American Horror Story – which now holds the record as FX’s highest-rated series premiere ever and just earned a Season 2 pick-up –- is starting to answer some questions and spill some (albeit very creepy) exposition. During a conference call with reporters, Connie Britton and Dylan McDermott, who play Vivien and Ben Harmon, increasingly estranged marrieds who perhaps bought the worst fixer-upper in real estate history, shared insight on the show’s success, what’s been going on and what (may) lay ahead.
HOW IS THIS FREAKFEST HITTING RATINGS HIGHS, AND NOT SCARING PEOPLE AWAY? | Britton, who being horror-averse would have been one of the last people to give AHS a try, assigns all credit to the series’ twisted masterminds. “What is so brilliant about what Ryan [Murphy] and Brad [Falchuk] do is they have a very distinct vision that is so outside-the-box of anything we’ve seen before, and they have such a great talent for bringing that to fruition. I think audiences — even those whose natural inclination is not to watch a show like this — are drawn to and appreciate being challenged.” McDermott concurs, saying, “People are smart and want to have something to watch that’s interesting and intelligent… and a lot of television doesn’t offer that. It’s the complexity of the show that makes it stand out.”
HAVE WE SEEN THE LAST OF ADDIE? | In discussing his favorite storylines, McDermott confirmed that Constance (played by Jessica Lange) dragged her daughter, felled by a hit-and-run, to her lawn “to make her a ghost, which I thought was such a great storyline.” As such, we must assume we’ll see the wannabe “pretty girl” in some form again. Says McDermott, “I’m really interested in what’s go to happen to [Lange’s] character.”
WHO IS THE RUBBER MAN? | Britton, addressing one piece of speculation that the “infantata” – the Frankenstein-like monstrosity that the house’s original owner sewed together from his dead child – is grown up and wearing the suit (when it’s not Tate goofing around), said “that’s a great guess,” but declined to confirm or deny the identity of the unsettling icon aka Vivien’s baby daddy. McDermott meanwhile raised at least this reporter’s eyebrow by disclosing, “I’ve had to put on the rubber suit a few times myself.” Hmmm. Speaking of Vivien’s freaky-yet-fruitful hook-up….
WHY DID THE NURSE FAINT UPON SEEING THE ULTRASOUND? | “I really don’t know what she saw,” Britton told TVLine when we lobbed this question her way, “but my suspicion is that it was something with horns. I think that’s Vivien’s fear, that it was something with horns.”
HAS DELIVERING ANY OF THIS OUT-THERE FARE MADE THE ACTORS UNCOMFORTABLE? | “After masturbating in the pilot ” — while crying — “what else is there?” McDermott counters with a chuckle. “I couldn’t be uncomfortable again.” As Britton points out, “Ryan and Brad can come up with something that I think is going to be hideous and awful, but I’ve grown to really trust them to create it in a way that is only interesting.”
BUT WILL CONNIE AND DYLAN BE BACK FOR THE JUST-ORDERED SEASON 2? (PERHAPS AS GHOSTS TO HAUNT THE NEXT VICTIMS?) | “It’s open-ended – we’re not quite sure about the next episode never mind next year,” McDermott hedged. “We’re just sort of like flying by the seat of our pants.” Britton even suggests, “I don’t know that Brad and Ryan know, which I think is really fun! It’s such an evolution in progress.”