Michaela Jaé Rodriguez celebrates her historic Golden Globe victory


On Sunday, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez wrote history as the first trans actress to win a Golden Globe, winning for her turn as Blanca Evangelista in the third and final season of Pose on FX. But unless you were one of the few who attended the ceremony at the Beverly Hills Hilton, you might not have realized it. 2022 Golden Globes were tweeted instead of being broadcast; as such, Rodriguez had to turn to Instagram instead of an adoring crowd to celebrate her groundbreaking performance.

Vanity Fair she thought she deserved a bigger spotlight. So we zoomed in on Rodriguez on Monday and chatted with her about the win, her Pose family and what she would have said at the podium. “I’m still on cloud nine, child,” she said as an opening. “I’m still like ‘What’s up !?’”

Vanity Fair: How did you find out the big news?

Michaela Jae Rodriguez: It was a different way than the Golden Globes had ever been advertised before, so I really had to do my job of finding the page. I struggled so hard that I thought “Oh my god, where is it?” So I sit in the living room and I see on the screen that the next category they want to announce is best protagonist [in a drama series]. I see my face. I scream, I kick and break my ankle – I really did not break my ankle, I just hurt it a little. I remember running and calling my dad and my mom, and the rest is history.

What does this award mean to you?

Child, it changed my whole perspective on how I saw myself and how I saw myself as an actress. I just felt so seen. I felt so seen.

Now there are more opportunities for me to really showcase myself in different aspects of film and television. People are now going to see me as a perfect, well-rounded artist. They can see that I am actually serious about my craft. They see that I do not play games when it comes to what I love to do and that I want to be an example to other people – let them know that hard work really pays off.

I see so many things happen. I’m going to talk into other movies – I’m working on some now. There are many things happening. There was a time when I could not even see this. Now I’m in a room where I’m like ‘Yes. That’s going to happen to me now. There’s no time to guess myself. Just dive in.

Did someone from Pose reach out to congratulate you?

That Pose family is a family, darling, and the family that prays together stays together [laughs]. I heard from Dominique [Jackson]. She sent me a beautiful sms. I got a call from India [Moore]. Hailie Sahar contacted me. Angelica [Ross], Billy [Porter], Ryan Jamaal Swain. I list all the names when I could just say all of them. But those names mean so much to me. That’s why I say them. They all lifted me up, and conversely I was just like, “Everyone, it’s taking the village.” This is not just me. I said, “Thank you, for it was for us.”

What would you have said if you had the opportunity to give a speech of thanks?

I at least have enough time to give a good speech. The minute would have passed quickly and I would have thought “Oh hell, I did not get a chance to finish” [laughs].

I’m grateful, number one, to the FX team, the FX team, and the FX production. They saw something in many of these actors and actresses that many people would not have seen. I’m obviously grateful for that Ryan Murphy-together with Chris Murphy Steven Canals, [executive producer] Brad Falchuk, Brad Simpson, and Nina Jacobsen– they took the time to see us. They came to New York City and they were looking for actors who were authentic to these characters. I wanted to thank Janet [Mock] and Vor Frue J to get in so beautifully, write and direct and be strong pillars for trans women behind the scenes. I would like to thank my cast. We did our research as actors. We did our research as artists and made sure we delivered as best we could to portray these characters in their truest form. And finally, I have to thank my mom and dad for loving me, because if they did not love me as hard as they did, I would not have been able to win this award.

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