In Equal, the ambitious HBO Max docuseries that recounts the impact of many, wide-ranging LGBTQ+ visionaries, not only does Pose star Billy Porter narrate their stories, but today’s most notable out performers bring them to life through stylistic depictions. One such example is Orange Is the New Black and The Handmaid’s Tale actress Samira Wiley, who first publicly came out in 2014. She is portraying A Raisin in the Sun playwright Lorraine Hansberry.
“Having the opportunity to bring Lorraine Hansberry to life is something that I never would have thought I would ever have the honor of doing, especially in this time right now. I feel like the stories are so [relevant to] what is happening right now in our country and in our world,” Wiley tells ET, which is also exclusively debuting a clip of her performance in episode three.
Broken up into four parts, Equal chronicles distinct periods, from the rise of early organizations (“The Birth of a Movement”), to the 20th century trans experience and the 1966 Compton Cafeteria riots (“Transgender Pioneers”), to the Black community and the growing civil rights movement (“Black is Beautiful, Gay is Good”), and ending with the 1969 Stonewall riots and beginning of the Pride movement (“Stonewall: From Rebellion to Liberation”).
In addition to Wiley as Hansberry, Cheyenne Jackson portrays Dale Jennings, Anthony Rapp appears as Harry Hay, Stranger Things’ Shannon Purser is Del Martin alongside Heather Matarazzo as Phyllis Lyon. Additionally, Jamie Clayton portrays Christine Jorgensen while original Queer Eye host Jai Rodriguez appears as José Sarria and Daytime Emmy nominee Scott Turner Schofield embodies Craig Rodwell…