[Warning: If you have yet to watch Wednesday's episode of American Horror Story, head for the nearest exit. I repeat: If you've yet to watch Wednesday's episode of American Horror Story, head for the nearest exit. Everyone else, read on... ]
Wednesday’s penultimate freshman episode of FX’s American Horror Story delivered big thrills, haunting chills and lady of the house Vivien to the proverbial morgue! Yep, in case you haven’t already heard, shortly after delivering her and Rubber Man’s demon spawn, TV’s most Desperate Housewife was put out of her misery. (Constance whisked the wee one away before we could see whether it had horns.)
Here, Connie Britton recounts her three-day childbirth ordeal, explains why she’s thrilled to join the show’s growing gaggle of ghosts, and offers a tantalizing tease about next week’s season finale.
TVLINE | Unless I’m mistaken, you shot this episode right around the time you became a mom in real-life [to adopted son, Eyob].
It totally overlapped. The previous episode the producers wrote me out so I could go to Ethiopia to get this baby. And I had just gotten back with my new baby and then had to shoot this childbirth scene! It was crazy. I screamed my ass off for three days. It was so exhausting. When I read the script, I was kind of like, “Oh, man, all I’m going to be doing is giving birth the whole episode.” [Laughs] It took three days to shoot that whole sequence.
TVLINE | No.
Yes it did! It was so long. It was very intense. And I wanted it to look real. I was consulting with [costar and mother of three] Jessica Lange. And we had a medical person on set….
TVLINE | What advice did Jessica Lange give you?
She was really helpful. I can’t remember specifics, but just in terms of the level of pain that you’re in. We talked a lot about what happens during each moment, like when the water breaks and all that stuff…. God bless Matt Ross [who plays Dr. Charles Montgomery], who basically had my crotch in his face for three days. I just had to kind of lay there. I also had that big pregnancy belly on, which was a prosthetic and very heavy, so it was a whole to-do every time I had to get up and down out. So between takes, I would just kind of lay there like a lump covered in various amounts of blood depending on where we were in the take.
TVLINE | What did you give birth to? We didn’t see its face. Tell me!
No. Hell no. [Laughs] I’m not ruining it for people. I’m not telling you what I gave birth to. If they didn’t show you in the episode, I’m definitely not telling you. It will all be revealed [in next week's finale].
TVLINE | How far in advance did you know that Vivien was going to die giving birth?
I knew from the beginning. But at first I thought Dylan [McDermott] and I were going to kill each other in some mutual murder/suicide thing. But then not very long after that it became clear that it was probably going to be [during] childbirth.
TVLINE | Of course, on this show, there could be a lot of life after death.
Oh, I know. Let me just tell you something: I was so excited once I became a ghost. The ghosts have all the fun! [Laughs] Ghosts get to have nice outfits. Ghosts don’t have to wear pregnancy bellies. Ghosts apparently change clothes all the time, willy-nilly. I don’t know where their clothes come from but they have fabulous wardrobes.
TVLINE | And I imagine all of Vivien’s angst has completely vanished.
A lot less angst. I’m as cool as a cucumber in the finale. [Laughs] It’s kind of fun.
TVLINE | Speaking of which, what exactly is Vivien up to next week?
Here’s what I will say about the last episode: Vivien’s goal is to bring the family together. That’s all I’m going to say about it. Because ghosts need family, too.
TVLINE | Will Ghost Vivien be sticking around for Season 2?
We’ll see. It was always my understanding that I was going to do one season, but it’s all up in the air. Who knows?
TVLINE | If it is only for one season, what will you do next?
I’m taking a couple of months off to spend some time with my son. And then I’m getting back into the David O. Russell thing [that Britton and the acclaimed director are developing] for FX. That’s still in the pipeline.
TVLINE | And what about the Friday Night Lights movie?
I think Pete [Berg] is really tied up next year, so I don’t think that would happen until the end of next year — if it happens at all. But everybody really wants to make it happen.