Interview: Steven Canals on shooting under COVID, creating history and closing the door on ‘Pose’ [VIDEO]
“How exhausting is that, always having to fight to just exist.”
When Pose debuted on FX in June of 2018 a revolution was born. It wasn’t simply that the stories of trans women, of Black and brown queer people hadn’t been shown like this before but the casting of Black and Latina trans women in those roles was itself groundbreaking. For co-creator Steven Canals this was only the beginning.
From the beginnings of ball and house culture in New York City, to the “Vogue” explosion to how HIV ravaged a community and a generation, Canals and his creative team of Ryan Murphy, Janet Mock and Our Lady J set out to tell the stories of the untold and to shine a light on talent unseen in Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Angel Bismark Curiel, Indya Moore, Hailie Sahar, Angelica Ross, Dyllon Burnside and of course, Emmy winner Billy Porter. He gave them a stage and a springboard and gave the world a glimpse of life and humanity during the pivotal late 80s to mid 90s of queer life.
“We’re not reinventing the wheel, we’ve seen these stories before. But we haven’t seen them from these people.”
In my conversation with Canals in early June, we talked about the difficulties of shooting under COVID, giving Elektra and the girls their ‘Pretty Woman’ moment, the bridesmaid dinner featuring 30 Black, Latin and Asian icons of the ball community, the glorious two-episode wedding arc between Angel and Papi (“we all just want the same thing!”), saying goodbye to Pose and what’s next.
Pose season 3 is currently available to stream on FX. Steven Canals is Emmy eligible for Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series.
Photos courtesy of Steven Canals’ IG