On June 2, 2018, FX premiered Pose, a drama that put the spotlight on the ball culture of New York City in the ’80s. The series created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals made television history with the largest number of transgender actors in series regular roles for a scripted series. In addition, it put narratives of LGBTQ people of color front and center in a way that hasn’t been done before — and actress Mj Rodriguez was the moral center of it all.
Rodriguez, who was part of the culture-defining ball scene in real life, has a theater and music background, having attended Berklee College of Music. She appeared in theater productions including an Off-Broadway edition of Rent and most recently starring in the Pasadena Playhouse production of Little Shop of Horrors. On the TV side, her credits include Nurse Jackie, The Carrie Diaries and Luke Cage. She also appeared in the indie film Saturday Church and the pic Adam. But it was Pose that changed the game for Rodriguez.
For two seasons, we have seen Rodriguez play Blanca, an ambitious, strong, talented and caring mother of the House of Evangelista. From the beginning, her character is the heart and soul of the show — and it continues in the third and final season (debuting May 2) which takes place in 1994, during the peak of the AIDS crisis. The new season will see Blanca struggle to balance her life as a mother, her new relationship and her new job as a nurse’s aid.
Rodriguez stopped by Deadline’s New Hollywood podcast to talk about saying goodbye to her character Blanca and Pose, what to expect for the final season, her music career and how much she loves Cinnabon. Listen to the episode below.