Dominique Jackson experienced depression after accepting her now-iconic role on Pose.
Although the actress has widespread acclaim for her performance as the fiery and quick-witted Elektra Wintour on the Ryan Murphy-led series, and is regarded as one of the drama’s breakout stars, she had reservations about playing the character due to her ‘antagonistic’ nature.
In a recent interview with V Magazine, Jackson admitted: “When I first read for the auditions, I saw the power in her, but when we actually convened on set and I had to deliver those lines to beautiful Blanca and speak to my children that way—it was so far off from me.”
Jackson said the realisation that Elektra was Pose’s antagonist was “hard”, and although she pushed through it and delivered (arguably) one of the greatest characters on television, she experienced “a bit of depression from it”.
“I felt like ‘Oh my gosh, the world is going to hate me and I’m always going to be the bad guy,'” she explained, before recalling an experience with a fan of the series who was unable to separate her personality from Elektra’s.
“I was outside of Saks [one day] and this Caribbean woman comes up to me and she says to me ‘Oh, you play Elektra!’ and she just goes off on me!” she said.
“She’s like ‘You’re not acting! That is who you are! You are a wicked woman! How could you do that to Blanca?’ And she read me to filth. But in that instance, I had to stop and think, you know what? She’s not separating Elektra from Dominique.
“So I smiled and said ‘Well thank you, ma’am. You’re letting me know that I’m doing a good job,’ and that was how I was kind of able to overcome that.”
Jackson reevaluated Elektra – who she described as “evil” – but once she started filming for the second season, she felt better about the character’s trajectory.
“I understood where she was going,” she continued. “[Also], the whole homelessness thing took me through it because it’s so close to home—it’s actually my truth. We were filming in a penthouse that looked over Central Park and I [used] to sleep in Central Park, so it was a full circle [moment].”
The highly-praised series, which focuses on the queer African-American and Latino communities of the ballroom scene in 1980s New York City, halted production on its third season back in March due to concerns over COVID.
According to Variety, however, a member of the crew was tested for the virus last week ahead of filming in New York City next month.
You can read Dominique Jackson’s full interview with V Magazine here.
The first season of Pose is available to stream in the UK on Netflix, while season two will arrive on 1 October.