Actor Billy Porter shared the pivotal role of Pray Tell in Pose helped him deal with his personal battle with HIV.
Speaking to People, the star shared how his character first learns about his HIV diagnosis, which was parallel to his own experience.
“Pose and Pray Tell have been a proxy for my healing,” he said.
“The trauma was so difficult. The grief was so heavy.”
“The antiretroviral drugs [for HIV] came, and everybody moved on. There’s a whole generation of us that really never got a chance to process having lived through the AIDS crisis [and] having lived through an epidemic,” he adds.
He shared how he had to get his emotions in check in order to film the heart-touching scenes.
“I really had to learn how to take care of myself in the process [through] self-care [and figuring out how to] balance boundaries,” he explains.
“I really had to take care of myself. But it really just came down to how long I was inside of something. I couldn’t be in it for too long.”