‘Pose’: Why Did Angelica Ross Leave the Show as Candy?

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from Pose.]

For three seasons, Pose has been a trailblazing show. The FX series is the first to have an entire LGBTQ cast. The show also made actors such as Angelica Ross, MJ Rodriguez, and Indya Moore stars. However, Ross’s character, Candy Ferocity, got killed off in season 2. 

In July 2019, Ross explained why she left Pose after only two seasons. 

Angelica Ross, who played Candy on 'Pose' smiling while wearing a silver dress.
‘Pose’ actor Angelica Ross | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Angelica Ross said playing Candy on Pose was a ‘process of affirmation’

Ross grew up in Racine, Wisconsin, and was born on Nov. 28, 1980. During her early career, she appeared on shows such as Claws and Doubt in 2017. The following year, Ross received an offer from Ryan Murphy to play Candy on Pose. She played one of Elektra Abundance’s (Dominique Jackson) daughters in season 1. However, she and her friend Lulu (Hailie Sahar) eventually left their house mother to create the “House Ferocity.” 

RELATED: Which ‘Pose’ Star Will Be Joining ‘American Horror Story: 1984’?

During a 2019 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ross shared why being in Pose was a monumental moment in her career. Although she appeared on other shows, Pose’s groundbreaking cast and powerful stories made Ross align her life with her goals. She also said that putting down the “armor” that some transgender people have to put on to survive was a refreshing experience. 

“For me, being on Pose is like a welcome back to my field of dream in a way,” Ross explained. “For 13 years, I did musical theater. I had to do tap dance and ballet and was in jazz choir and swing choir. I learned how to play piano by ear in the fourth grade, then learned how to play guitar. Then, to be in a place where Ryan Murphy, who is known to be someone who works with the best, and him telling you that you’re amazing.”

The real reason Angelica Ross stopped playing Candy on ‘Pose’ 

In her EW interview, Ross explained that she knew early in Pose’s development that Candy wouldn’t last on the show. When she accepted the role, she hinted to Murphy that she was looking for an apartment in New York, where the series films. Shortly after Ross decided to move, Murphy informed her that Candy was getting killed off. 

Candy’s death and the funeral took place in Pose Season 2, Episode 4. In “Never Knew Love Like This Before,” the character’s friends mourn her death after a man murdered her for being a transgender woman. Even though some fans adored Candy, Ross shared why it was important for a main character to die on Pose

“‘Why?”Ross said to Entertainment Weekly, “‘Why me? Why Candy? It was just such an echo of the same sentiment to any black trans woman that’s been passing week after week. Why them?”

Will Ross return to ‘Pose’ Season 3?

Since her exit, Ross has made several guest appearances on Pose. In the following season 2 episodes, her character haunts Pray Tell (Billy Porter) as he tries to sleep. The actor also confirmed to Vulture that she would appear on the show’s final season. While attending the Pose Season 3 premiere at the Jazz at Lincoln Center, she said that viewers will see Candy in season 3, episode 3. 

“I was filming American Horror Story, and my agents call me, and they’re like, ‘So, Angelica, guess what? You’re going back to Pose!’” Ross recalled.

“When I was able to film it [and] to come back to this family, what you realize is — I love working on American Horror Story, and I love being able to be booked and busy,”
she continued. “But I know that there’ll never be another family setting like Pose that is so inclusive of my trans brothers and trans sisters.”