Pose gives us a lot, and its because the actors put so much into it. We are treated to exhilarating highs, often with the ballroom scenes — or one of Elektra Wintour's thrilling reads — and then faced with sobering lows. The duality is one of typical life, but certainly within the Black queer and trans communities in the 80s and 90s. But in season two of the FX show which is currently streaming on Netflix, one of those lows came with the death of Candy Ferocity, played by Angelica Ross.
On the series, Ferocity was killed by a client in a story similar not only to that of Paris Is Burning's Venus Xtravaganza but countless unnamed trans women. But in a new virtual roundtable, the cast who played a part int he episode revealed that the tears we saw on screen weren't all acting.
“Before we started filming, I brought into the room with me — into the funeral scene — a list of names," Ross said during Variety’s Virtual TV Fest’s Pose panel. "Before we started filming, I read all of the names of the trans women who had died that year. I brought their names into the space and I encouraged everyone to just use this moment to be cathartic.” The cast was informed of the death of Muhlaysia Booker, who was shot and killed in Dallas, that day.
It made filming emotional according to Mj Rodriguez.
"There were times even outside of the scene where there was setup, I would watch and look at the casket and cry," she said. "It just triggered a lot of things that happened to a lot of women like us. It was a hard scene for me just delivering it, let alone seeing it.”
For Janet Mock, who co-wrote the episode, a part of the point of the episode was showing the ongoing epidemic of violence against trans women of color. That said, it was also important to celebrate Candy. And though at the beginning of the episode she tries (unsuccessfully) to vogue in a Madonna inspired look — which was amazing we would like to point out — by the episode's end she has a true moment to shine in a lip sync to "Never Knew Love Like This Before."
“The one thing about that episode and the way that Candy’s sendoff spoke volumes is the fact that our community usually comes together at drag bars and stuff like that for church,” Dominique Jackson said. “In this kind of manner, we actually tapped into the survival of a lot of trans women, which is having to do performance shows whatever stage you’re at.”