Pose Cast on New Season 2 Challenges, the Show's Continued Importance and Emmy Buzz

Mj Rodriguez, Billy Porter and more give E! News the scoop on what's to come on their FX series

By Chris Harnick Jun 11, 2019 4:44 PMTags
Watch: Billy Porter Teases How Season 2 of "Pose" Will Start--Madonna Is Involved!

Pose isn't just a groundbreaking TV show, it's also a good TV show.

FX's period drama following the lives of several LGBTQ characters returns for a second season and the times, they are a-changing…meaning there's a time-jump. The action in season two picks up in 1990 when Madonna's "Vogue" just hit the airwaves and the AIDS crisis is still raging on.

"It's going to get deeper, there's going to be some riff raff, there's going to be some separations, there's going to be some coming together, and it's just going to be a lot of growth within the season. A lot of people are growing, a lot of people are maturing," Mj Rodriguez told E! News at Pose's FYC event. Rodriguez specifically teased her character, Blanca, will be growing into her role of mother of the Evangelista house.

"Now she's established herself…she's grown older, she's matured a bit more, now she's taking care of her kids fully and wholly by herself," Rodriguez teased.

The second season introduces new characters, including one played by Patti LuPone, while developing the existing characters in new ways. A lot can change in a few years and the 1990s bring thrilling new challenges for Blanca, Pray Tell (Billy Porter), Elektra (Dominique Jackson), Angel (Indya Moore), Lil Papi (Angel Bismark Curiel), Ricky (Dyllon Burnside), Lulu (Hailie Sahar), Candy (Angelica Ross), Helena (Charlayne Woodard), Judy (Sandra Bernhard) and Damon (Ryan Jamaal Swain).


Pose features the largest cast of transgender actors ever. The series spotlights the struggles of being transgender in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but those issues are still relevant to 2019.

Remember These LGBTQ Firsts on TV?

"We're not one-dimensional anymore, we're three and five-dimensional characters. People can see different types of stories. There's not one trans woman on this show, there's five trans women and they're leading women, and we don't have that in multi-media today. It's good to see all of those stories…it gives us a lens of what our lives are like," Rodriguez said.

Porter, said the show has opened his eyes to another part of his community.

"I just think first of all, the idea that you have LGBTQ people of color whose stories are at the forefront. We are the ones it is about. That's new, that's fresh, that's never been done before. Then you have the whole transgender thing, which as a…gay man, I had to come to terms with the ‘t' in LBGTQ was largely absent from my knowledge. I didn't know a lot about it…everybody is being schooled on what it feels like to live as a transgender human being. It's a really, really profound lesson," Porter said.

The series is getting Emmy buzz for its first season. It previously was nominated for a Golden Globe, as was Porter for his work in the series. An Emmy nomination would mean a lot, Rodriguez said.

"That means our stories are finally being put on a level where they can actually be taken seriously. It means that our lives will be taken seriously, there's more awareness about our lives, we don't have to be policed anymore, we can actually live out our dreams and not actually be subjected to one type of casting or one type of way of living. The list goes on, but we are on a plateau now where we never probably never would've been seven years ago," she said.

Click play on the video above to hear more from the Pose cast.

Pose season two premieres Tuesday, June 11 at 10 p.m. on FX.

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