For producers David Collins and Rob Eric, the seed for HBO’s “Legendary” was planted long before the reality competition series got off the ground — when they were invited to a West Hollywood ball, an event where voguing contestants in elaborate costumes “walk,” or compete, in themed categories.
“That was a pretty small ball on a Saturday night,” Collins recalled. “But [it] ended up being one of those moments where you’re like, ‘Wow, the joy and celebration of the ballroom community and getting to be an audience member was nothing short of absolute joy.’
“It was from there that we realized this is an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the ballroom community that for so long has been marginalized and not seen for all the glory that they are.”
“Legendary” not only places the community front and center. It has also, in its way, sought its blessing: Before production began, Collins and Eric convened a meeting in 2018 with house mothers and fathers of the L.A. ballroom scene in an office behind La Brea Bakery. (Houses are subgroups within ballroom, whose leader, often a reputable member of the community, is dubbed the father or mother).