Interview With American Horror Story Star Zachary Quinto!

A few weeks ago we brought you an amazing interview with Chloe Sevigny from American Horror Story. We learned she doesn’t own a TV which I think is insane. Now Entertainment ExactLee has had the chance to interview Zachary Quinto who plays Bloody Face or should we say Dr. Oliver Thredson. We learned quite a few awesome things about him as well, for instance he doesn’t miss an episode of Homeland (because he has a DVR). Also he definitely has to prep for a day in the life of a psychopath, that stuff doesn’t come naturally to him. We here at The ExactLee find it comforting he isn’t a real psychopath. So read below and learn about Season 2 of American Horror Story Asylum.

E. Willard So you tweeted last night and now everyone knows. When did you know? Did you know from the beginning? If you did, did that inform your performance at all?

Z. Quinto Yes, I knew from the very beginning. It was part of the conversation that I had with Ryan [Murphy] about me coming back to the second installment of the show, in the first place. It very much informed the character that I was building from the beginning.

As a result, I felt like my responsibility became to create a character that people could trust, or at least trust initially, and have some hope that perhaps he is actually the one voice of reason and sanity within this chaotic world. So it was actually more exciting for me to know from the beginning. It gave me more to play with and more to hold back and more secrets to keep.

Moderator Our next question is from Rob Owens with the Pittsburg Post-Gazette.

R. Owens I wanted to ask you about playing this character. I think you sort of started down that path in your answer to the first question, but how this guy was different from…because I’m sure you don’t want to repeat yourself and we’ve only seen a little bit of his evil thus far—but is that something you were concerned with those comparisons? What got you hooked on really wanting to play this part?

Z. Quinto I think any time an actor revisits territory that they’ve been in before, it can be a source of trepidation, as it was for me. But part of the reason that I loved what the opportunity stood for was that I got to know, going in, I got to really build something. With Heroes, that character was built before I was ever attached to it. There were eight episodes of anticipation that were built before you met “Gabriel Gray” in Heroes, but I had no participation in that. I had no opportunity to sort of—it was just the character spoken about.

So for me, it was really exciting to get to go in and having all the information, and actually be that part of the process of creating a character. That, to me, was a difference. That, to me, was something that I thought, yes, that makes sense, and it also has a similar structure to the journey that I had on Heroes, at least the introduction or the reveal, as they say; which proved very effective in that scenario and I felt I could really also serve this story in this particular innovation as well.

So that, and that it’s just more rooted in character and relationship, and less rooted in the sort of peripheral elements like superpowers. I liked that this was grounded and real. It’s something that I’m always drawn to is that kind of direction. So I felt like it was—and it wasn’t—it’s not a six-year commitment as it could be with another show.

It’s self-contained and it was an immersion that I’m not going to be repeating or carrying on for an extended period of time. It was something I got to go do and contribute and benefit and grow and learn, and then be on to other creative pursuits and that, I think, is an environment in which I thrive. So I was really excited about all those elements.

Moderator The next question is from Jerry Nunn with the Windy City Times.

J. Nunn My question is about the scene when you did the aversion therapy with her and tried to change her. What are your thoughts on that? I mean a lot of people think they can change us that way, me being gay myself. So what did you think of it?

Z. Quinto I mean I think the scene was very reflective of a pervasive mentality of the time. As unsettling as it is, I think it was powerful to revisit it and to present an audience with a reflection of that kind of really abhorrent thinking. Obviously, we’ve come a long ways since then and that’s great. There’s so much progress made and more work to do.

So I think it’s always good when you’re able to, as an actor, allow your work to be some kind of a conduit for a social discourse. I think an examination of where we are as a society and I think this season of the show, this iteration of … installment, I believe we call them. This installment of the show is really doing that in a lot of powerful ways, that being one of many. So another reason why I’m grateful to be a part of this kind of storytelling and this kind of environment.

Moderator The next question is from Matt Mitovich with TVLine.

M. Mitovich Now that we know “Thredson’s” very dark, very dirty little secret, are we going to get into the psychosis behind this psycho here and find out why he’s doing this, because he seems to be doing a little specific with “Lana” and her girlfriend?

Z. Quinto Yes, next week’s show is called “The Origins of Monstrosity” and so it really dives into a lot of the roots of the characters in this world in Asylum. So yes, a lot of things will become clearer and probably even more disturbing in the next couple of weeks.

Moderator Breeanna Hare with

B. Hare So I’ve heard that you and Sarah Paulson are pretty close. You have a good friendship. I’m curious how that dynamic impacts your themes, especially considering, like you said, things are only going to get darker from here.

Z. Quinto Well I especially have a respect for Sarah as an actress, but it’s a rare and unique opportunity to show up to work with a really good friend. Oftentimes, friendships are formed on set and through these kinds of experiences working together in such intimate and unusual ways, but it’s even a richer experience when you already have that foundation of friendship. So there’s an implicit trust and sensitivity to each other and our needs and our instincts and our individual process. It’s really a remarkable gift in a lot of ways. So we also are able to have more fun, I think, and laugh at a situation a little bit more.

There’s less awkwardness to cut through. Yes, so I think it strengthens the connection that the characters share, whether it’s friendship or torture or hostage, whatever it may be, but we’re really—I love going to work anyway, no matter who I’m working with, but in particular with Sarah, it’s been—and I think she’s doing such wonderful work on the show that I also just love watching her character and the journey that she’s taking. She’s gone to so many extreme and challenging emotional places, and done it so beautifully and dynamically. I just think her work is so incredible, so it’s been a joy for me, really, this whole experience.

Moderator The next question is from Fred Topel with CraveOnline.

F. Topel What are you watching on television right now?

Z. Quinto I’ve been watching Homeland pretty religiously. I’m a pretty giant fan of that show. I mean, it’s really compelling and so well executed, so I like Homeland. It’s hard to have time to, but the good news is that it’s so … television. It’s like I’m so excited for House of Cards to come onto Netflix.

On February 1st, all of those episodes are being released at the same time. I guess the whole season on T.V. and created and given to an audience. It’s the way in which we’re watching programming is so interesting to me. So, yes, I like to watch Homeland like on demand, if I miss it on a Sunday night or something.

What else? I’ve been known to watch an episode or two of The Voice, I will say that. I think it’s, of that kind of programming, I think it’s really innovative and unique and well done. I think the performers—I don’t know—I find there’s an element of authenticity to that show that I really respond to and I very rarely respond to any kind of reality programming. So if I’m going to watch, it has to be people doing something that I could never do and obviously, each one of those singers that holds true for. I’ve watched a couple episodes of that lately.

I’ve watched Boss, which I think is also really great television and I hope more people watch it or can see it. It’s like that stuff is so accessible. So that’s kind of about it. I mean, it ebbs and flows in terms of my availability for it.

Moderator Our next question is from Matt Fowler with IGN.

M. Fowler Everything about “Oliver” that we’ve seen so far—was everything a ruse? Or is there a side of him that deeply believes in the psychiatry part? Because one of the last things we saw him do before the big reveal was tell “Sister Jude” that “Charlotte” had post-partum depression and recommended she shouldn’t go home; which was a smart move on his part. But again, was it all just blending in or does he believe in that?

Z. Quinto I think he definitely believes in it. I think part of being a psychopath is an ability to dissociate from one reality and create another one completely. I think he does that expertly. I think his level of training, medical training and intuition instinct—I think he’s very skilled.

I mean, that’s what allows him to get away with it as long as he does. So yes, I think he does believe in it, which is kind of another layer of tragedy of the character is that he could have been something else. He could have made a more significantly positive contribution had he only rechanneled his traumas, his energy.

You guys, if you want to hold on one quick second before I take the next question. I’ll be right back. One second, I’m sorry for this. Sorry about that, thank you.

Moderator The next question is from Ernie Estrella with

E. Estrella I want to ask you about approaching Season 2 as more of a threat as opposed to Season 1 where you’re playing victim. Was there any kind of difference there? Did you kind of maybe go into a different method from one season to the next?

Z. Quinto Yes, I mean there are different styles. I feel like the story last year was just told in a different style. This year is a period piece and there are other considerations that go along with that, just in terms of characterization I think. I don’t know how much it has to do with like being the antagonist in a lair, the sort of threat this year myself rather than the victim. I mean, that’s all just circumstantial.

There are still a lot of psychological manipulations going on from one end that makes it a little bit more veiled, or always holding something back this year. But that’s just all fun. I don’t really think of it in terms of—I just think of it in terms of who’s the person, what’s driving the person. Obviously, those motivations are very different for “Chad” than they are for “Thredson.”

Moderator The next question is from Lesley Goldberg with Hollywood Reporter.

L. Goldberg What can you say about the victims that he’s targeting? Obviously, they’re all women. What do they all have in common and what is it about them that make them his targets? The last part is any interest in returning for Season 3?

Z. Quinto So for the first part of that question; you’ll find out much more about that in the coming weeks, so I won’t spoil it by being too specific. But it all traces back to one source of trauma that then sort of branches out to include all of these unfortunate women.

I just read today that the show got picked up for a third installment, so that’s very exciting. I’m so glad it’s doing well and people are really responding to it and FX has been really great and so supportive and, I think, innovative in the stuff that they’re doing. So it’s great to work there and be a part of it. I haven’t had any conversations with Ryan about what he’s thinking for the third season, so I have no idea.

I love my job and I love the people that I do it with and I always want that to be the case. So I know he has plans and if they involve me, I’m sure I’ll have a call at some point; but I don’t know anything about it. I’m just focused on getting through the rest of this season and moving onto the next phase of stuff that I have lined up.

Moderator The next question is from Monique Jones with TV Equals.

M. Jones I’m a big fan, but let me know if I answer the question before I waste everybody’s time. What did you think of the fan reaction to the big reveal? Because I saw that you tweeted about it on Twitter, and I kind of just blew up.

Z. Quinto Oh, I mean at least the things that I’ve scrolled through seem supportive and excited about the direction that the show is going in. So I’m sure I’m more likely to sort of have those people reaching out to me than people who aren’t excited about it, which is sort of the nature of Twitter in the end, isn’t it. But, yes, I don’t know. I hope people are into it and on board for where it goes from here.

Moderator The next question is from Jen Chaney with Washington Post.

J. Chaney So we have seen “Bloody Face” in the future or sort of present day scenes. I’m wondering—I don’t know to the extent you can speak to this, but will we find out whether present day “Bloody Face” is also “Thredson”?

Z. Quinto Wouldn’t that be cool? Yes, you’ll find all that out; you’ll find all that out. Everything is going to—I’ve just read the next episode last night. It was pretty freaky and cool. I mean it’s really driving to a point very, very well. The storytelling structure of Asylum I think is really going to pay off in a really big way. So I think all of the questions that people have, and that the episodes that are airing right now are generating, will definitely be answered. That’s my instinct, at least, having read up through almost the end now.

Moderator The next question is from Jessica Dwyer with Horror Hound Magazine.

J. Dwyer I wanted to ask about was your decision to do this series based on the fact that it’s not actually American horror, so much as it focuses on more modern horrors in the world right now. I really like that about it and it’s still scary.

Z. Quinto I do think it’s mostly uniquely American. I think in the way that it’s structured in the certain instances where it’s imaged to stories that have come before it, and also in what it’s looking at. The sort of Catholic institutions in this country, in particular, and the social history of racism and homophobia, and sanity, psychiatry, the idea of how to treat people who are mentally ill. I mean, I think those are all very American ideas and concepts and I think the way in which we dive into them is also really American in the style of storytelling.

I thought Episode 5, the one that just aired, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon directed and I thought did an incredible job. I mean, it was like I was so inspired by his direction and the camera work. It felt like such a wonderfully composed episode. I think that is really somehow reflective of America now, in the modern world, and also where we’ve come from and that’s what excites me about the kind of show that we’re making as well.

Moderator Our next question is from Adam Lawton with

A. Lawton I wanted to ask, with you being involved with Season 1 of American Horror Story; did Brad [Falchuk] and the guys allow you to provide input into your new character in Season 2?

Z. Quinto Yes, I had a few conversations with Ryan and Brad before we started. Ryan and I had a couple of connections about what he was thinking and I had some questions and had a chance to contribute to what I would like to see. But once they got going, it’s like their engines just drive them and all of us forward in such surprising and unexpected ways, so the vast majority of that comes from them and actually bring it to life. That’s how I see it.

Moderator The next question comes from AJ Grillo with

A. Grillo You’ve played some very different characters. “Sylar”; there was a lot more to “Sylar” than met the eye. You played an iconic “Spock” and now you’re playing a psychotic serial killer psychiatrist. What was your favorite and most fun to play?

Z. Quinto That’s a good question. I mean, I feel like each one of those experiences was so profound and unique and my last side of six years has been just full of growth and creative fulfillment. I don’t know. It’s hard to sort of narrow it down one, but my favorite, I feel like they are accumulative in a lot of ways. As far as the T.V. aspect of it goes, I would say that I feel more settled as I’m getting older and sort of like my experience of things feels kind of more complete.

So “Thredson” has been very satisfying to me in that regard. I just feel like I’ve been carrying more of my experience with me into my work and as I get older, that deepens naturally. So that’s kind of cool, but I just like to do good work, or try to do good work with good people and I’ve been really so lucky in that regard. As long as I continue, that’s all I could ask really.

Moderator The next question is from Suzanne Lanoue with The TV Megasite.

S. Lanoue I was wondering when you’re recognized by people on the street or wherever, is it usually because of Star Trek or Heroes, or this show, or what do you think?

Z. Quinto Well as it’s gotten more frequent like over the years, I mean the good news it’s kind of like for maybe more than one thing now. Or like people that just sort of know me, but I don’t know. I don’t really—I just try to meet people where they’re coming from. If it’s about a particular project then I talk about that. If it’s about something more general, like support of the president or other ways in which they might know me, then I talk about that. But I don’t really keep track of what it’s of; I don’t tally it up so much.

Moderator The next question is from Alicia Lutes with

A. Lutes I’ll just get right into the question. We have seen your character sort of become a big focal point with this big turnaround with “Bloody Face,” but what are your other favorite storylines, outside of your own, on the show that you really are excited for people to find out more about?

Z. Quinto I think that the “Kit” storyline—I really love also watching…Evan [Peters] I think is fantastic. So I really love that; I really love what Lily [Rabe] is doing, now that she’s got the devil inside. I think that’s just such a delicious kind of—she’s doing such great stuff with that. That’s really fun for me to watch and I can’t take my eyes off Jessica Lange. I just think she’s so committed to just her ferocity of instinct. She’s just like—it’s so riveting and inspiring at the same time.

So I love working with these people. I wish I had more to do with James Cromwell. I have never really crossed paths like the doctor in the asylum, but maybe there’s something to look forward to there. We’ll have to wait and see.

Moderator The next question is from Earl Dittman with Wireless & Digital.

E. Dittman Before I launch into my question, I have to say this real quick before I go to my question. You were talking earlier about how the show is breaking down barriers and moving things forward ahead of the gays and stuff like that, I have to say you are very much a spearhead in doing this. I have to congratulate you in you being so open and honest and everything else. I think you’re moving a lot of stuff ahead by just saying what you say and doing what you do, and I can’t congratulate you enough about it.

Z. Quinto Well man, that’s very sweet of you to say. I appreciate that. Thank you.

Moderator The next question is from Erin Willard with

E. Willard Hi, I’ve got another—

Z. Quinto … that guy’s question ….

E. Willard He never got his question in; hopefully he can get right back in again. So these thoughts for the next episode look disturbingly intriguing and may make all the difference in the world. It has to go on a t-shirt I’m sure, at some point, because it was awesome.

The way you delivered the line was perfect, but it looks like your character might be getting a little more physical. Like there might be some more physical challenges, like in church kind of blocking issues and such. Has it been challenging in any way in that regard and also, anything thing that you can say along those lines about the actual “Bloody Face” mask, which was so revolting?

Z. Quinto Well, I think it’s an interesting point you bring up, in terms of the physicality of a show like this and when you look at it, a lot of us have had to go through some pretty intense physical experiences, whether it’s Chloë [Sevigny]’s character, her legs being removed and Chloë having to embody that. Or Sarah Paulsen having to endure the physicality of—her character has electroshock therapy. Or any of the people who have been murdered or attacked or killed, it’s like we all have the capacity to understand the difference between, so this isn’t reality in the stories that we’re telling in the make-believe, pretend world that we live in when we go to work every day.

But our bodies aren’t so discerning and when you put them through such intense, relentless, overwhelming stimulation; it can have an effect, certainly, physically. I mean, we’ve been taking care of our bodies and making sure that we’re doing what we need to do to get body work and exercise. I think that’s an important element of being an actor on any level, so other than that, just making sure that we’re able to shake it off.

I never had trouble, really, shaking anything off, but this character has been and certain things that have happened, have been a little bit harder to leave at work. But then, it’s not like I can’t—I don’t know. I think that line is important to maintain the clarity, but that’s my particular perspective on it and I’m grateful to be able to do that. So, yes, that’s how it’s been.

There was another point to that question? Or was that, that?

Moderator We are going back to Earl Dittman with Wireless & Digital Journal.

E. Dittman Oh my God, there is a God! Oh well, thank you so much, Zach. I appreciate it. I guess what I really wanted to know is that when you originally signed onto the first one, did you know that it was going to be an anthology and knowing that, with both times you’ve played it, what are the bigger challenges of both the two characters. If you do come on for Season 3, obviously, you’ll be playing a different character. But of course, we won’t know that for awhile, but I’m pretty sure that he’ll call you because you have to be in it. But go ahead, sorry.

Z. Quinto So wait; what’s the question?

E. Dittman Did you always know it was going to be an anthology? Or when you did the first season, did you think?

Z. Quinto No, I didn’t know. I mean, when I did it the first time around, the timing of it worked out really well for me because Star Trek had gotten pushed, so I ended up having like a little bit of a window that I didn’t expect to have, and Ryan called to ask. I just thought it was going to be a couple and it ended up being four episodes in that first installment. But I didn’t know what it would be, and then it was in the middle of that, that he actually brought up the idea of the second season being entirely different.

That was the beginning of the conversations, which really intrigued me, obviously. I had been exploring the possibility of another specific job that would have been a more traditional sort of T.V. structure and it was really exciting in its own way. But when Ryan presented the plan to me about this, it just seemed like there was no question that it was a little bit more unique and exciting to me, because of that, so that made my decision pretty clear.

E. Dittman So ultimately, more challenging.

Z. Quinto This season is more challenging just because I’m more of an integral part of it and there’s just more work to do to build the arc of the character, because it’s a more extensive arc. But also, therefore more rewarding and more fulfilling in a way, because you’re really seeing something through from the beginning to the end. So that’s cool. I have a good time with that.

Moderator The next question is Amy Harrington with Pop Culture Passionistas.

A. Harrington So as with the first installment, the Asylum is like a character on the series. Can you talk a bit about how the environment helps you get into character?

Z. Quinto Yes, that’s a great observation, because I think that our production designer and the art department—I mean, I think they’ve done such an extraordinary job of creating this immensely oppressive, overwhelming environment, which does have actual characteristics depending on what part of the set you’re shooting in. I just think it’s a gold mine of information and opportunity for action and activities along the way. It’s just such a full environment that we work in.

It’s great; and that continues in the coming weeks because you get to see much more of the lair in which Lana is being held captive and a lot of their scenes take place. Yes, I think the asylum itself, I think the hydrotherapy room and what that invokes and what happens in there, I think the bakery and the grand hallway and all the cells and the offices, and that institutional feeling, that heavy-footed, oppressive, concrete olive green kind of brown-beige. I went to Catholic school growing up and it really invokes a lot of the same imagery. The … icons and iconography and stuff with statues, I think all that stuff is so well realized in the world. I’m really grateful to the creative team behind that because they do remarkable work.

Moderator The next question is from Kristyn Clarke with Pop Culture Madness.

K. Clarke So with the dark, and so intense, subject matter, I was going to ask how hard is it for you to step away from that, when not on set? How does this character have an emotional effect on you?

Z. Quinto It does to a degree, but I consider it my responsibility to myself to be able to discern the boundaries in my life. So I really try to separate myself as clearly as possible. As a trained actor, I mean that’s part of what I learned how to do as well.

Going to college and studying, and cultivating a technique that allows me to enter some of these really complicated, psychological landscapes and not get lost in them. But, yes, I have, certainly, outlets and things that I can do, and do, to make sure that I stay grounded and clear, but it’s also that’s what’s kind of fun about it. I know that I can let myself go in certain ways, because I won’t go in others—in the ones that are important.

Moderator The next question is from Eva Layne with

E. Layne I just had a question about your thoughts on horror. I mean, there’s a lot of talk about what makes good horror; what makes horror at all. I mean whether it’s paranormal or whether it’s human based like the character you’re playing this season. So I just was wondering what you thought makes a good horror story.

Z. Quinto I think stories that reflect societal fear back at the audience on some level, on some visceral level, is the most compelling kind of horror. I think that’s what this show is doing in a lot of ways, and it’s sort of evidenced by some of the commentary that even some of the other journalists have brought up on this call. Tackling issues that have relevance to our modern society through another point of view, or another time period, filtered through different perspectives and really getting to the root of what drives us as a society, as a culture, as an audience. I think that can be really scary and I think that that’s what’s really happening in a lot of ways with the characters that we’re all playing this year, and the scenarios in which they find themselves.

Moderator Our next question is from Chip Chandler with Amarillo Globe-News.

C. Chandler Zach, I’ve enjoyed listening to your discussion of the show and airing your deep thoughts about this. I have just a really simple question. I understand that you have some sort of family connection to Amarillo, Texas.

Z. Quinto I do; the Quintos of Amarillo. I have a lot of family there; cousins, aunts, uncles. I’ve been there a handful of times. I love them; I love seeing them there and I’m sure I’ll be back before too long, I hope.

C. Chandler All right; that’s kind of just what I needed to confirm. I had a friend that thought he saw you out one evening and couldn’t quite believe it.

Z. Quinto Carousing; carousing in the Amarillo saloons.

C. Chandler Perhaps, yes.

Z. Quinto I look forward to doing it again, man.

Moderator The next question is from Monique Jackson with

M. Jackson I have a quick question. It’s kind of a two parter. How do you prepare mentally to play this dark, demented kind of role, and do you enjoy it, or find it more of a challenge?

Z. Quinto It depends on the scene. There are different levels of preparation for different scenes in different kinds of work. So I have a combination of things that I do. I usually just find some solitude and some quiet in a little corner of the set where there’s not a lot of traffic and not a lot of people around and do what it is that I need to do. I listen to music a lot, if I need to get into a particular emotional space, I use that and just other sort of stretching, just breathing, taking time to mostly be quiet and find that kind of stillness.

I think that’s important. I love playing characters that go to extreme places and I love to explore different kinds of psychological landscapes, so it is ultimately a kind of fun, but it’s also complicated and colored by the depth of the nastiness of it at certain times as well. That can be a challenging part.

Moderator The next question is from Lee Allport with My Entertainment Exactly.

L. Allport My question to you is acting, producing—it looks like you even dabbled in writing. What is your passion? Or are you just doing all this so that one day you can direct?

Z. Quinto I would love to get myself to a place where I feel like I’m ready to direct. I’m not there yet, but I aspire to that for sure. My passion is acting and has always been. It’s what brought me to this point of being able to diversify and do other things, and I hope that it’s something that I’ll continue to have a passion for.

I can’t see that changing, but I’m also really fulfilled by having a production company and producing the views and learning about how that works and happens. It’s a totally, entirely separate skill set and it’s one that I happen to also enjoy, so I intend to cultivate all of those things until I can’t anymore, I guess. That’s kind of my goal and I love to be challenged and busy and so far, so good. I just want to do whatever I can to continue to encourage that.

Moderator The next question is from Sammi Turano with TV Grapevine.

S. Turano Thank you. My question for you is you’ve played such diverse roles, is there one role that you dream of playing that’s on your bucket list? If so, what is it?

Z. Quinto Oh, I never tend to think like that. It’s so strange, because if I look back at the experiences that I’ve had, that have been so instrumental in my growth as well as my exposure, I could have never predicted that they would have happened, where I would have never necessarily thought to wish for them to happen, but they happened in very unique ways. I tend to have an openness toward that and a faith in that, that’s served me so far.

So I just hope that continues—I don’t know. I try to make informed, intelligent decisions and I know what I respond to when it presents itself, but I don’t tend to—I mean, I guess with my production company, it’s a little bit different in terms of developing material for myself. I know the kinds of stuff I want to do and the direction in which I want to go creatively with my career in that regard, but I don’t think of it in terms of like a dream role. So we’ll see how it all unfolds.

Moderator The next question is from Breeanna Hare with

B. Hare I just had one more question for you. I wanted to get your thoughts on why you think horror shows and kind of really gory stuff, like American Horror Story and The Walking Dead have played so well this year on cable. Do you think there’s anything that some of the networks can learn from how well this stuff is doing with audiences?

Z. Quinto Well I imagine there might be something—I mean I think the networks already know it and it’s that the boundaries can be pushed further on cable and unfortunately, that’s not necessarily anything that they can do about their own restrictions in the kinds of stories that they’re telling on network T.V., which are also compelling and really rich and good in their own way in so many cases. But I mean I think there’s obviously a sense of collective anxiety, I feel like, in the world that we live in and it’s very complicated, precariously perched in so many ways; environmentally, politically, socially.

I think that some of these shows reflect that back. That’s what I was talking about before when I think about the most affective kinds of horror storytelling, it taps into that kind of primal fear that all of us share and that builds within a society and that needs an outlet. So these shows that are able to be so bold and graphic and uncompromising, unflinching, stand to serve that purpose and be the sort of receptacle for all that collective anxiety. I think that’s important, actually, in a social function; especially in a world that has as much anxiety as the one that we live in does. I think in some ways, it’s exhilarating, but it’s also a little bit scary that that reflects the world we live in as well.

Moderator The next question is from Suzanne Lanoue with TV Megasite.

S. Lanoue I have a second question here. I know that you’re “just an actor” in the show, but I was wondering if you had any insights as to whether the writers and producers, whether they worried about maybe going too far. It seems like the second season is way more intense than the first season, more graphic, more everything over the top. I was wondering if they worry about that, if they’re going too far or whatever?

Z. Quinto Well, I mean I think that they’re certainly sensitive and Ryan is a very sensitive artist. I think he’s constantly striving for balance in his work and never wants to go too far in one extreme direction or another. So I think there’s a process of refinement that the show goes through as its post production happens and Ryan is an integral part of that. I think there are checks and balances and measures in place to make sure that it’s driving in the right direction.

I think so far, it is in a lot of ways. But I do think it is more uncompromising this year. It is sort of tackling more things at once and really diving in and examining. It feels like it’s pulling an audience along in really dynamic way, so hopefully that’s generating a response. It seems to be, anyway, with people coming back and watching week after week. That is, after all, I believe how they assess those things, at least at the network and the studio.

Moderator The next question is from Michelle Alexandria with Eclipse Magazine.

M. Alexandria I have two questions for you. One is—I’m sorry. I joined this call late, so forgive me if this question has been asked. But I would just like to know—you came off of a megahit movie and you were in between projects, were you scared to actually go back to T.V. and get locked into the T.V. rut again? Did productions delay Star Trek … affect that decision? Then my second question is, I heard you talk a little bit about what you think is horror. How do you think the genre is faring as it relates to movies, not T.V. but movies?

Z. Quinto Right, so the first part of that question is, was I concerned about getting stuck back in T.V. sort of, like was I concerned about going back to television? No, not at all. The unique configuration of this particular show is really different than going to television in a different capacity because each season is self-contained.

It is creatively more engaging because if you are going back to the show for another installment, then you’re definitely going to be playing a completely different character than the one you just played. So it’s not a sense of—there’s no sense of stagnancy or fatigue because you’re constantly recreating and reinvesting in the character. Then from just a business standpoint, or in terms with like the challenge with television, sometimes getting what you can get; in success, you can get into a situation where you are obligated contractually to a show for years at a time. Sometimes six, seven years if the show is enormously successful, and that can be outrageously beneficial and satisfying.

It can also be really frustrating, I imagine. I spent four years on one show and there were its own set of challenges with that, but that’s the other cool thing about it is, there is no stuck because there’s always a finite amount of episodes. So I think it’s structured really beneficially and I think that’s why actors like James Cromwell and Joe Fiennes and Jessica come to an experience like that. It’s attractive in a different way for somebody that’s used to doing features and used to having more flexibility with their schedules. We can come and do this and then still have that in other ways.

Then the second part of the question was, sorry about that.

M. Alexandria The second part of the question was about the space occurrence in a horror movie. Like you mentioned before, like a couple of horrors without mentioning, how it’s doing so well on T.V., but for some reason, if they take it digital like in the movies ….

Z. Quinto Yes, horror has gone through some style transformations with—I think the micro-budget, the success of movies like Paranormal Activity—I feel like there’s a lot—my production company actually produced a micro-budget fund for this horror movie that we just finished post production on and are in the process of taking to the marketplace. It’s interesting to find the home because you can do a lot more for less now; less time, less money, less resources. You can still generate some really significant scary content and I think that studios are fluctuating in their reactions and their relationships to this kind of storytelling.

It’s a little bit of a see change in the feature world, which could also have something to do with the emergence of really successful horror series on television, perhaps. They can be a little more tried and true, or evocative of old school horror storytelling, but I think it’s exciting no matter how you cut it and I’m grateful to be a part of a series that’s taking steps forward and innovating in different ways in storytelling and content exploration.

M. Alexandria In your mind, what is too far? Is there a line that you wouldn’t cross with regards to horror?

Z. Quinto That’s funny you should ask that question actually. After I read the episode last night, I was asking myself the same thing. Yes, I don’t know. If there is a line that I won’t cross, I haven’t reached it yet; at least on this show. But I’m sure it’s particularly circumstantial and that I would know it if I ever was in that situation. But I think things are handled with enough respect and professional and creative acumen in the world of American Horror Story that I’ve always felt safe and I’ve always felt supported. So I think those are the two most important elements, trust and professionalism and we have those in excess at American Horror Story; so that’s good, that’s good.

Moderator The last question is from Trish Bendix with AfterEllen.

T. Bendix I was just wondering if you have any idea…“Dr. Thredson” intent…aversion therapy. Was he actually trying to help in any way? Because now after seeing last night’s episode, it almost seems like maybe it was sort of test.

Z. Quinto Yes, I think it was a test and I think he was also—I think a lot of his actions in the first four and a half episodes of Asylum were serving some ulterior motive. So I think he was trying to gain his trust—I mean gain “Lana’s” trust; gain some proximity to her and some intimacy with her. I think he was definitely trying to show her that he could be there for her; that she could rely on him even through something as ugly as that and as brutal as that.

As barbaric as we can see it today, at the time it was a pervasive social mentality that homosexuality was something that could be treated medically or psychologically. So I think to that end, he was implementing the forward thinking of the time to try to help her, or try to feel like he was helping her, to make some effort to get her out of there. Then it put him in a position when it didn’t work to devise a more radical approach to getting her out; that she would then be more likely to go along with because he’s already tried the more prescribed route or institutional route.

Let me see if I can prove that I’ve cured you, then they have to let you out. But when that doesn’t work, and he knows it won’t I think on some level, then he can sort of be more radical about it and she already has more faith in him. She already has trust in him, so she’s more likely to go along with it. I think it’s kind of a manipulative tactic that worked to a tee for him. So I think that’s what’s that’s an example of there.

Moderator There is no one else in queue.

Z. Quinto All right; thank you.

M. Mitchell At this time we can end; thanks so much, Zach.

Z. Quinto My pleasure. Have a good day.


FX Network’s American Horror Story Interview With Chloe Sevigny!

I’m going to refrain from asking the question “Have you been watching Season 2 of American Horror Story on FX Network?” because of course the answer is a resounding YES! This season has been just thrilling with the new Asylum story line. We lost some of last season’s characters but gained some characters as well. One new face on the scene is that of Chloe Sevigny, made famous by her role on HBO’s Big Love. Sevigny plays one of the Asylum patients who has been committed for nymphomania. Yep, she loves to cuddle if you catch my drift. Take a look at what Chloe Sevigny had to say about American Horror Story and her role as Shelly below! And don’t forget to watch Wednesday nights at 10PM EST.

E. Estrella Hello, Chloë. Thanks for being on the call today.

C. Sevigny Sure, this is so crazy and so official. I’ve never done one of these before.

E. Estrella My question is you’ve done a lot of themes and topics that have been explored in the season of American Horror Story before in other projects, but what was it that was specifically unique about AHS that drew you to the project?

C. Sevigny I guess it was having watched the first season and just being a fan of the show. I just thought it was so rich, the production design and costumes and how much detail went into it and I just thought it was wildly entertaining. I was hoping the second season would be as much so. I didn’t get to read any scripts prior to signing on, so I was kind of going in on blind faith hoping that it would be what I wanted it to be and it’s proven so.

E. Estrella Yes, were you able to work with Ryan [Murphy] with your character and develop “Shelley” along, or was everything kind of fed to you week by week?

C. Sevigny Yes, it was more week to week. I mean I think that’s mostly how television works. It’s a real writer’s medium and it’s not so much collaborative. It’s not like a film, so it’s pretty much all on the page. There were some bits where I asked Ryan for more lines, so that seemed to beef it up here and there and they tried to do that for me. That was probably the extent of it.

E. Estrella Awesome, well thank you.

C. Sevigny Thank you.

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Karen Moul with Please go ahead with your question.

K. Moul Hello, thanks so much for being with us. This show freaks me out. Each week I’m like not sure I can watch it again for another week. I had to bail out last year.

C. Sevigny Last year’s was very scary.

K. Moul Yes.

C. Sevigny But it’s a different kind of scare last year with the ghosts and the afterlife.

K. Moul Yes, yes. Some of us are more freaked out by ghosts than psychos.

C. Sevigny Yes.

K. Moul For the viewer who can sort to steel herself to get through it, what’s the payoff? There’s more there than just a good scare, right? What is it that you think is about the show that makes it so awesome?

C. Sevigny I think with this season, he’s exploring different things from the first like you said before. I think there’s a lot of really good … characters; how women are accused of being this, that, and the other thing. I think it’s like they’re wildly represented in the season. As a woman, as a female viewer I like that pitch.

K. Moul And that is great. I know you’ve talked about working with all these great female actresses in some of the reviews, but I haven’t you talk about what it’s like to work with James Cromwell who is …. I don’t know what he’s doing to you, but it’s really scary.

C. Sevigny Oh, it gets much scarier. He was good. I mean I was a huge fan of his. I actually saw him in a café right before we started shooting and I went up to him introduced myself and he just like, “I’m so looking forward to chopping off your legs.” Yes, he was great. I mean you know he was really into rehearsing the scenes before and really exploring it to its fullest, so that was kind of nice. Sometimes people just go in and just hit their marks and he really wanted to work everything out before. He was really … in that regard.

K. Moul Great, I know I can get through at least one more episode, or at least six until I see what happens to “Shelley,” so thank you very much.

C. Sevigny Thank you.

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Matt Mitovich with TV Line. Please go ahead with your question.

M. Mitovich Hello, Chloë, thanks for coming today.

C. Sevigny Sure.

M. Mitovich I’m curious what the heck is “Shelley’s” attitude going to be now in the wake of losing both of her legs at the operating table there.

C. Sevigny What’s her attitude?
M. Mitovich What’s your disposition going to be; she’s going to be pretty pissed off I’d have to imagine.

C. Sevigny I think she’s pretty pissed off. I think she feels pretty helpless and I think in the beginning you kind of like not so much rooting for her. You think she’s this bad girl and then see her helping Evan’s character and … character trying to escape and you realize that she’s pretty selfless in that regard. I think after she gets in the clutches of the evil doctor, I think you’re then kind of more rooting for her and hoping that she can escape or find a way out. So I think the character goes through a lot. The audience goes through a lot with the character.

M. Mitovich Is that kind of what’s next ahead for her, trying to find a way out of this predicament, given the new disadvantage she has?

C. Sevigny Oh, yes, and her disadvantage has only increased.

M. Mitovich Oh, Lord.

C. Sevigny She becomes more and more helpless. It’s very tragic, actually.

M. Mitovich Sounds fantastic, thank you.

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Rob Owen with the Pittsburgh Post. Please go ahead with your question.

R. Owen Hello, thank you for doing the call. You’re playing a very specific character here, an inmate in a sanitarium and then for your next role you’re playing a driven detective, and that seems like a more grounded part. I’m wondering how you shift as an actor from one role to another? Do you have to shake off “Shelley” before you play “Catherine” in Those Who Kill, or you find moving between roles to be an easy transition?

C. Sevigny I find it pretty easy. I’ve already wrapped American Horror Story a couple of months ago. I think they might have me come back for something else. I’m not sure, so I’ll have plenty of time and then of course delving into the scripts and research and … with playing “Catherine” they’ll probably be some training involved also, so just trying to immerse yourself in whatever you’re doing at the time. While we were shooting American Horror Story, I was also shooting Portlandia, so I was going from one set to the next, and I’d never really done that before. And Portlandia was so new for me because it’s all improvisation and trying to be funny and all that, so it was quite difficult when you’re shooting two at the same time. But I think having basically … is a better way to go.

R. Owen And is Hit and Miss done?

C. Sevigny Sadly, Hit and Miss is done. Yes, when I signed on, it was only as a miniseries, so I thought it was only going be a six parter and then there was talk of maybe doing another season. I think we’re just going to keep it as the one.

R. Owen Thank you so much.

C. Sevigny Thank you.

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Stacey Harrison with Tribune Media Services. Please go ahead.

S. Harrison Hello, Chloë, I was just wondering if you could sort of give your take on “Shelley’s” character. She’s obviously billed as a nympho, but then there’s that question of whether she truly is addicted to it, or she just likes it more than other people. What’s your take on that?
C. Sevigny I don’t know if people truly are addicted to that. There’s so much talk about it as of late. I think that she was a little wild and her husband had it within his power to commit her and I think kind of once she’s in there, she kind of goes with it to come to who she is and how she identifies herself. So I think that she probably yes really likes sex. All the reaction, I don’t know if she’s quite a real nymphomaniac.

S. Harrison Okay, and then if you could just talk about the challenge of acting with no legs or half legs.

C. Sevigny Well, the prosthetic pieces that they put on made it impossible to straighten my legs, so I had to keep my legs bent all day and I had to be wheeled around in a wheelchair and I was feeling quite helpless. It was a strange feeling to have to need assistance to do lots of different things. And that was probably the most challenging part, feeling kind of helpless in that way.

S. Harrison All right, thank you very much.

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Lesley Goldberg with The Hollywood Reporter. Please go ahead with your question.
C. Sevigny Hello, Lesley.

L. Goldberg Hello, Chloë, good morning. Thanks for taking the time out, we appreciate it. What do you think it is about amputation that makes it such an appealing storyline right now? This is obviously…Horror Story is not the only show doing it right now and we’ve seen it twice already.

C. Sevigny Really, where else have you seen it?

L. Goldberg Walking Dead, Grey’s Anatomy have both done it; Criminal Minds recently did an episode about it, too. What do you think it is about that storyline that makes it so ripe with material?

C. Sevigny I don’t know. That’s only the beginning of what happens to “Shelley,” so I think that he’s, the doctor, at least in our story, I can’t speak on the other shows; I haven’t seen any of them. But in our story, he’s this doctor who likes doing experiments on people. I don’t know how much you know about him or what he does with other patients, but I think he wants to make it so she can’t run away. I guess it’s not even what he does …, and it only gets worse for “Shelley.” So I don’t really know how it pertains to the question.

L. Goldberg It’s just not something we see on TV all the time.

C. Sevigny It’s not. I think it’s pretty horrifying the idea of that for a lot of people, so I guess … and also … “Shelley” and her character.

L. Goldberg Thank you so much.

Moderator And the next question comes from the line of April Neale with Monsters & Critics. Please go ahead with your question.

A. Neale Hello, April Neale. Thanks so much for your time.

C. Sevigny Sure, thank you.

A. Neale I’m wondering these intense scenes, if you can give us some insight into preparation you do with James Cromwell, who’s “Dr. Arden,” and if you discuss the scene ahead of time. I mean there’s such a physical acting involved, also, too, with Jessica Lange. These are not just typical scenes. There’s a lot of almost physical abuse, and if you can give us some insight into your conversations with these actors to prepare.

C. Sevigny Well, yes, there’s always a stunt guy on set also, and you go through all the motions. You kind of block out the physical bits, the throwing and the pulling and tugging and if it gets too rough, because sometimes an actor can lose himself in a scene and so you’re always … I always remind them I’m supposed to sell it. Whoever is getting the brunt of it is supposed to do all the acting, do all the selling of the violence and whatnot, so there’s a lot of—especially in the scene in the office with Tim and I, there was a lot of—I think we blocked that scene for like three hours, far longer than it took us to shoot it even just getting all the action down.

I mean it’s quite scary because James was so big and he was wielding this big kind of paperweight at me. He was getting really close and it was pretty frightening actually doing that scene. I was really exhausted at the end of that day, and it was quite scary while we were in it. His arms are so long I was so afraid he was actually going to knock me out.

A. Neale Thank you.

C. Sevigny And with Jessica, I guess we did a little bit more, yes, like she was like in the first scene in the first episode and her and I and she’s shaving my head and she has those old fashioned clippers on me and I had to remind her not to push too hard. I guess that’s it. I don’t know.

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Ethan Alter with Television Without Pity. Please go ahead with your question.

E. Alter Hello, Chloë, thanks so much for talking with us today. I wanted to ask American Horror Story is often described as sort of a guilty pleasure. Would you feel that way about it, or is that something, I mean do you believe that kind of category of TV exists, or do those words…sort of…you never like hearing those words?

C. Sevigny I mean I don’t think I would classify it as that. I think that’s more like the Honey Boo Boo and that kind of crap or something. But I’d be more embarrassed …. I don’t even have a TV, so I don’t watch any of it, but no, I wouldn’t put American Horror Story in that category. I think why would you even be embarrassed or why would it be something guilty? It’s great television.

E. Alter Right.

C. Sevigny There’s so much … so many great actors and you know. It has a little element of camp, sure, I’ll you that much, but I think it’s a great show. Well crafted.

E. Alter Do you have any guilty pleasures yourself? Are you … to watching like any shows that just pull you in despite yourself?

C. Sevigny No, I don’t like … watch that one ….

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Steve Eramo with the Morton Report. Please go ahead with your question.

S. Eramo Hello, Chloë, a pleasure to speak with you today.

C. Sevigny Hello.

S. Eramo I wonder if maybe you could tell us how you initially became involved in the show and perhaps about the audition process for your role of “Shelley,” if you don’t mind.

C. Sevigny I actually didn’t have to audition.

S. Eramo Awesome.

C. Sevigny Thank God, because I’d never gotten the role auditioning, I’m terrible at it. No, they just called and said they had this guest spot and they had me in mind for it. Actually Ryan Murphy called me and we spoke for about an hour about the character and about the season and what he wanted to do with her. I’d never seen the show before, and I had to sign on without having read any scripts and I said I already know how to make a decision considering solely off this conversation. So they sent me the first season and I watched that and I loved it. I was hooked right away and that’s when I signed on. Then I showed up and got my first script and that’s how I found out about the character after reading about more than what we had spoken about.

S. Eramo What would you say were some of the initial acting challenges you found stepping into the role of sort of getting into that mindset of “Shelley,” if that makes sense.

C. Sevigny I guess it’s just how far you can push it, you know, when you’re playing like a little bit of a crazy person, you want to know that someone is taking care of you and it’s not going to make you look really bad, you know. So I remember going to the director and saying I know the tone of the show is a strange tone. It’s big. It’s campy, and it is what it is and I said I just want to make sure that I’m not going too far, so you don’t have to rein me in if I start overacting, because they do really want you to push it. I don’t want to be caught ….

S. Eramo Thanks again, Chloë.

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Erin Willard with Please go ahead with your question.

E. Willard Hello, SciFiMafia. Thanks so much for talking to us today, Chloë, really appreciate it. I so love the show and you’ve done such a terrific job with it so far. What an excellent episode for you last night. It was perfect and you so beautifully inhabit this character. Is it easy to shake off the intensity of those scenes?

C. Sevigny Yes, a stiff drink at the end of the day really helps.

E. Willard I bet. Is the atmosphere pretty much maintained for every take, or is it everybody just kind of shakes it off and then dives back in again?

C. Sevigny It depends on who you’re working with. I remember … was very, it was very light in between and with James, it’s been pretty intense, so I think it depends on the actor and how they work. Me being strapped onto the gurney, I think that maintains a certain something. I have my arms and my legs strapped down, so I couldn’t do a lot of movement. I had to have the art department tucking blankets around me in between each take, and my favorite PA like giving me water, feeding me water through a straw like an invalid. So it was like, yes, that was difficult, but that kind of keeps you in the scene.

E. Willard And I understand it’s going to get worse for “Shelley” before …. Anything else you can tell us about that or is it all under wraps?

C. Sevigny I guess it’s kind of under wraps, but yes, he transforms her into something else.

E. Willard Oh Lord, I am so sorry. Okay, thanks so much for your work.

C. Sevigny Thank you.

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Natalie Abrams with Please go ahead with your question.

C. Sevigny Hello, Natalie.

N. Abrams Hello, how it’s going?

C. Sevigny Good.

N. Abrams Good, so everyone is sort of expecting everyone to die like …. Do you think everyone needs to survive to change up the series this season? How do you feel about where that’s going?

C. Sevigny To change it up?

N. Abrams Yes.

C. Sevigny I think it’s so different than last season. I mean I don’t think it really compares with the ghost story and whatnot. Has anybody died yet?
N. Abrams Possibly maybe…, Leo, Teresa.

C. Sevigny Oh, God. You really know the show. I don’t know how much I can say because they might be somewhere else. They may be revealed later in the season as something else. I’m not sure. I don’t know what I can say, sorry.

N. Abrams Great, thank you.

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Deidre Behar with Clevver TV. Please go ahead with your question.

D. Behar Hello, Chloë, thanks so much for talking to us.

C. Sevigny Thank you.

D. Behar I love reading this weekly interview that Ryan Murphy does in Entertainment Weekly, and he gives some sort of spoilers. He said this week when you see the evolution of what “Dr. Arden” continues to do with “Shelley,” it’s pretty amazing. Can you expound on that a little? I know your hands are sort of tied, but any spoilers you can give us would be super amazing.

C. Sevigny Gosh, I don’t know. Well, I don’t how much more dialog I have. There’s lots of gurgling.

D. Behar I know you have it in you just a little bit. What is this evolution that he speaks of? Can you expound on that a little?

C. Sevigny It’s just kind of this—I don’t really know how to, I don’t know how to say it. I don’t know how to say without giving it away.

D. Behar Will we see “Shelley” in a different medium?

C. Sevigny A different medium, no, but you see her transformed into something, something not so pleasant to look at.

D. Behar Interesting. Okay, last little follow-up question, I know you’re no stranger to all these gritty and controversial—

C. Sevigny It’s four hours of prosthetic makeup.

D. Behar Oh, wow, I know you’re no stranger to these kinds of gritty and controversial roles, but was there ever a moment that Ryan and Brad presented you with an idea or a scene or a line or a moment where you were just kind of taken aback and you had to think about it for a moment, because you were just like wow, that’s intense?

C. Sevigny I think when I read the third episode and I found out what happens to her and then when I went to … oh, and then what’s going to happen next and he kind of explained it to me. I was a little taken aback, I was.

D. Behar Like nothing you had maybe done before in your acting roles prior?

C. Sevigny No, absolutely no, nothing I’ve did before and actually while we were shooting, I just laughed myself, I can’t believe I’m here doing this. How did I get in this situation … in an outrageous way.

D. Behar Wow, thank you so much. We’re loving it.

C. Sevigny Okay, good.

Moderator And the next question is from the line of Nancy Harrington with Pop Culture Passionistas. Please go ahead with your question.

C. Sevigny Fashionistas, Passionistas?

N. Harrington Passionistas with a P.

C. Sevigny Okay, hello.

N. Harrington Hello, thanks so much for talking to us today.

C. Sevigny Sure.

N. Harrington As of the first installment the asylum itself is sort of a character on the series. Can you talk about how the environment helps you get into character?

C. Sevigny Yes, and the smokiness and all of that, well, in the last episode when I kind of knock out the orderly, Carl I think he’s named, we’re supposed to be in the stairwell, but they haven’t built the stairwell yet or maybe they have run out of budget for the cast, I’m not sure. But so the scene was written as like I’m on the stairs and I pull him down, so I felt like it wouldn’t have sold, like that stunt would have been much more convincing that she would have been able to knock him out, that she pulled him down and he hit the side of the tub so conveniently.

For me it was difficult. I kept arguing with them saying I don’t see how she could be such a shot to have that happen so conveniently. So the set can help working for you in that way. I was just being in there and all of the icons and everything. I don’t know, they’re … for people, but the smoke is really irritating.

N. Harrington Are there any other past thrillers or horror films that you drew from when you were creating your role?

C. Sevigny I watched Sam Fuller’s Shock Corridor, there’s this one scene…one of my lines is pulled from that film, so I watched that scene over and over again … hair, the way they moved and I drew a lot from that one scene, like a three minute scene of the movie.

N. Harrison Excellent, thanks so much for talking to us today.

C. Sevigny Sure.

Moderator The next question is from the line of Michael Gallagher with Please go ahead with your question.

M. Gallagher So what has the reaction been like so far to your role from your family and your fans?

C. Sevigny Well, nobody in my family is watching. I know my mom couldn’t watch it. She’s too much of a scary cat, but my friends are all loving it. Even last night I got like 100 texts saying like “oh my God, your legs!” I do have like some friends come visit me on the set and stuff and I share photos that I secretly took them on my BlackBerry and everybody is really excited about it. … it’s kind of a fun thing.

M. Gallagher This isn’t the first character that you’ve played where you kind of haven’t been sort of sexy or had love scenes in some capacity, so is that something that you’re inherently comfortable with, or do you find yourself outside of your comfort zone with some of those types of scenes?

C. Sevigny Yes, I’m not comfortable doing them. I don’t think anybody ever gets comfortable doing those kinds of scenes. You know, it’s what the part called for and you just have to kind of stay grounded in it and think about her and why she’s there and what the circumstances are, why she’s … for her benefit or for the benefit of the others in the hospital to help them escape. And you know you just try and ground things and think about the reasons for why they’re happening.

M. Gallagher Okay, thank you.

C. Sevigny Thank you.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Fred Topel with Fanhattan. Please go ahead with your question.

F. Topel Hello, Chloë, a lot of my questions have been covered and I was also going to ask you what’s on your TV watch list, but you said you don’t have a TV. So do you watch any online or on DVD?

C. Sevigny I do, I do. I watch Netflix, so I watch a lot. I watch Downton Abbey and Breaking Bad and Madmen. I’ve been starting to watch Arrested Development, because I’ve never watched that before. I want to watch Twin Peaks; I’ve never watched that before. But I can’t figure out the Hulu and all that. I’m going to get a TV eventually. I don’t like the way the new ones look …, but I do feel bad watching all of those shows on my computer, because I know all the craft and how much … watch on such a small screen seems like an injustice and kind of not fair to all the people who put in so much time and effort into the shows.

F. Topel How did you watch American Horror Story the first time?

C. Sevigny I watched it at the premiere on the big screen at Paramount.

F. Topel But I mean Season 1 when you weren’t on?

C. Sevigny Oh, Season 1 I watched on my computer. They sent me the DVDs and then secretly I passed them around to my friends.

F. Topel So of course we’ve seen you in harrowing movies like Kid, Boys Don’t Cry, The Brown Bunny and even Big Love had some intensity. Is American Horror Story relatively light for you by comparison?

C. Sevigny Not in what happens to my character, not light in the least. I think it might be kind of one of the heaviest things that I’ve ever done as far as where she winds up.

F. Topel Cool. Well, thank you, it’s great to talk to you and great work.

C. Sevigny Thank you. Thanks so much. Everyone is so polite and nice.

Moderator The next question is from the line of Lesley Goldberg with The Hollywood Reporter. Please go ahead with your question.

L. Goldberg A quick follow-up here, the last that … and “Grace” kind of all saw of your character, she was still inside the asylum. Do you think those three could get curious to what happened to her?

C. Sevigny You would think that they would actually, but I don’t think they are, maybe the “Lana” character I think references are made around, but yes, I think they’re all concerned really more with themselves escaping and their own fate. It’s pretty high drama for everybody, so they’re pretty stuck in their own storyline.

L. Goldberg So you don’t think anyone will be curious what happens to “Shelley”?

C. Sevigny I don’t know. I mean I’d hope so. I think you’ll see actually someone who does and you’ll be more surprised at who it is.

L. Goldberg Great, thank you.

C. Sevigny … looking out for her and worried about her.

Moderator The next question is from the line of Karen Moul with Please go ahead.

K. Moul Hello, we know that “Shelley” was committed by her husband, but I was wondering if Ryan gave you any more back story or if you created one, is that your approach to developing your character to create a back story?

C. Sevigny Sorry, could you repeat the question?

K. Moul All we know about “Shelley” before the asylum was that she was committed by her husband, but we don’t know anything about her life. Did Ryan give you a back story or did you create one? Would that be part of the … character?

C. Sevigny There’s that one little speech when she tells “Dr. Arden” how she wound up in the hospital. Is that still in the show? I think it is. I just kind of took it from there and imagined her kind of marrying her high school sweetheart and finding herself in a predicament falling out of love sooner than she expected to, or something. He really didn’t get into it with me. I had to create my own, but if that’s more of a direct answer, I guess.

K. Moul Yes. Is that the way you like to work? Do you like to create a back story to help you develop …?

C. Sevigny It depends on the part and like with Big Love, there’s was so much back story and so many other characters that came into play that we really hadn’t charted out her past like her first husband and stuff, so there was a lot of discussion on that show much more. I had a bigger part over five seasons, though. Sometimes I find myself tripping up over my back story because things change so much along the way.

K. Moul If you could just share with us when you sat down and watched Season 1, I think you said it straight through in like two or three days. What do you think was the scariest—there were so many freakish things. What was the scariest part of last season do you think?

C. Sevigny For me the scariest moment was when you realized that the daughter had died. I was really taken aback … when she sees herself in the crawl space and she’s kind of rotted away, that was the most disturbing moment for me; not only because she was a young girl, but I don’t know, just because it was such a surprise.

K. Moul I actually didn’t watch that because I was too scared, but.

C. Sevigny It’s very scary.

K. Moul Thank you.

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Stacy Roberts with Please go ahead with your question.

S. Roberts Hello, again, you have been fantastic on the show.

C. Sevigny Thank you.

S. Roberts How much in advance did you know what was going to happen to “Shelley” on AHS?

C. Sevigny I got the first three episodes pretty early on and then I didn’t really know what was going to happen to her until I was reading them. You get like the next episode while you’re shooting one. While you’re shooting the third, you get the fourth, so I had an idea and I wanted to know, but they would kind of give me some … to where they thought, because I think they were still working it out as we were shooting.

S. Roberts So in other words you knew up to where your legs were going to be cut off, so you didn’t know what was going to happen next week?

C. Sevigny No.

S. Roberts What was your reaction when you found that out, without spoiling?

C. Sevigny Honestly I wanted to have more to do. I called my agent and I said I wish my part was bigger. That’s honestly what happened. That was my first response, but then I kind of let go of my ego and kind of accepted what was going to happen to me and try to find the joy in that and the mystery and the ….

S. Roberts You’ve had such an amazing career, but you’ve done some really original and interesting type roles in the past. How would you say this compares to them in a way?

C. Sevigny Compared to them, I’ve never done anything like this before, so I don’t know if it really compares. When you see what happens the next few weeks, it’s like it becomes a whole other thing. It was pretty new for me and that’s what made it so exciting and fun to do. I always want to try new things and … pretty cool.

S. Roberts And so far it’s looking that way, so thank you so very much.

C. Sevigny Thank you so much.

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Rob Owens with Pittsburgh Post. Please go ahead with your question.

C. Sevigny Pittsburgh.

R. Owens Yes, Pittsburgh.

C. Sevigny I might be there soon.

R. Owens I know. Are you looking forward to that?

C. Sevigny I’ve never been there. How is it?

R. Owens It’s a great town.

C. Sevigny Okay, good.

R. Owens I wanted to ask what was it like working with Zach Quinto as an actor?

C. Sevigny Zach I didn’t get to have enough scenes with. I mean we went out to see… in the L.A., the whole cast and I, not the whole cast, but a few of us. We went out dancing, and I’m such a fan of his and what he does. I loved him in Star Trek and …. I just think he’s so brilliant and he’s so handsome and charming to be around. I wanted to have more—I don’t think we even had one scene together.

R. Owens You guys were both in the—

C. Sevigny We were both at the movie, yes, that’s true. I remember just watching him and … I wish I could up there with him. But when you find out what happens with his character, I think you’ll be happy that I wasn’t near him.

R. Owens Okay, and then on just on the A&E series you’re doing in Pittsburgh, my understanding is that if it goes to series, that they’ll shoot the series in Pittsburgh. Are you cool with that?

C. Sevigny That’s my understanding as well. I don’t know. I have never been there. I’m cool for the fact … hour from New York, but yes, I’m excited to be there. I love being on location, especially in a town like that. I have some of the most fun times like working in Sarasota, Florida or Shreveport, Louisiana and things like that, so I think it will be cool to discover a new city like that.

R. Owens Great, thank you so much.

Moderator The next question is from the line of Adam Lawton with Please go ahead with your question.

A. Lawton Hello, Chloë, how are you?

C. Sevigny Good, how are you?

A. Lawton Good, thanks. My question is after seeing, knowing the show coming up onto a new season, which is a whole different take on the show, how do you think it compare to some of the other series that have come back, but still follow the same storyline?

C. Sevigny I’m not sure I understand the question. Have there ever been any other shows that come back that don’t—

A. Lawton Well, with Season 1 kind of being its own series in itself, or show, I guess, and then Season 2 being completely different, yet it’s still under the same name, how do you think it compares to others seasons that you know just run the course?

C. Sevigny I think it’s maybe a little harder to watch, because you have to discover new characters and get invested in new characters every season. Whereas it’s easier to fall back when you’re watching something like Breaking Bad or any of those where everything is so familiar and you’re falling into it. So maybe it’s more of a challenge for the viewers, I don’t know.

A. Lawton Okay, and then my other question you kind of touched on there a little bit was when you get the script, what’s it like trying to wrap your head around where your character is going to go within that story?

C. Sevigny What’s it like, I don’t know, you kind of just have to take what’s on the page and try and make the most of it and fill in all the blanks. I think when you’re playing a guest spot, I think it’s a little harder than a main character—actually, it’s a lot harder, because there’s not as much to work with, so it’s harder to really fall into the character and lose yourself … not such a huge—so it’s harder to lose yourself … there.

A. Lawton Okay, all right, thanks a lot. I appreciate it.

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Ernie Estrella with Please go ahead with your question.

E. Estrella Hello again, Chloë. I wanted to ask you…does this show any of the storylines or maybe your storyline, does it tap into any of your actual fears that are be seen or kind of what’s being done to people?

C. Sevigny I’d have to think about that for a little while, not that I can recall as we were shooting, no.

E. Estrella Okay. And then the song that the nun’s singing song, do they actually play that on the set, or is that all added afterwards?

C. Sevigny Nun singing song.

E. Estrella The record.

C. Sevigny They play that like during like a couple of rehearsals, so we can all hear it, but then yes, they have to turn it off for sound, because it would never map.

E. Estrella Okay, I didn’t know if that was kind of like a constant buzzing in your ears, I guess.

C. Sevigny No, it’s supposed to be. It sounds like what you’re playing now.

E. Estrella I’m not playing that.

C. Sevigny Oh.

Moderator One moment, we’ll remove the music.

C. Sevigny Okay. I thought you were playing it. Hello?

E. Estrella Hello?

Moderator I do apologize for that.

E. Estrella Okay, and then maybe one more real quick question, your appearance on Louie that was kind of like a crazy just a great guest appearance. Was there anything that you found maybe kind of just kind of horrifying I guess is to kind of do that scene?

C. Sevigny Not so much horror, I mean it was horrifying, I was pretty scared about having to pull off and be convincing and be funny and be everything that I wanted it to be, but he really held my hand through the whole process and took care of me and helped me work it out and how to make it. I haven’t seen that yet, so I mean, hopefully it worked or what I’ve heard, but yes, he was very helpful in that. It was pretty terrifying doing that, the … bit.

E. Estrella Yes, it was definitely, well, it was great seeing him and thank you again for your answers.

C. Sevigny Thank you.

Moderator Thank you, the next question is going to come from the line of Kristyn Clarke from Please go ahead with your question.

C. Sevigny Hello, Kristyn.

K. Clarke Hello, how are you?

C. Sevigny Good, thanks. I’m recovering from Halloween, so I’m a little shaky.

K. Clarke So personally even in the spirit of Halloween, I find American Horror Story to be one of the most truly terrifying shows on TV. What do you feel is it that attracts viewers to the series?

C. Sevigny I think in general people like to be spooked out. I think horror movies have always done really well at the box office and I think it’s kind of a new thing on television. I think since Hitchcock and whatnot, there haven’t been that many scary shows, but like Walking Dead was huge and now American Horror Story, I think just people are tapping into that.

K. Clarke Absolutely, and you’ve played such a variety of characters over the course of your career. Is there any type of role that you would love to take on that you’ve not had a chance to portray yet?

C. Sevigny I would love to do more comedic stuff. I’d like to do some sort of period I don’t know romantic comedy kind of thing, which people just don’t make anymore. Every actress always says she’d love to do something like that, so it’s pretty typical I guess, you know, like a Hepburn kind of thing, you know.

K. Clarke Absolutely. Thank you so much for your time.

C. Sevigny Sure.

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Deidre Behar with Clevver TV. Please go ahead with your question.

D. Behar Hello again, Chloë.

C. Sevigny Hello.

D. Behar I think it was really a treat for a lot of people to see Adam Levine on the show this season.

C. Sevigny Yes.

D. Behar I know that you’re wrapped, but just hypothetically which fellow actor or somebody out there who we would know, who do you think would make an awesome asset to the show?

C. Sevigny Oh God, there’s so many actors. How do you pick just one?

D. Behar Maybe somebody you worked with that you could really see lighting up the screen either in a role that’s more normal, like maybe “Dr. Harmon” from last season, or maybe someone more terrifying like this season, anybody maybe you’ve worked with in the past?

C. Sevigny I’d love to see Harriet Eaton Stanton on the show.

D. Behar Tell me why.

C. Sevigny I don’t know. I think that he is just, he’s just such a presence always on screen, especially in Big Love and he’s so commanding. I think that he could come in and do something really, do something interesting, because he can be very creepy and very sweet at the same time.

D. Behar Cool, so maybe we’ll see you two up there next season.

C. Sevigny I hope so. I’d love to work with that guy again.

D. Behar Cool, thank you.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Evan Rio with Life & Style. Please go ahead with your question.

E. Rio Hello, Chloë, how are you?

C. Sevigny Good, how are you?

E. Rio I’m doing well. So I just want to know like how fun did you have playing the resident nymphomaniac? Do you ever shock yourself with the things that you said as your character?

C. Sevigny Not so much the things I said, but some of the rubbing of the body in front of everybody else and all of that. I found myself like during that scene where “Kit” is fighting in the first episode, like her being turned on by the violence. Like oh my God I’m really like going for it with this part, so I guess I surprised myself in that sense, in that scene.

E. Rio Definitely. And Jessica Lange, you said that she really shaved your head.

C. Sevigny She did.

E. Rio What did you think of your new hairdo and how did you make it work for you after that?

C. Sevigny Well, I got to cut it since then. It’s a bit asymmetrical, a bit uneven, but it was better than going in at 4 a.m. instead of six to have them put a piece on, so I just kind of learned to live with it. I had the haircut actually when I was younger, like 20 or something, and it really worked. Now that I’m older, I found it not to be working quite so much.

E. Rio Oh, thank you.

C. Sevigny Thank you.

Moderator The next question is from the line of Karen Moul with SciFiVision. Please go ahead with your question.

K. Moul Hello, I have a quick question about the asylum. My understanding you shoot that I think on the stage? You’re not on location, they built that asylum. I wonder if you could tell me a little bit about what the set is like and is it as creepy to be in as it looks on TV?

C. Sevigny It is very eerie. They built it; it’s on the Paramount lot. I think that’s where Ryan shoots all of his shows, so like yes, they have all these … around and stuff and art and lab and the room that I’m in in the … also just like that’s kind of what do they call those … I’m still recovering from Halloween. But, yes it’s really creepy, especially when there was no … and everything and just the way they light, it’s very dark, so the way they light it and it’s kind of spooky, long shadows and all of that.

K. Moul Do you or any of the other actors take a method approach, or are you staying in character while you’re on set? I guess were you staying in character? Is that part of your approach?

C. Sevigny No, no, it’s never been my approach … exhausting.

K. Moul Yes, especially for this character, you would ….

C. Sevigny I’d be … coming on to every man on the set or something. That would be really degrading.

K. Moul Thanks a lot.

C. Sevigny Sure.

Moderator The next question is from the line of Erin Willard with Please go ahead with your question.

E. Willard Hello again, Chloë. I know you’ve said before that you were pleased to hear from a friend who worked on Season 1 that Ryan Murphy was really hands-on. Was he as hands-on as you expected in this season?

C. Sevigny Was he as much, yes, he came to the set a bunch and like I think he is very much so like behind the scenes, every outfit, every hairdo, everything. We always have to send photos to Ryan and make sure he approves, or if we want to change a line a little bit, it always had to go by him. So yes, every decision kind of goes through him. If we had trouble with a scene, he would come to the set and help us block it and figure out—always make it more interesting or make it work. I don’t know how he does it, shooting three shows at the same time. That guy has more energy than anyone I know, but yes, he was really present.

E. Willard Did it slow down production at all to have to wait like that?

C. Sevigny Not that I can recall ever, no, I think they plan it all out in advance, especially like the makeup and the wardrobe and those kind of decisions .… They give time for him to see it and approve first.

E. Willard Okay, great, can I ask how you spent your Halloween?

C. Sevigny I was in Palm Springs.

E. Willard Okay, great. Thanks so much.

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Lucy Perussi with Please go ahead with your question.

L. Peruffi Hello, Chloë.

C. Sevigny Hello.

L. Peruffi Thanks for talking to us today. I was freaked out about the last episode last night. All my questions have been covered, but I have to tell that “Shelley” made me laugh out loud when she laughed out loud at the doctor. It was hilarious. It was crazy.

Speaking of crazy, when you learned you were going to play a nymphomaniac, did you do research? Other than watching movies, did you look for scientific aspects of the disease?

C. Sevigny I didn’t. Actually a friend of mine had seen some documentary that he thought would be very helpful and I was going to watch it. But I was like, I was doing a play right before we started and there just wasn’t any time. I was up at Vassar and doing the kind of workshops with the play and there was not enough time, sadly. But I’d be curious to find out more about it.

L. Peruffi Yes. And I think “Shelley” is very intense. Do you have that intensity in you? How do you get into character? Do you connect with her with that true intensity?

C. Sevigny Is she intense, I don’t know? I guess it just, yes, just what’s on the page and rehearsing and finding something through working with the other actors and trying to match their intensity maybe, especially with “Dr. Arden,” James Comwell … and I just have to match that to make it easier for a dynamic.

L. Peruffi Okay, and a lot has been asked about “Dr. Arden” and I know you, like my colleague said you have your hands tied, but is “Dr. Arden” going Frankenstein or something like that?

C. Sevigny Yes, yes, something like that, exactly.

L. Peruffi Is “Shelley” going to become one of these creatures? Like you don’t have to tell, I know you can’t say, but like a hint?

C. Sevigny She might be going in that direction.

L. Peruffi Okay. Thank you much, Chloë.

C. Sevigny Thank you.


Amy Farrah Fowler Tonight is the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards!You know where I’ll be tonight. Perched atop the back of my heels intently watching the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. Usually my Anna Downton Abbey Tonight is the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards!7 year old will watch with me and ask me how many of the actors I know or have met. That’s a blast. I’ll be Tweeting like a mad woman about the dresses, the speeches and anything else going on that is Tweet worth. Like those sad disappointed faces of those who didn’t win. So sad. icon sad Tonight is the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards!

This year I’m rooting hard for Downton Abbey, Mayim Bialik, Joanne Froggatt, Peter Dinklage  and of course so many more.

Follow me on Twitter @TheExactLee if you want to laugh and cry uncontrollably, cause I am that much fun or at least that’s what they tell me every year.

You can find the Emmy’s on ABC at 7PM EST.


006 002 250x300 Help Me Stand Up To Cancer Friday Night September 7th!Hey! I know that girl! That’s what some of you may be saying if you watch the Stand Up To Cancer Telethon this Friday night 8-9 PM EST on basically every channel your television airs (ABC, CBS, NBC). I’ll be manning the red carpet as one of the 5 official SU2C Bloggers interviewing all the stars and then sitting in the audience during the show. The telethon will feature talent such as Tim McGraw, Jeremy Renner, Gwyneth Paltrow, ColdPlay and many more. There is always that chance the camera could land on the lucky group of bloggers so please keep your eyes peeled. I’ll be wearing the shirt pictured to the left!

But that’s not actually what is important. The important thing is raising money to help fight cancer. A few years ago I had an amazing friend named Andy. If you search for Andy Swan on either of my blogs you’ll learn so much about a man, a father, about 34 years old, who never smoked a cigarette a day in his life but somehow got struck down with lung cancer. He lived nearly a year from the day he was diagnosed with the cruel disease. He left behind a preschool age son. It wasn’t fair. Cancer never is.

I Stand Up for Andy Swan. Who do you Stand Up for? If you Tweet, go ahead and Tweet with the Hashtag #IStandUpFor and tell us exactly who it is you are standing up for. A celebrity might just Retweet you. If you are anything like me, you’ll screen shot that Tweet and keep it forever.

I simply ask that this Friday night you tune in to one of the networks listed above and watch the Stand Up To Cancer Telethon and at some point  you pick up the phone and make the call. Even the smallest amount can make a huge difference. Television, Movie, Music and Sports greats will be on hand to take phone pledges the entire time, so who knows who you might get to speak with!

Thank you so much for your help.


The Relationships Are What Keep Me Coming Back To The Newsroom!

August 26, 2012

I’m in love with you but I can’t have you. When I see you in the office it’s almost painful but I can’t help but engage you. Every moment I can steal away with you is the best moment of my day and never lasts long enough. We were meant to be together, but instead [...]

Read the full article →

NBC’s New Hit Comedy Go On Starring Matthew Perry! Review!

August 21, 2012

Feel The Love. That’s the catch phrase for NBC’s new hit comedy Go On starring Matthew Perry. The comedy which airs on Tuesday nights at 9/8 c and will next air on September 11th centers around Perry’s character Ryan whose wife has passed away a month earlier. When Ryan shows back up to his job [...]

Read the full article →

Anyone Else Watching HBO’s The Newsroom Tonight?

June 24, 2012

Tim and I have been eagerly awaiting tonight’s episode of HBO’s The Newsroom starring Jeff Daniels. “A newsman on the cusp of either a breakthrough or a breakdown” This is the short description of the show and if you’ve seen any of the teasers or trailers you’ll know exactly what it means. Tim and I [...]

Read the full article →

Interview With Terri Ivens Star Of SyFy’s Piranhaconda Airing June 16th!

June 14, 2012

Terri Ivens is starring in SyFy’s Piranhaconda airing on June 16th. She will play Rose and let me tell you, we are excited. I have mentioned before I’m all about the Roger Corman monster movies! I had a chance to get some great questions over to Terri about the motherhood, fitness, acting and Jeremy Renner..well, [...]

Read the full article →

Interview With HBO’s True Blood Star Dale Raoul!

May 28, 2012

I had the chance to chat with True Blood star Dale Raoul this past week and boy did I have a handful of questions. I mean, Maxine Fortenberry is undoubtedly a scene stealer. Here is what she had to say about the next season of True Blood, Christopher Meloni and being a pioneer in web [...]

Read the full article →

Criminal Minds Season Finale And Emily Prentiss Leaves The Show!

May 17, 2012

Tonight’s 2 hour Criminal Minds season finale was a lot more action packed than usual and included a huge explosion. It was also riddled with symbolism as we prepared to say goodbye to S.A. Emily Prentiss for a second time. I’ve written up an in depth recap over at my gig on The Celebrity Cafe [...]

Read the full article →