Ryan Murphy Teases Polaroids of Cast from his Upcoming Netflix Series 'Halston'

Friday April 23, 2021

Ryan Murphy's newest Netflix series "Halston" premieres on May 14. This week he teased the show with Polaroids of cast members in anticipation of the biographical drama about one of 1980s fashion leading figures.

The out producer had something in common with Halston, the fashion designer from four decades ago whose story is the subject of the Murphy-produced series "Halston." They both grew up in Indiana, and that local connection resonated with the young Murphy. "I always heard about two people who had gotten out and gone on to bigger, glamorous things: One was Florence Henderson, and one was Halston," Murphy told Vogue recently where he was interviewed by designer/filmmaker Tom Ford and journalist Hamish Bowles. "He was always a big figure in my mind—a representation of somebody who had come from humble beginnings and had gone on to do something incredible with his life—and I was always moved by him."

Ahead of the show's premiere next month, Murphy released a series of images of Halston's entourage from the show in the form of Andrew Warhol-inspired Polaroids. (Though Warhol and Halston were staples at Studio 54 in the 1980s, Warhol does not appear in the series, if IMDb is to be believed.)

The show stars Ewan McGregor as Halston (Roy Halston Frowick), and is described in a release as following the designer as he "leverages his single, invented name into a worldwide fashion empire that's synonymous with luxury, sex, status, and fame, literally defining the era he lives in, 1970s and '80s New York — until a hostile takeover forces him to battle for control of his most precious asset... the name Halston itself."

It also follows how he burned out from drugs, poor business decisions, and, ultimately, AIDS, reports Vogue.

"Appearing alongside McGregor's Halston are Krysta Rodriguez as star of the stage and screen Liza Minnelli, Rebecca Dayan as jewelry designer Elsa Peretti, Gian Franco Rodriguez as artist and window dresser Victor Hugo, David Pittu as fashion illustrator Joe Eula, Rory Culkin as future filmmaker Joel Schumacher, and Vera Farmiga as Adele. (Not that Adele,)" writes Entertainment Weekly. "Also in the cast is Bill Pullman as corporate giant David Mahoney, Sullivan Jones as buyer for Alexander department store Ed Austin, and Kelly Bishop as fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert."

While the interview was with Murphy, Ford opened up about his experiences with Halston, recalling how when he was a 18-year old twink and dating Warhol associate Fred Hughes (who was in his 30s). On a date, they went to Halston's apartment. "I walked in, and I remember just thinking, Oh, my God—this is exactly how I want to live," he said. Ford adds that he went on to buy the house in 2019 and is "mimicking Halston's office [in Olympic Tower on Fifth Avenue], which you did so perfectly in your sets, all red on red on red on red, and mirror and mirror and mirror. I know all of that intimately—the sofas and everything."

Murphy went on to say McGregor was his "only choice" for Halston. "The thing that Ewan got about Halston was that Halston had a vision in his mind of who he wanted to be in life. He was self-created... "Ewan really connected with the pain of Halston and the longing of Halston, and how confusing it is to have to be an artist and a businessman at the same time. Other things as well—the power of a muse, for example."

The story ends with Halston death from AIDS in 1990, touching upon, Murphy says, a recurring theme in his work: the effect of AIDS on a generation of gay men. "(T)hat idea of so many heroes and people being lost in that time—that informs a lot of my work."

He added: "The tragedy of Halston was that he died pretty much alone. He was with his family, but he felt sort of exiled not just from the fashion world but from the entire world. One of the most moving things we have in the finale is one of his last acts: He bought a Rolls-Royce convertible and he had a driver, and he just went up and down the Pacific Coast Highway—for the first time in his life being inspired and not having to translate that inspiration into a collection."