What would have happened if inclusion and representation were taken more seriously in the Golden Age of Hollywood? While we will never actually know, Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan attempt to answer the question in their Netflix limited series, Hollywood, which is like a What If…? comic book about Hollywood in the 1940s. The series takes real people like Rock Hudson, Anna May Wong, and Vivien Leigh and combines them with fictionalized aspiring actors and filmmakers who are willing to do whatever it takes to make Hollywood look at every person as equal, no matter their race or sexual orientation. Also, unlike some of Murphy’s previous projects like American Horror Story or American Crime Story, Hollywood has an upbeat and optimistic tone which works really well with the time period and material.

With the series now streaming on Netflix, I recently did a Zoom call with Jim Parsons, Jake Picking, and Jeremy Pope to talk about making the series. During the interview, they talked about Ryan Murphy’s commitment to diversity and inclusion both in front of and behind the camera, why Pope enjoyed working with Janet Mock and what she brought to the series, being able to film in Hollywood when the series is about Hollywood, what it was like for Picking to play Rock Hudson, and a lot more.

Jim Parsons, Jake Picking, & Jeremy Pope:

They talk about Ryan Murphy’s commitment to diversity and inclusion both in front of and behind the camera.
Jeremy Pope talks about working with Janet Mock and what she brought to the series.
How the series is like the comic book What If… except instead of superheroes it’s 1940s Hollywood.
Jake Picking talks about playing Rock Hudson and his role in the series.
Being able to film in Hollywood when the series is about Hollywood.
Jeremy Pope shares what it was like making his “Hollywood” debut.

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