James Van Der Beek Was Originally Supposed to Play Donald Trump on Ryan Murphy’s ‘Pose’

Then “the election happened, and we’re like, ‘Nobody wants to see him,'” FX series’ creator says

As if there wasn’t already enough Donald Trump to go around these days, you could have had even more of him if Ryan Murphy had gone with his original vision for the new FX series “Pose.” And he would have been played by the same lovable actor who played Dawson Leery.

“[James] Van Der Beek’s part in the first draft was written to be a young Trump, and Evan [Peters] was going to be the speechwriter,” co-creator Murphy told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published Thursday. Adds co-creator Brad Falchuk, “I wrote a lot of Trump dialogue which was a lot of fun to write. I think I had him down.”

On “Pose,” Van Der Beek and Murphy-land darling Peters both play men seeking power in the business world who work for the now-POTUS in Trump Tower in 1987. And there was a good reason Murphy and Falchuk decided to scrap Trump as an actual character in the series, which focuses mainly on the ballroom culture in Harlem.

“The election happened, and we’re like, ‘Nobody wants to see him,'” Murphy says. “And then it was going to be an actor impersonating somebody who’s already a caricature, and I thought, ‘Well, that’s just going to take you right out of the show.'”

But just because they decided not to turn Van Der Beek into Trump, doesn’t mean the president’s presence isn’t still felt — and mentioned.

“He’s the biggest fraud of all time,” Falchuk says. “If the show is called ‘Pose,’ he poses as someone who is much richer than he is, much smarter than he is, much more educated than he is. He is the representation in terms of all that is wrong in terms of inauthenticity. But the contrast between someone like Blanca (Mj Rodriguez) and someone like him could not be greater. I think it was important we felt that contrast.”

“Pose” airs Sundays at 9/8 c on FX.