Ryan Murphy is an industry veteran, and his experience shone as he moderated the “Pose” PaleyFest panel Saturday night. Alternating between personal insights and newsy revelations, the co-creator and executive producer of FX’s groundbreaking drama got the most out of his time in Dolby Theater.
On the news front, Murphy revealed the setting of Season 2 as well as some new cast members. “Season 2 is very exciting,” Murphy said. “It starts in 1990 — the day Madonna releases ‘Vogue,’ and along with our wonderful [returning] cast, we have wonderful additions. Sandra Bernhard is a series regular.”
“Pose” Season 1 took place in 1987 and 1988. Dominique Jackson summed up the cast’s position — who were surprised by every announcement of the night — when she said, “I have no idea what’s going on, but for Season 2 I honestly trust in the writing and realize that sometimes we have to let go.”
Murphy surprised actress Mj Rodriguez by telling her she would be sharing “many, many, many scenes” with Tony-winner Patti Lupone in Season 2. “And so do you Billy Porter,” he said. “You can show off your Tonys and have a good time.”
Murphy didn’t go into details about who she would be playing, but he wasn’t through with announcements. Later in the night, he informed the audience that “Pose” director, writer, and co-EP Janet Mock would also helm an episode of his upcoming Netflix series, “The Politician,” and a few of that cast will make their way to “Pose,” as well.
“How do you also feel about directing Bette Midler and Judith Light?” Murphy said. “That’s my diva update.”
Murphy, a big fan of musical theater, has stacked his cast with Tony winners. Midler won the 2017 Tony Award for “Hello, Dolly!”, while Light and Lupone have both won two Tonys: Light for “Other Desert Cities” in 2012 and “The Assembled Parties” in 2013, and Lupone won Tonys in 1980 (for her performance in “Evita”) and again in 2008 (for the musical “Gypsy). Porter, meanwhile, won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role as Lola in “Kinky Boots.”
Murphy also said Our Lady J, Steven Canals, and Billy Porter would make their directorial debuts this season. All three were on hand for the panel, along with Rodriguez, Mock, Jackson, and Indya Moore. “Pose” Season 1 is eligible for this year’s Emmys — as Murphy is well aware — and Season 2 is expected to debut in “early June” 2019. PaleyFest 2019 runs from March 15 – 24. Tickets are on sale now, and events can be streamed online, as well.