Post-Pose, Janet Mock has her eyes on a lot of things, including her feature directorial debut.
In Shadow And Act’s latest Opening Act podcast episode, Mock had a long-ranging conversation with us as she talked about producing and writing for the third and final season of the hit FX show. She also revealed more about what she loves about making her film directorial debut with Scandalous!, starring Jeremy Pope as Sammy Davis Jr.
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When it came to Pose, Mock said that the writers’ room and producers knew that the third season would be the last one early in the production process.
“We knew that within the first month we started meeting in the fall…2019,” she said, mentioning earlier in the interview that the discussions about where the story would go were “heated.”
“There is so much story, so much we could tell. When we really embarked on the third season [the issue was] how are we ending the series and what timeframe,” she said. “The original vision always was to end on a specific year, and we knew that the way our show is usually structured…we knew that we were going to hit that year in this season.”
Now that Pose is coming to a close, Mock is turning her attention to Scandalous, telling the tragic love story between Sammy Davis Jr. and Kim Novak, two stars trying to navigate a relationship during a time when interracial relationships were still taboo, despite the Loving case legalizing interracial marriage.
“It’s the two-hander between Sammy Davis and Kim Novak. They were both at interesting pivots in their careers. She, of course, had a string of box-office successes…and she was a 24-year-old woman at the time where we locate her in the film in 1957,” said Mock about the film. “She’s the top box office draw in all of Hollywood, male [or] female…And the fact that when she connects with Sammy, they connect and it becomes this love story that really is this us against the world story.”
“We get to have all this commentary around race, around choice and agency where you’re owned by a studio, specifically with her storyline. With Sammy, he hadn’t done film yet,” she continued. “The Rat Pack wasn’t around yet…and the way that their story ends, everybody knows that they don’t end up having a happily ever after, but it allows them to then have these diverging paths that I think really shaped how their careers and their legacies look like.”
Listen to the full episode above, which includes Mock discussing hypocrisy in awards-voting bodies, judging success outside of Hollywood standards, and working on Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood.