Tatiana Maslany's Pose Exit Explained

Tatiana Maslany will not be striking a Pose for Ryan Murphy, and now we know why.

Shortly after ordering the ’80s-set drama to series, FX announced that the Orphan Black star’s role as a modern dance teacher had been rewritten to be a 50-year-old African-American woman (now played by The Leftovers’ Charlayne Woodard). At the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour on Friday, Murphy — who co-created Pose with Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals — told reporters that the decision to part ways with the Emmy winner was an age-related one.

“When we got into shooting the pilot, it just became apparent to me [that Tatiana is] a very young woman,” Murphy explained. “I felt that, working with our young cast, we needed an older figure in that world to be the dance teacher. Someone who was a different generation, who was more of a mentor… We needed a Debbie Allen [in Fame-type] character. We all agreed that that was the right choice for the show.”

Murphy was quick to add that he “loves” Maslany and still “desperately” wants to work with her in the future.

Set in 1986 New York, Pose takes on the rise of Donald Trump-style superwealth, the denizens of downtown (including the literary scene) and the underground LGBT subculture known as ball culture. Murphy previously called Pose “a game changer of a show, which at its heart is an uplifting series about the universal quest for identity, family and respect. Along with being a dance musical and an affirming look at American life in the 1980s, I’m so proud that Pose and FX has made history right from the beginning by featuring the most trans series regular actors ever in an American television production. Additionally, the first season [of] Pose will feature 50-plus LGBTQ characters — a record in American television history.”

The series’ cast includes James Van Der Beek (Dawson’s Creek), Billy Porter (Broadway’s Kinky Boots), Kate Mara (House of Cards) and Evan Peters (American Horror Story).

Pose‘s eight-episode first season is scheduled to begin production in New York in February. It is slated for a Summer 2018 premiere.