Though Tatiana Maslany was initially cast in Ryan Murphy’s new FX drama Pose, the Orphan Black alum was missing from the cast list when the project was ordered to series — and now we know why.
Pose, which features the most trans series regulars ever on an American television show, is set in 1980s New York City and focuses on the collision of various segments of society, including the elite rich and ballroom culture.
Back in October, it was announced that Maslany would be playing a modern dance teacher, but the role ended up being re-conceived and rewritten to be a 50-year-old African-American woman now being played by Charlayne Woodard.
“I love Tatiana and we’re friendly. We had talked about her interest in the show and I had wanted to work with her,” Murphy explained to reporters at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour Friday. “When we got into the shooting of the pilot, it just became apparent to me that she’s a very young woman. I felt, working with our young cast, that we needed an older figure in that world to be the dance teacher, someone who is of a different generation who is more of a mentor opposed to a peer. It was very easy and we all agreed it was the right choice for the show.
“Sometimes when you’re making a show, you recast people when you’re in the middle of shooting it if you feel like we don’t have this ingredient,” Murphy continues. “This show does have an element of shows that I grew up loving, like Fame, so we needed a Debbie Allen character, to be blunt, and that’s what we decided to do.”
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Still, Murphy has high hopes that he will team up with Maslany in the future. “I love her and I want to work with her in something desperately and I will,” he says. “I’m going to keep trying to come up with something for her. I think she’s fantastic.”
The series, which stars Hailie Sahar, Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, Angelica Ross, M.J. Rodriguez, Evan Peters, Kate Mara, and James Van Der Beek, is slated to debut in the summer.