'American Horror Story': Connie Britton talks Vivien shocker, filming birthing sequence
SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE LATEST ‘AMERICAN HORROR STORY’!!!! Last week came the revelation that Violet Harmon (Taissa Farmiga) had been dead for weeks. Now, AHS viewers know that her mother, Vivien (Connie Britton), has also died in their haunted house. The move to L.A. has not been great for Vivien who was not only raped by Tate dressed as Rubber Man, but also died while birthing her twins…only one of whom survived. EW talked to star Connie Britton about Vivien’s roller-coaster ride as well as what this means for Britton and Vivien’s presence for season 2.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You gave birth and you died! Did you know Vivien was gonna die? How far in advance did Ryan tell you?
CONNIE BRITTON: Totally. He told me the first conversation we ever had about it. Oh yeah, I always knew I was gonna die.
Oh you did?! You big liars!
So he told you in your initial meeting?
Yeah. Honestly, because of the way the everybody works, that was always the intent, but who knows? You never knew what was actually going to happen on the show. Every week we were all really surprised. Initially we kinda thought it was gonna be kind of a murder-suicide kinda thing with me and Dylan’s character. But then I think pretty early on I knew it was probably going to be during childbirth. I was excited about it.
Well, the one good thing is you’re dead but you’re still on the show.
On that show, ghosts are the ones who really have the life.
You don’t have to worry about costume changes anymore.
No, but that’s what’s so funny. I sorta thought that, too. Somebody, maybe it was Kate Mara, said, “No no no no. Apparently, all the ghosts have complete wardrobes.” It’s true. In the last episode, I have never had more wardrobe changes and, by the way, several of them couture. I don’t know where these ghosts go shopping.
You’re outta the loony bin and onto the runway!
What was “Birth” like to film? The most intense so far?
Well, I mean really on our show can you say? It took three whole days to shoot that sequence. So I was really having to scream for three days straight. It was exhausting and interesting because I haven’t actually given birth. I really wanted to try and have it be as accurate as it could. They had a med tech on set and stuff like that. It was really exhausting and kind of brutal.
What has Vivien’s journey been like for you? It’s been so up and down…well more downs.
Overall, it really was fun, which really surprised me actually. Honestly, it was just so challenging for me as an actress and that’s fun. I really ended up having fun even though I was scared to death half the time. Not only scared by the material but just scared as an actress, like, how in the world am I going to do that today. But that’s a really fun way to feel as an actor.
It’s almost a happy ending since Violet now at least gets to be with her mother.
I know. I know what you mean. By the way, that’s just an example of how perverse this show is. It’s kind of a happy ending: She can be together with her dead daughter. I mean really, only from the mind of Ryan Murphy.
Can you say anything about the finale? Vivian pops back up right?
Oh yeah. I’m living the dream as a ghost.
Can you tease anything regarding the plot?
I really don’t wanna ruin it for you. I love the finale. Let me put it this way: a lot happens.
What does this mean for you about season 2? Do you know anything?
Um. I…mmm. [Laughs] I’m really not at liberty to say. I wouldn’t be surprised if season 2 is very different from season 1 but that’s all I know.
What’s next for you? You have an adorable new baby so you’re probably gonna be taking care of him.
Yeah. I’m gonna take some time off and be with my little love. We’ll see how the next chapter unfolds.
Well, you just potentially birthed the Antichrist so you’re allowed to take a break.
Don’t you think? Isn’t it funny that the birthing episode we shot right after I got back from adopting my baby.
Was it surreal then to film that?
Yeah, the whole thing because the whole season I was in the process of doing the final motions of getting the baby and going to Ethiopia, which I did while we were shooting. It really was fascinating to me in terms of life imitating art. But I’m happy to report that my beautiful new baby is not the devil. [Laughs] As far as I can tell anyway. [Laughs]
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American Horror Story
An anthology series that centers on different characters and locations, including a haunted house, an insane asylum, a witch coven, a freak show, and a hotel.