'Pose' Star Angelica Ross Had 'Mixed Emotions' Over Character's Tragic Fate

In a new interview with “E! True Hollywood Story,” the trans performer and rights advocate reflects on her star-making role.

As the series finale of FX’s “Pose” draws near, Angelica Ross is looking back on the role that catapulted her to fame.

Next week, “E! True Hollywood Story” will honor LGBTQ Pride Month with a special episode, “Transgender in Hollywood.” HuffPost caught a sneak peek at the episode with the above clip, in which Ross opens up about the personal connection she felt with her “Pose” character, ballroom icon Candy Ferocity.

In a heartbreaking twist that shocked many fans, Candy was murdered in a Season 2 episode that aired in 2019. It was a pivotal, if divisive, moment for the show, and Ross said she had “mixed emotions” upon learning about her character’s fate.

Ultimately, it was series co-creator Ryan Murphy who convinced Ross that Candy’s demise was intended to depict the real-life violence that transgender women of color face around the world. Of course, that didn’t make saying goodbye to the character any easier.

Angelica Ross as Candy Ferocity on FX's "Pose."
Angelica Ross as Candy Ferocity on FX's "Pose."

“Candy is a dark-skinned, Black trans woman who gets overlooked a lot, so I brought all my pain into the ballroom of being that dark-skinned girl,” Ross explained. “Part of me wanted to ask, ’But why? Why me? Why Candy? Who not you? Do you think you’re that special that the violence won’t end up at your front door?’”

Ross is one of several artists profiled on “Transgender in Hollywood,” which debuts next week. Miranda Weiss, who is director of production and development for NBCUniversal Television, said she hopes the episode will relay how much trans representation in the film and TV industry has shifted over the past decade, while also demonstrating the need for improvement.

“Progress can be such a slow journey and so hard to have faith in, but this episode of ‘True Hollywood Story’ feels like a really inspirational one when we talk about what transgender representation in mainstream media looked like only 10 or 15 years ago — you can see the needle moving,” Weiss said. “The path isn’t always clear, but if we have faith and community we can make real impactful change for the generations that come after us.”

E! True Hollywood Story will air its “Transgender in Hollywood” episode June 7.

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