The rising star will “play straight” in the series.
Ryan Murphy has cast Jeremy Pope in the third season of Pose.
The Tony-nominated actor and singer was cast in the critically-acclaimed drama after impressing Murphy with his performance in Netflix’s upcoming limited series, Hollywood, which just so happens to mark his television debut.
The openly gay performer will reportedly play a straight character. Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter: “I’m really interested in him doing that one, two punch of Hollywood as a gay person and Pose as a straight one.”
Murphy met Pope after working on Broadway productions Choir Boy and Ain’t Too Proud, the same year the writer and producer won a Tony Award for Boys in the Band. After setting up a meeting, Murphy offered Pope a part in Hollywood.
“I remember talking to my team, and we were like, ‘We don’t know what we got,'” revealed Pope. “But Ryan and I had an instant connection as creator and artist and what I appreciated was that he wanted to find this character together.”
In Hollywood, Pope portrays Archie Coleman, an African American screenwriter who works as a sex worker at a service station with aspiring actor Jack Castello – played by The Politician alum David Corenswet.
The series will also focus on his romantic involvement with Rock Hudson (Jake Picking).
“There is a version of this where you could feel sorry for Archie, but I don’t think the audience should,” Pope continued. “I felt it was important that we show a fighter, a strong, fearless individual who, at the same time, is extremely talented.”
The seven-episode limited series, which is co-created with Ian Brennan (Glee, Scream Queens), is billed as a “love letter to Hollywood” and will follow a group of actors and filmmakers as they try to make it in a post-World War II world.
Each character in the series will offer their own glimpse into Hollywood’s Golden Age, while the series will highlight the racism, sexism, homophobia and decades-old power dynamics that are still prevalent in the entertainment industry today.
It will also star Darren Criss (Glee), Jim Parsons, Joe Mantello (The Normal Heart), Dylan McDermott (American Horror Story), Patti LuPone (Pose), Samara Weaving (Ready or Not), Laura Harrier (BlacKkKlansman) and Holland Taylor (Legally Blonde).
Speaking about the show, executive producer, writer and director Janet Mock said: “With the present so fraught and the future uncertain, we turned to the past for direction, uncovering buried history to spin an aspirational tale of what ifs.
“What if a band of outsiders were given a chance to tell their own story? What if the person to greenlight power was a woman? The screenwriter a black man? What if the heroine was a woman of color? The matinee idol openly gay?
“And what if they were all invited into the room where the decisions are made, entering fully and unapologetically themselves to leave victorious and vaunted, their place in history cemented?”
Hollywood will premiere 1 May on Netflix – watch the first trailer below.