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Entertainment Weekly


Denis O’Hare didn’t know his American Horror Story: Hotel character was trans until after taking the job

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Watch the full episode of Couch Surfing streaming now on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.

Denis O’Hare certainly understands the issues surrounding him, a cisgender man, playing a trans woman on American Horror Story: Hotel only four years ago.

Watching a clip of himself opposite Lady Gaga on the fifth season of FX’s horror anthology series, The Goldfinch actor explained to People TV’s Couch Surfing host Lola Ogunnaike that he felt honored to play the character, but “we didn’t know that the character was [trans] when it was written.”

Prashant Gupta/FX

Rather than pitch the role to him, O’Hare says executive producer Ryan Murphy told him one day “You’re playing Liz Taylor — smoky eye, fabulous shaved head, fabulous.”

RELATED VIDEO: Denis O’Hare weighs in on straight actors playing LGBTQIA+ characters

“Initially I assumed that Liz was a man in drag who maybe had a male counterpart,” O’Hare confesses. “As we got into it deeper, we all realized that wasn’t the case…. we didn’t know that at first.”

O’Hare attempted to treat the role with as much respect as possible, working with the writers to really fill out Liz Taylor’s story. “As the character is growing into her own identity, I’m growing into her identity. It was really interesting,” the actor noted.

Watch the full video above for more. The latest installment in the franchise, American Horror Story: 1984, airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.

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