Despite getting his start as a moony, painfully earnest cinephile in Dawson’s Creek, James Van Der Beek has become surprisingly adept at parody, first lampooning himself in Scary Movie and Don’t Trust The B— In Apt. 23, then heading up the winking biopic series What Would Diplo Do?. His role in the upcoming FX drama, Pose, will also require him to take inspiration from some real-life person—according to Ryan Murphy, Van Der Beek will play someone from the Trump Organization in the queer drama.
The series, set in ’80s New York, explores drag culture and homophobia during the AIDS crisis, as well as the class divide. As Murphy tells The New Yorker’s Emily Nussbaum, that era also saw Donald Trump in his “Masters Of The Universe” days, which was before he was practically extorting cameos in Chris Columbus movies. So when they first developed the project in 2016, Murphy and frequent collaborator Brad Falchuk thought to include a Trump character, but have since changed their minds about featuring the callow blowhard. As Murphy succinctly puts it, “nobody wants to see that fuckhead,” a statement he punctuates by “swatting his hand as if brushing off a fly.”
Instead, Van Der Beek has been brought on to play a “cokehead Trump Organization executive.” No other details are available about the character, but he’ll undoubtedly be the slimiest person in the room at any given time—that is, unless the president’s fictionalized younger self ends up making an appearance after all.