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‘Pose’ Stars Billy Porter & Mj Rodriguez Talk Saying Goodbye To FX’s Groundbreaking Drama And How The Show Impacted Them – Contenders TV

·2-min read

This year marks the third and final season of FX’s groundbreaking series Pose, which was co-created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals. The drama, which premiered in 2015, broke ground with the largest transgender cast in TV history as it put the spotlight on the underground ballroom culture that thrived during the 1980s and ’90s in New York. In addition, Pose moved the needle for LGBTQ representation — specifically queer people of color — as it gave opportunities in front of and behind the camera to those communities.

That said, with the drama ending its run, it is definitely an end of an era.

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“It’s bittersweet,” said Emmy-winning star Billy Porter, who was joined by co-star Mj Rodriguez at Deadline’s Contenders Television awards-season event. “But we’re the first to be here — we kicked down the door.”

Porter said the show’s creators wanted to end the series when the antiretroviral drugs for HIV came out in 1996 — and that’s when the final season takes place. To be more specific, Season 3 kicks off in 1994. Pray Tell is navigating his new life amid changes in the ballroom scene and the AIDS landscape. Meanwhile, Blanca (Rodriguez) is balancing being a mother to her house, her new career as a nurse’s aide, and a new boyfriend.

Rodriguez, who has seen a remarkable glow up in her role as Blanca, jokes that after three seasons on a show, she has learned to be prepared to be on a set for hours a day.

“The times spent on the show, I have learned there is a newfound sense of knowing,” she said. “The characters on the show, specifically Blanca, have really taught me to be transparent and, more so than anything, be a leader.”

“I didn’t have full actualized confidence at the beginning of the show,” she added. “Throughout the first and all the way through the third season, I found this newfound confidence and this sense of being able to just be there, present and in the forefront.”

Check out the conversation in the video above.

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