Some of these you may have read or heard; others also obsessed with American Horror Story Asylum may know most. However, I’m thinking you’ll read at least one fact you didn’t know, hopefully more! I cited sources when I could, or links to the articles I came across the info or quotes in. A couple I stumbled upon by accident –I was trying to find more than ten, so I could weed out a few of the blander ones–even surprised me. Let’s start things off with a bang (so to speak)…
Ryan Murphy told EW.com that Cromwell said, “Well you have to fucking cast my son — he looks just like me.’ He walked in and indeed he did. We cast him on the spot… it was perfect.”
1. Well, If you’re one of the many ladies and gentlemen out there who find Evan Peters yummy, you might have heard this one. Evan, while wearing a
cock “modesty sock” in the scene closing the second episode where he gets bent over Sister Jude’s desk and caned for trying to escape with Grace accidentally gave Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson a free show! Yes, the rumors are true, Peters confirmed them himself (and so did Paulson). Here’s his confession, from Vulture.com:
Peters: That was literally the first day of shooting. It’s embarrassing that I’m telling you this, but why not? I had to wear a cock sock, right? And since I was wearing a hospital gown, I thought, Well, my front’s not going to be showing. It’s not a big deal. And when they bent me over [laughs], they could see my balls hanging down from the other side. The first day of shooting, and I flash Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson my balls. Welcome to American Horror Story ! It was ridiculous. I have to put on a cock sock and sheath my balls. Once someone’s seen your balls, it’s over. It’s fine. Everything’s good. They didn’t even say anything. Sarah just walked over after that take and kissed me on the cheek. I was like, Why? What’s happening? That’s when I realized. I was mortified.
2. Ryan Murphy said the part of Charlotte/“Anne Frank” was written for Franka Potente, and that she was the “only choice” for the two-episode role.
3. Chloë Sevigne as Shelley had to wear prosthetics after Dr. Nazi “clipped her wings”. When asked about “physical challenges”, she replied, “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.” Eek!
4.. In the flashbacks so far that take place during WWII, the reason the young Dr. Nazi looks almost exactly like the 1964 Dr. Nazi is that they cast James Cromwell’s son. Ryan Murphy told EW.com that Cromwell said, “Well you have to fucking cast my son — he looks just like me.’ He walked in and indeed he did. We cast him on the spot… it was perfect.”
5. The make-up process to transform pretty, petite actress Naomi Grossman into Pinhead Pepper takes about three hours (though it was longer during initial sessions). The process includes a contact lens for one of her eyes (that the actress says makes her almost blind in one eye) and a bumpy piece for her spine.
6. To protect leaks about the plots, nearly everyone in the cast except Jessica Lange, James Cromwell, and Zach Quinto only see their own script “sides”. Sarah Paulson (who plays Lana Winters) has said she doesn’t yet know the ultimate fate of her character.
7. Both James Cromwell and Jessica Lange have played characters that were in-patients in mental hospitals. On the much-loved HBO series created by Alan Ball, “Six Feet Under”, James Cromwell played Ruth Fisher’s (played by fellow American Horror Story alum Frances Conroy, who was robbed of any Emmy for her SFU role, especially in Season Five) second husband, Arthur, whose obsessions about preparing for World War Three turned into deep psychosis; When it got to the point that he moved into the basement bomb shelter and refused to leave, his miserable wife had to finally call a hospital and he was taken out of the house in a straitjacket. While he was undergoing treatment (in a much nicer psychiatric facility than the one in Asylum, of course), his character had to have several sessions of shock therapy that resulted in serious (though temporary) memory loss.
In 1982, Jessica Lange played tragic actress Frances Farmer in the emotionally brutal biopic Frances. During the portions of the film covering her years-long stay in the 1940s after her abusive mother had her committed to a state mental hospital, she also had to receive very extreme, repeated treatments including repeated shock treatment (she had bruising/slight scorch marks on her temples very similar to Lana’s after her shock treatment in episode two) and a padded cell. Towards the end of the movie, her character was shown being on the receiving end of a trans-orbital lobotomy. If you want to watch the aforementioned scene from the film below, you’ll recognize a very familiar line of dialogue from the doctor when he’s “pitching” the lobotomies. Hell, that’s trivia I just accidentally stumbled upon when I was finding the clip: that Brad Falchuck, who wrote the episode “I Am Anne Frank, Part Two”, was inspired from this horrifying scene. The clip ends before the actual surgery, but trust me, it’s still disturbing.
8. According to the IMDB, actor Chris Zylka was booked for a two-episode arc as a deaf, mute patient in the series’ second season. However, Zylka was quietly dismissed from the show after refusing to shave his head for the role. Producers then reduced the role to a one-episode guest spot in the wake of the actor’s ouster.
9. As of this writing (November 19th), Ryan Murphy as said that not only has the season not wrapped yet, but that the script for the Asylum finale is still being polished by the writers.*
10. During a red carpet interview at the American Horror Story Asylum premiere event, Zachary Quinto (Dr. Thredson) said that the set was so creepy, and the atmosphere was so intense, he started bringing his banjo to the set and playing it during breaks in shooting. He said at first he was “sort of a little bit nervous” about playing, but everyone has thanked him for doing it, and told him how much it helps to lighten the mood. You can see the entire montage of red-carpet interviews with the leads in the below video (brought to you by DreadCentral.com).
*For the record, I trust him and the entire creative team completely.
- American Horror Story Renewed for Season 3, Jessica Lange to Return… But Who’ll She Play? (tvline.com)
- How Did They Find That Identical Young Dr. Arden ‘AHS’? (huffingtonpost.com)
- ‘American Horror Story: Asylum’: Zachary Quinto On Being Bloody Face And What’s To Come (huffingtonpost.com)
- Evan Peters On Cock Socks And Ass-Slapping In “American Horror Story” (queerty.com)