Last week, American Horror Story: Asylum fans were treated to a special guest star for a two-part episode starting with "I Am Anne Frank and concluding with "I Am Anne Frank (Part 2), airing Wednesday, November 14 at 10 PM ET on FX. Franka Potente guest stars as Anne Frank, who visits Briarcliff to expose the heinous, Nazi past of Arden (James Cromwell). The actress recently held a conference call to discuss her historical character. She first spoke about her first meeting with series creator Ryan Murphy, and the ultra-secretive nature of the show.
There was really no script at the time, but I was a fan of the first season of American Horror Story, and of course, I said I would be part of anything that he was envisioning for me. That was something that he kind of explained to me without going into detail. Honestly, I think I got the script maybe a week before, and that's when I really found out how it would come about and what was going on with her and all these things, but yes, very secretive and it makes sense. I totally appreciated that because if you watch a show like this, you know all these scripts and stuff like that and with guests that come in and just kind of have more extreme character that stirs things up, you don't want to know. With internet and everything, stuff gets out so easily that they kind of have to do that. They have to be so secretive about their scripts, and it would have kind of sucked if people had known like waiting for what was coming."
She also spoke about how creepy the actual sets are on the show.
"The set is pretty eerie, which is great for an actor because we basically we need to step on and the mood is already created. We say our lines and that's that. That's definitely half the magic. They show cool and creepy statues that they have, that's all like a proper staircase and everything's very solid and well built. So, you get to really play with everything that's there. The first thing that came to my mind when I saw it, I was like if you're a Catholic, kind of intimidating and dark and strict and regal, very impressive."
Most of the characters in the asylum have ambiguous pasts that viewers can't quite pinpoint, as to whether they truly belong at Briarcliff or not. Franka Potente mentioned this ambiguity was part of the fun this experience had to offer.
"Well, that's the fun of it of course. It's kind of the Hitchcock moment of, 'Is it possible?' Then you reel the audience in so that you feed them some seemingly plausible reasons, and within all that madness, anything is possible and this is what I think is great. You have to keep in mind, this is a title sequence. What that does to you invites you into a world which the texture of it is like a nightmare, and that's so well done, and then, we've already seen glimpses of an alien. We've seen weird creatures in the park and all these things and there's a lot of things that seems to move around centuries. So, anything is really possible, and I think if you keep watching the show, you're open to anything, which I think is beautiful. That's what horror or suspense or this kind of supernatural environment, that's what you want."