Casting “Pose,” an FX drama about African American and Latino LGTBQ ballroom culture is a tricky balancing act, and it took a particularly keen eye for talent to pull it off with any degree of authenticity. One of the many reasons “Pose” has been critically acclaimed is due to its cast, who bring the glitziness of the show’s ballroom culture and quieter family scenes to life with remarkable sincerity.
“Pose” features a predominantly trans cast—the show’s creators claim it is the largest cast of transgender actors in regular series roles—and it is unafraid of diving into LGTBQ and trans issues that most shows on major networks wouldn’t dare to discuss. The show’s unapologetic mix of drama, extravagant ballroom scenes and underdiscussed social issues are part of why “Pose” earned three Emmy nominations, including for outstanding casting, last month. Although there’s plenty of on-screen extravaganza to behold in the show’s two seasons, much of its success can be attributed to one woman behind the scenes.
Casting director Alexa Fogel was responsible for bringing the series’ acting talent together, and her work on “Pose” garnered one of her two Emmy nominations for outstanding casting last month. The longtime casting director also received an Emmy nomination for casting Netflix’s crime drama “Ozark.”
Fogel is at the stage in her career where she can be selective on what projects she wants to pursue, but it didn’t take long for her to jump at the opportunity to bring her talents to “Pose.” She told IndieWire in a recent interview that the prospect of recruiting trans actors for “Pose” that could bring series creator Ryan Murphy’s vision of 1980s seemed like a challenging, albeit compelling, prospect.
“With ‘Pose,’ it was the challenge of finding the cast,” Fogel said. “I was so up for the challenge of finding these women, I didn’t want anyone else to do it. It was exciting and daunting because you don’t know where characters like Elektra (Dominique Jackson), who speak in two-page monologues in the original script, will end up going once cast.”
It was a challenge, but one Fogel was well-equipped to handle. The three-time Emmy winner and eight-time nominee has been involved in casting for over two decades and has worked on shows including “The Wire” and “Atlanta.” Though the job hasn’t changed much since Fogel earned her first Emmy nomination for casting in “NYPD Blue” in 1994, she …read more