American Horror Story is one of the few shows on the air where fans will be treated to a new cast of characters each season. This year, the show moved to the East Coast insane asylum Briarcliff, where one of the patients is the nymphomaniac Shelley, played by Chloë Sevigny. The actress recently held a conference call to discuss her role on American Horror Story: Asylum, which continues with "I Am Anne Frank" Wednesday, November 7 at 10 PM ET on FX. The actress first discussed what drew her to the show.
"I guess it was having watched the first season and just being a fan of the show. I just thought it was so rich, the production design and costumes and how much detail went into it and I just thought it was wildly entertaining. I was hoping the second season would be as much so. I didn't get to read any scripts prior to signing on, so I was kind of going in on blind faith hoping that it would be what I wanted it to be and it's proven so."
She also revealed that the wealth of female characters in the asylum was also a selling point.
"I think with this season, he's exploring different things from the first like you said before. I think there's a lot of really good characters, how women are accused of being this, that, and the other thing. I think it's like they're wildly represented in the season. As a woman, as a female viewer I like that pitch."
The actress talked about the shocking revelation that Shelley lost both of her legs on the operating table, and the challenges that brings to her performance.
"I think she's pretty pissed off. I think she feels pretty helpless and I think in the beginning you kind of like not so much rooting for her. You think she's this bad girl and then see her helping Evan's character and ... character trying to escape and you realize that she's pretty selfless in that regard. I think after she gets in the clutches of the evil doctor, I think you're then kind of more rooting for her and hoping that she can escape or find a way out. So I think the character goes through a lot. The audience goes through a lot with the character. 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. "
Shelley is diagnosed as a nymphomaniac, although the actress herself doesn't exactly believe there is such an affliction.
"I don't know if people truly are addicted to that. There's so much talk about it as of late. I think that she was a little wild and her husband had it within his power to commit her and I think kind of once she's in there, she kind of goes with it to come to who she is and how she identifies herself. So I think that she probably yes really likes sex. All the reaction, I don't know if she's quite a real nymphomaniac."
She also teased that Arden (James Cromwell) has some intriguing plans in store for Shelley.
"I guess it's kind of under wraps, but yes, he transforms her into something else. I don't how much more dialogue I have. There's lots of gurgling. You see her transformed into something, something not so pleasant to look at."
The actress also said she surprised herself during an early scene where she touches herself during a fight at the asylum.
"I found myself like during that scene where Kit is fighting in the first episode, like her being turned on by the violence. Like oh my God I'm really like going for it with this part, so I guess I surprised myself in that sense, in that scene."