FX’s over-the-top thrill ride has taken viewers to a haunted house in Los Angeles, to a mental asylum in New England, and inside a coven of stylish New Orleans witches. But the constant? A terrifyingly talented group of actors, who’ve become a kind of TV theater troupe for Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s Emmy-nominated series. EW asked some of the core cast members to look back on how their Story began.
Taissa Farmiga “At the [season 1] audition I was so scared. I couldn’t pick out which one was Ryan Murphy — I had to Google him. I came back the second day and I at least knew who I was talking to.”
Denis O’Hare “Ryan called me up and said, ‘It’s this new anthology about different genres of American horror and you’ll be playing Larry, this guy who has half his face burned off.’ That was all I got. On the strength of Ryan’s reputation and the first script I read, I said, ‘Let’s go for it.’ Who knew?”
Lily Rabe “I was dying to work with Ryan again because we had worked together on Nip/Tuck. The next time I was in L.A., he showed me the [AHS] pilot. My mind was so blown.”
Jessica Lange “I think Ryan handpicks pretty brave actors — actors who aren’t going to be concerned with vanity. [The writers] know they’ve got actors who can make it believable and rooted in truth. So far, knock wood, it’s been a pretty good marriage.”
Sarah Paulson “You wouldn’t half-strap yourself into a roller coaster, would you? No. If you’re going to be here, you want to be here. This is unlike any other show from an acting standpoint. On a Ryan Murphy show, you get a chance to show people what you’re capable of.”