NEW YORK – The big flashy red carpet has made its return to New York City — albeit in a massive socially distant manner — with the premiere of the third and final season of the FX series, “Pose.”
Series co-creator Ryan Murphy considers the energy of his inclusive cast perfect for celebrating a return to normalcy after a devastating pandemic shut the city down for more than a year, but that’s not the only reason.
Murphy calls the series — which resumes Sunday — a “love letter to so many things.”
He said the New York-based show on the underground ballroom dance scene represents one of his proudest accomplishments because it boasts the biggest LGBTQ cast in history.
“‘Pose’ to me was a very personal show, for one, because when I started off in my career in 1997, '98, I was not even allowed to have a single gay character because the networks were so afraid of that at the time,” Murphy said.
Since that time, Murphy has created award-winning television series that include “Glee,” “American Horror Story,” and “Hollywood” But it’s “Pose” that stands out.
“I’m very proud of the legacy of the show, which in many ways is more important than the show itself, I think. But I love it. It’s one of the things that I’m the most proud that I’ve ever done,” Murphy said.
The event Thursday was held indoors at Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Thee were plastic barriers between photographers and the stars and reporters were kept 4 feet apart.
Billy Porter, who won an Emmy for his role as Pray Tell on the series was thrilled to celebrate the final season in “normal” fashion after being “locked up for a long time” due to the pandemic.
“There’s a light at the end of the tunnel and maybe we can all breathe again. And I hope that we all come out of this a little bit different,” Porter said before heading into the screening.
He added: “I hope we’ve learned something, and we could be a little different.”
“Pose” tells the story of the city's underground ball culture, with the first season taking place on the mid-1980s, and the second in 1990. In the final season, it’s 1994 and the AIDS epidemic is taking its toll on the community.
In addition to its inclusivity with actors of color and the LBGTQ community, “‘Pose” also features the largest cast of transgender actors as series regulars, including Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Hailie Sahar and Indya Moore.
Moore, who is transgender and non-binary, struggled as a teen with unsupportive parents forcing, they to leave home at 14 to live in the foster system.
So, a show that prominently features trans characters brings tears to Moore’s eyes.
“I don’t have any words," Moore said. “I think that the size of what this means to me, I just can’t get it out into words.”