Chloe Sevigny: As Shelley's Horror Story Gets Even More Tragic (!), You'll Be Rooting For Her

The following contains a major spoiler from Wednesday’s night’s episode of American Horror Story: Asylum.

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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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7 Comments
  1. aleksa says:

    I never really thought she was an unlikable character, just WAY oversexed for her era.

  2. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I always liked Shelley, but crazy, bad girls are my favorite characters in TV shows. What can I say, I relate. I’m sad she won’t get to run away to Paris.

  3. Annie says:

    I fear for both this character and my heart. I don’t know how much more I can take – last night’s “reveal” truly shocked the crap out of me. (And that’s why we watch, right?)

  4. Louis says:

    Well they did say in the first episode nobody ever got out of the hospital so I already know that there will be no happy endings :/. I gotta admit i thought the first episode was weird and wasn’t sure if I was gonna like this season but now I freaking love it so far. I really hope shelly at least hurts that doctor or kills him. I like her character. I’m rooting for her the reporter and the evan peters character.

  5. Philipp says:

    I went into season 1 thinking it would scare the bejeezus outta me (it didn’t) and I thought well how scary is season 2 gonna be. Boy, was I wrong! I’m not so much scared as I’m seriously creeped out by it, but the term “horror” is definitely more appropriate this time around, also due to the overload of gore. They must’ve not found season 1 scary either and decided to amp it up for this one.

  6. jessica says:

    I read in an interview a magazine did with ryan murphy that apparently the last 30 seconds of the season seem like there will be a happy ending but he said 5 seconds after it all gets destroyed.

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