Dominique Jackson’s Elektra Evangelista is one of POSE’s most notorious characters. At a virtual press conference, she tells express how different she is to her character in real life while exuding many hilariously Elektra-like mannerisms.
Introduced in Season One as a formidable nemesis to MJ Rodriguez’ virtuous Blanca, as the series unfolds the audience learns of Elektra’s struggles and what motivates her deep-rooted need to win. The character’s arc is one of POSE’s most successful pieces of storytelling.
But before Dominique Jackson can assure journalists that she is nothing like her character, a very Elektra moment occurs.
When asked her first question Dominque tries to unmute herself on Zoom and is unsuccessful. A technician assistant is called in and Dominque strikes an Elektra-like pose.
“Now that you have given me permission to speak, don’t ever do that again,” she exclaims, to laughter from the journalists gathered!”
“Elektra is a character that I have felt has been extremely tough to play because she’s very much in contrast to the woman that I have groomed myself to be,” she says explaining that Elektra’s most destructive feature is not understanding how much stronger we are when united.
“Supporting each other is paramount. We sit in judgment, and we have these sayings and statements that are, “Oh, you know me, and this is how I am.” But we never stop to think of how the other person is. And for me, it’s amazing when this now iconic character, this strong black woman, who has been able to survive jail, who has been able to survive abuse and be able to turn around and say to [her nemesis], “I love you. I care for you. I support you.”
Prior to POSE Dominique had modelled and had just a few small acting parts, so she was blown away when the writers and producers seemed interested in her opinion of the script and storyline.
“Immigrant, Black, woman, trans. Never been on set, right? Other sets, but not sets that
celebrated me or validated me or acknowledged me! And to walk on to that set of POSE and to hear Mr. [Ryan] Murphy go say, ‘Is that how it’s done?’ that was validation in itself!”
That validation has changed Dominique’s perspective on future auditions. “I will never, ever walk into space thinking that I need to impress them. I need to be a professional. I need to know my worth. But I will never walk into a space being fearful of my identity stopping me from anything, because of this journey.”
She hopes the show has instilled a similar confidence in the young LGBT+ POC who have watched POSE.
“You are more than enough… those struggles, those hardships, the stuff that you think are the things that are supposed to stop you, the stuff that you think are barriers are what is telling you that you have the power and the strength to overcome. So never, ever give up.”
POSE’s final season is streaming on NEON now.