara, Jeremy McClain, Angelica Ross and Ryan Jamaal Swain in all eight episodes. James Van Der Beek (“Dawson’s Creek”), MJ Rodriguez (“Saturday Church”) and Evan Peters (“American Horror Story”) are also set to appear in guest roles.
Still in preproduction, the series is expected to begin filming in February to meet a slated summer release.