Last Sunday (July 8), Bianca Castro -- known by RuPaul’s Drag Race fans by her stage name Jiggly Caliente -- joined the ranks the groundbreaking cast FX’s Pose as Veronica on the show’s sixth episode.
Currently on tour in the Philippines, Castro took a break today (July 13) to chat about working on set with director Janet Mock, making the absolute most her character and the reception her debut album T.H.O.T. Process.
This week, you made a cameo as Veronica on Pose. How did that all come about?
So my agent comes over to me and says, "Hey they’re looking for trans actresses to play authentic roles." And, course, I was like, "Okay, cool." And so I auditioned. And I’m really excited about my character. Now, I’m really hoping that there’s growth with her]. And it’s really cool to see my name. No fense to Drag Race but to see "Bianca Castro" instead "Jiggly Caliente" on the credits just felt so cool, to be recognized for who I am and not just a character that I have created.
With this episode, Janet Mock became the first trans woman color to write, produce and direct a primetime television series. How was it like working with her?
Originally, I had like one line or two and then all a sudden because my facial reactions she was like, "Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it." She was very supportive every action that I was making during the shoot, everything that I was doing. She was like, "You’re the girl that knows other people’s shit but you’re just not gonna let it all out until you’re ready to let them know you know their business." And I was like, "Oh, I gotcha -- so I’ll play myself!" She was really good at telling people what to do.
And with so many talented trans actors actually playing trans characters, what was it like to work alongside such a trailblazing cast?
I bonded with the girls, specifically Angelica Ross]. Angelica is so wise and Mj Rodriguez] has to be one the sweetest souls I’ve ever met. They were just so in it, and the way they attacked the scene made me kind step up my game because it was like, "Hey, look. These girls are slaying this. I need to turn this up." It makes you want to work harder. And they’re all so good. So good. And that’s kind the conversation we had in the episode when you find out one your girlfriends is basically dating the guy that you had which, in trans stories, it happens, you know. These guys that chase the girls -- we call them "tranny chasers." They’ll go after you, your homegirl, your cousin’s friend and your other homegirl. It was so cool to have that story told in such a raw, real way because we do have those conversations.
You released your debut album T.H.O.T. Process in March and have since released two music videos to the songs “FckBoi” and “I Don’t Give A Fuck (feat. Sharon Needles).” How has that production and promotion process been for you?
For the Christmas Queens album, I did an original song "Ratchet Christmas" and "Xmas Hams" with Ginger Minj], and people were liking it. Management was like, "You should come out with an album. A hip-hop album. Just try it." It took some convincing. I was like, "No. No, I do not want to do it. Let me stay in my lane." Then, I thought about it and was like, "You know what? Let me get my moment. Let me get my Janet Jackson moment, do some songs, and see how it goes." And it turned out great. I wanted to make songs that were true to me and true to who I am. I took this album seriously because I want people to know that I do have a voice.
"Purong Pinay" has instruments native to the Philippines used in the actual song. That’s one thing I wanted to make sure that people see the culture. I want people to know there is a voice behind this woman. I am proud my culture, super proud my culture. I am proud to be Filipina and I wanted my album to represent that, too. My album is hip-hop but it’s diversifying the hip-hop world.
So, then, can we expect more music on the way?
I would love to. I’d love to make another album. There’s another video coming out, I think, in August. It will be for "All This Body" with Alaska and Ginger. More music videos, more songs, more albums -- I am going for it all. I want to be on the big screen. I want to do everything.
T.H.O.T. Process is now available to stream on Spotify. Watch the “I Don’t Give A Fuck (feat. Sharon Needles)” video below: