“I think the ultimate gift of the show is that it has made people in the trans community feel seen and represented in this world in a way they have never been represented before,” declares hairstylist and designer Barry Lee Moe about FX’s “Pose.” The Emmy-winning drama about ball culture in New York is currently airing its third and final season. For Moe, an Emmy winner for his work on the Netflix limited series “Hollywood,” working on “Pose” has been a life changing experience. As he says in our exclusive video interview (watch above), “I’ve walked away from this project with a better understanding of who I was and how my existence in this world affects other people.”
A big part of Moe’s process involves close collaboration with his actors, particularly leading ladies Mj Rodriguez and Dominique Jackson. “A huge part of my process is communicating with the actors about what they envision when they read the script,” he explains. “I think it’s unfair to ever just place a look on someone– whether it’s a costume, a hairstyle or makeup– without consulting with the actor, because they’re the ones on camera. And if you really want to have an authentic, inspired look that that works, you need input from the person that is going to be wearing it.”
“Pose” is one of several of projects that have paired Moe with Ryan Murphy. When asked what it is about Murphy that attracts such loyalty from craftspeople, Moe is blunt in his assessment. “Ryan is a visionary,” he exclaims. “He creates this foundation for creatives that sets your imagination off and makes you want to just start exploring the designs and to really dive into the process.”
With “Pose” coming to an end, Moe reflects on the show’s impact on the queer community. “For people who are cis-gender, it has opened their eyes to a world that they thought something different of” he says. “For transgender people, I think it has allowed them to breathe a little bit and to feel seen and to see themselves on television.” However, Moe also describes the impact the show has had on his own place in the world. “I’ve learned a lot about who I am,” he explains. “Ultimately I think that I’ve walked away a better person. I’ve learned so much about how we can all come together and not focus so much on what is getting me down today and really take a moment to look next to me and consider how the people standing next to you might be feeling in this moment and to try to care more about the people around you and not so much about yourself.”
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