Janet Mock Opens Up About Telling Authentic Stories And Meeting Ryan Murphy

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Janet Mock is reflecting on her journey to Hollywood and meeting Ryan Murphy in a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight.

After releasing her second memoir, Surpassing Certainty, in 2017, the author and activist found herself swept up by a whirlwind of change. Mock said she was contacted by Murphy, who requested a meeting to discuss the possibility of working together on his new project, Pose, a drama series set in the 1980s and focused on members of the LGBTQ community of color as they navigate the New York City ballroom scene.

The series was an immediate hit and boasted the largest cast of transgender women ever on primetime television. Mock said she had no idea Murphy was sitting on this masterpiece at the time but was immediately intrigued by the show’s premise.

“He really just dropped into my life,” she told ET. “When he told me about this idea, I knew that it was important, and I knew that I wanted to be part of crafting those women’s stories.”

Mock said she quickly followed her instincts and relocated to Los Angeles a week later to begin writing for Pose. During the show’s first season, she extended her talents far beyond penning scripts and stepped directly behind the camera to make her directorial debut. Mock directed the sixth episode of the series, which was titled “Love Is the Message.”

She went on to become one of the first openly transgender people to be nominated for Outstanding Drama Series during the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards.

Ryan Murphy and Janet Mock participating in a panel discussion during the TIME 100 Summit.
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“It has been a whirlwind of an experience,” Mock reflected. “Having jumped onto this show in 2017 to write and then being pushed to be a director and then finding my calling in the director’s chair.”

The multi-hyphenate creator went on to express her gratitude for Murphy, who she described as “a powerful white ally who leveraged his own privileges and his own access to these spaces” to show others that she was capable of changing the world and deserved all the recognition that was coming her way. She said Murphy offered her opportunities and stood by her side to support her and see them through to fruition.

The two also worked on Netflix’s The Politician, where Mock continued to write and direct. Finally, Mock said it’s important for her to use her position to tell stories in their most authentic forms.

“And, also to be making a table of my own, with my deal at Netflix, where I’m creating even more stories about our communities and ensuring that stories that matter have a platform and, for our audiences, that’s accessible to watch.”