FX’s American Horror Story: Asylum on Halloween night served up a chilling, somewhat topically storm-tossed, rain-drenched episode that concluded with Briarcliff’s resident nymphomaniac joining TV’s ever-growing amputee club, as Dr. Arden lopped off both of his captive’s legs.
That can’t possibly do much for the inmate’s disposition. “She’s pretty pissed off,” Chloe Sevigny told TVLine during a morning-after conference call. “She feels pretty helpless.”
In fact, Sevigny supposes that this physical assault, coupled with the events that led up to it — Shelley was caught by the not-at-all-good doctor while helping Kit, Lana and Grace escape Briarcliff during an angry Nor’easter — could turn her off-kilter alter ego into a real root-for antiheroine.
“In the beginning you kind of are not so much rooting for her, because she’s this bad girl, but then you see her helping [the others] try to escape and you realize she’s pretty selfless in that regard,” she posits. “And after she gets in the clutches of the evil doctor, you’re more rooting for her, that she can find her way out [of her predicament].”
And try to hobble/crawl away she will, though Sevigny warns that the worst, amazingly, has yet to come for Shelley. “Oh yeah, her disadvantage is only increased. She gets more and more helpless,” the actress teases. “It’s very tragic, actually.”
Sevigny signed on for the second Horror Story having been a fan of the first cycle, though at the time she had no idea what series cocreator Ryan Murphy had planned for his encore. “I went in on blind faith hoping it would be what I wanted it to be,” she says.
She also is a fan of Dr. Arden himself, James Cromwell, whom she first met before filming even began, as they shared a dark little moment.
“I saw him in a cafe … and went up and introduced myself, and he was like, ‘Oh, I’m so looking forward to chopping off your legs,’” she shares with a laugh, effectively mimicking her scene partner’s voice. “So yeah, he was great. Sometimes people just go in and hit their marks, but was really into rehearsing scenes before and really exploring it to its fullest, so that was nice.”