If you’re in need of two words to make a performer melt, try “Patti LuPone.” That’s all it took for Pose star Mj Rodriguez, at least, to spill the tea on the season-two premiere’s red carpet, where she gushed about working with the theater legend while teasing the divine drama to come.
“Baby, listen, let me tell you something about her: Not only is she the funniest thing ever, she’s the sweetest. It’s so good working with her,” Rodriguez enthused. Recalling how co-creator Ryan Murphy unexpectedly dropped the news that the two-time Tony-winning LuPone would be sharing scenes with her Blanca this season, Rodriguez was quite simply gagged. “That’s what Ryan does! He seems to just drop the bomb, like, here’s the explosion. Feel the fallout, baby. I was on the [March 23 PaleyFest] panel when he dropped it, and my jaw dropped. I was gagged. When your jaw drops, you’re gagged. I was gagging! I get to work with friggin’ Patti LuPone!?”
Better yet, season two is still filming in New York City, so the gaggery is still going strong. “She’s still coming to set, so I’m like, ‘What!?’ We’re gonna have a lot more scenes.”
Rodriguez remained contractually tight-lipped about the details of those scenes, but she teased that audiences should expect LuPone to be the opposite of her “funny” and “sweet” self. “You’re gonna live for her because it’s not gonna be Patti. It’s gonna be a different character there. The relationship between Blanca and — I can’t really say [her name] just yet until the people really see it — is a little daunting and a little scary. They’re at each other’s necks, which is kind of awesome.”
So how does Rodriguez hold her own while going toe-to-toe with a legend? “Ooh, it feels good because she’s a well-revered actress, and I’m not a well-revered actress — honey, I’m just somebody who’s trying to make my way into the business … It’s a joy to work with her. My mom has always known about her and watched her work with everyone in my family, so seeing it come to fruition and working with her? It’s a dream.”