Actor and model Indya Moore currently stars in the acclaimed Ryan Murphy series Pose. Earlier this year it was announced she is set to star in and executive-produce new anthology series Magic Hour – an homage to Frankenstein. We sat down with the hot new talent to discuss opportunities for trans people in the entertainment and fashion industries, homelessness, her experience on SNL and what she loves about The Bronx…
For those who haven’t yet had a chance to watch Pose, can you tell us about it and your character, Angel?
POSE is an incredible TV show set in the late 80s about love, family, community, connection, social class and social clash. It tells a story about belonging through people that society says don’t belong. Angel, is a young woman of trans experience who dreams of a future where she is seen and treated with the same love and respect as cis women. She is estranged from her biological family because of her identity and survives as a sex worker. Angel is supported by a chosen family unit of other people facing similar circumstances as hers. Together they compete in Vogue competitions through which they become very popular in the ballroom community.
Do you prefer modeling or acting?
Oh, man, this is a tough one. I really love acting because I get to fully submerge myself into different worlds and experiences. It’s kind of like interdimensional travel or something. I get to exercise more of my creative skills as an actor. Modeling is similar because I get to be different people but the acting is taken down a notch. Well, unless it’s in a fashion show which can be pretty dramatic. With acting you’re taking advantage of all your senses to tell the story, whereas with modeling it’s mostly focused through sight. Modeling is used as an advertising form and doesn’t really expand outside of those confines. I guess that’s what makes acting more interesting to me – but i love both.
Do you think there are enough opportunities for the LGBTQ+ community in the entertainment and fashion industries?
I think in fashion probably so, but not really so much for trans people. Trans people have always been a spectacle for existing outside of popular preference, but we aren’t often seen as much more than that in the entertainment industry. Producers don’t take the same risks with trans artists as they do with our cis counterparts and it’s even more difficult when you are a person of color. The farther away from a Eurocentric straight cis man you are, the less serious you are taken as far as your intellectual or creative capacities are concerned. Things are changing though. Our voices and impacts are becoming louder and clearer.
What is the best thing about The Bronx?
Corner stores, bodega cats, Bronx zoo, botanical garden, passion, strength, ‘survivor intellectualism’ ( the ability to create something from nothing to survive), our community, our family, our art, our music (hiphop), our language (slang) and the spirit of classic New York. We also the realest borough in NYC. Hehehe!
Tell us about your experience on SNL!
It was dope! I was really nervous about landing the job but once I did I couldn’t believe it. I was just excited to work with Katy Perry, Migos and other members of the Haus of Xtravaganza. We had rehearsals the same day I was hired by the really sweet casting directors. Katy brought her cute lil’ doggie and was excited to see what choreography we had come up with. We showed her what we were capable of and the next day we had a brand new dance arrangement. We learned the new steps and finally it was SNL day. I remember walking into the building feeling very important, ha – nobody could tell me nothing! I was going back to my group home afterwards but, honey, I was gonna be on TV with Migos and Katy Perry in my fab ass Marquise Foster dress, bitch. So, finally we got dressed and it was time for us to line up. One of the dancers had a stain on her outfit so I ran over to the nearest hair and makeup booth to grab a napkin. When I looked up to see who was sitting there I was so shook I almost vaporized. It was Leslie Jones!! After apologizing profusely for invading her space for a tissue I told her I loved her (she was so sweet!) and ran back to the dancer to quickly remove her stain. I’d just seen Dwayne Johnson do a skit about Jurassic Park and it was incredible. After the performance I was so proud. I felt low key like a star and was very thankful to the Haus of Extravaganza, Mother Gisele and Father Jose for including me.
What kind of brand collaborations are you open to and is there any brand in particular you’d like to work with?
I’m open to collaborations with brands of products I love to use – electronics, phone companies, fashion, foods, clothing, jewelry and essential oils.
Specific brands I love are Telfar, Dior, Virgil Abloh, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Marquise Foster, Nicky Zimmerman, Calvin Klein, Under Armour, Free People, Anna Sui, Josefinas and D&G among others. I would like to explore vegan leather with Coach. Fenty and Pat McGrath are two makeup lines I really enjoy. Samsung, Verizon, Essential Water, Apple, Eden Botanicals and Starwest Botanicals are all cool companies.
What does success look like to you?
Growing my own food.
Which influencers do you follow on social media?
Colin Kaepernick, Ava DuVernay, Morgin Dupont, Dev Hynes, Jamila Woods, Gabrielle Union, Steven Canals, Janet Mock, Tiffany Haddish, Patrisse Cullors- Brignac, Issa Rae, SZA, Taylor Bennet, Kehlani, Devin Michael Lowe and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez amongst so many others!
What causes are you most passionate about?
Freedom, safety, equity, education, healing, differentiation, honesty, exchange, equality, integrity.
Do you have any special skills or superpowers?
I’m really good at thinking. I heal extremely fast and I can help people heal themselves. I am really good at finding and creating connections.
What really bugs you?
Who would play you in the film of your life?
Likely Yara Shahidi
What is your personal mantra?
Be honest, be kind, be patient, be supportive and be free.
Do you have any tattoos?
Just one, I got it at 16 or 17. It’s a star.
What would be your last meal on earth?
Sautéed spinach, brussel sprouts, dhal and buckwheat.
Are there any photographers or directors you are dying to work with?
So many! The Wachowskis, Luc Besson, Ming Smith, Jordan Peele, Denis Villeneuve, Spike Lee, Deana Lawson, Bradford Young, Alejandro Inarritu, Alex Garland, Greta Gerwig, Ana Lily Amirpour, etc.
What’s your most prized possession?
My faith and my home.
Describe your dream holiday?
24 hours Tax-free Day where we engage in conversations about homeless and the causes of it – from criminal history and poverty to identity respectability politics and foster care. During this tax free day people are encouraged to give back to the homeless and people in need of existential support.
What’s your favorite Disney movie?
Prince of Egypt.
Which beauty product could you not live without?
Water/shea butter. Sundial Brands makes great Shea Moisture products.
What’s next for you?
My own personal growth as a human being, continuing to work and build with creatives that reflect/affirm my inspirations.