'American Horror Story': Ryan Murphy talks the Angel of Death's arrival to Briarcliff and teases season three -- EXCLUSIVE
[SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOST RECENT EPISODE OF AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM!]
The Angel of Death, in the form of American Horror Story season one star Frances Conroy, visited AHS: Asylum
last night but ended up only taking a few cast members with her, most
notably Grace (Lizzie Brochere). Meanwhile, Jude discovered that she did
not actually kill the little girl in the blue coat and realized that
Sister Mary Eunice was possessed by the devil. EW talked to co-creator
Ryan Murphy about all these developments, Dylan McDermott’s Bloody Face
role and details on season three.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Where did the inspiration come from for this episode?
RYAN MURPHY: Well the episode is one of my favorites because I
think it just has great performances and I really love what it’s about.
I love Franny and she and I were presenting at the Creative Arts Emmys
and I said, “I think I have something really good for you, sort of the
opposite of what you did last year.” She and Jessica loved working
together. So we came up with this character and I like that she’s around
in all the individual stories at that pivotal moment of are you going
to fight or are you going to die.
But when we were coming with the idea of it, I was meeting with hair
and make up and Lou Eyerich, the costumer, and we at first came up with
this idea that she was the black version of Miss Havisham. But I didn’t
like that. I thought let’s do something unexpected. So our inspirations
were very bizarre. We took sort of like 1940s , hard-boiled noir women
and mixed it with a sort of Comme de Garcon meets Japanese thing. I was
very proud of that look and I thought Franny was very yummy. You could
see why people would want her to kiss them.
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Was her name and the idea based on fact?
Yes we took things from several religions. I also love the Angel of
Death’s relationship to the Devil. And Franny will come back in several
I loved the scene in the diner with Jude and the Angel of Death. So Jude has tried to kill herself several times before?
Will we meet the man she was going to marry?
No. He was sort of her backstory. I really wanted to see how did
Jude get to the nunnery. I love Jessica as the faded chanteuse in the
run down hotel room. She really loved doing that stuff. What was her
dark night of the soul that got her to the nunnery? And I love that
literally she drank herself into a stupor and woke up and there she was
outside the Cloisters nuns.
And the twist with the girl being actually alive was great.
I know! I felt so bad for Jude. I think so many people run from
secrets and I thought what happens if the thing you’re running from
turns out to be completely a lie?
The Lana storyline is just like a sad train to Sadtown. She
escapes Bloody Face and then gets in a car with that crazy guy. Is there
any happiness in sight for her?
Well I don’t wanna give too much away.
Will she at least get some kind of comeuppance?
Oh yeah. I mean Sarah and I talked about that when we first started
to write this stuff. I didn’t wanna do something that was just so awful
and then there’s your bad ending. There are many characters in the show
and most of them don’t survive. But I thought the Lana story was really
about the power of the spirit to survive any and all horrors. I thought
that there’s great scenes in the one after Dark Cousin which is the most
f****ed up Christmas episode of all time where instead of praying for
Lana, you’ll be cheering for Lana. It’s a script I think Sarah loved
playing. We’re writing the ending right now so I think people will love
what happens to Sarah and what she ultimately does.
Lily Rabe is just having a ball clearly.
Yeah next week has my favorite that Lily Rabe’s character does where
she decorates the Christmas tree. It’s sort of like Well how would the
devil decorate a Christmas tree? So that’s just a laugh riot.
The fun thing in doing a show like this is for the most part I just
hire my friends and I say Well what have you always wanted to play and
haven’t played? In Lily’s case, I think people know her for her Broadway
ingénue Tony nomination stuff but she’s very f***ing funny.
Is this the last we’ve seen of Grace? Will she appear in ghost form?
Well there are no ghosts. The big question with Grace is what happened to her body?
And that’s answered next week?
So now that Jude knows Mary Eunice has been possessed, is she basically going to go back to Briarcliff and battle the devil?
Yes and it’s all wonderfully contained in our fabulous Christmas
episode. The Christmas episode is a very interesting episode because
when we were plotting out the season I really wanted to do a Christmas
episode because I always thought, based on my research, that 1964 was a
very interesting year in terms of the secular and the commercial. That
episode has a scene where it’s Santa Claus vs. Sister Jude.
And Santa is Ian McShane right?
Yes! I can’t believe that he did it. We wrote it and I kept saying,
“We need an Ian McShane sort of guy for this.” He was a fan of the show
so I’m like, “Well I wonder if he would do it?” So we sent him the first
five pages, which is the darkest Santa Claus story of all time, and he
thought it was great. He and Jessica have this amazing scene together.
So is he the devil?
No he’s like this crazy psychotic. No more devil-jumping this
season. No Ian McShane plays a crazy person who was victimized so badly
in prison that he made a psychotic break and decides he’s Santa Claus
and he knows who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. But the next
episode also has a lot of hilarious Lily Rabe/What does the devil want
Where does Thredson go from here now that Lana knows his secret?
Well that’s in the next episode. In this episode, Lana comes back in
the insane asylum just like Kit goes back. No one knows yet that
they’re back there. The question in the next episode is what happens to
Thredson and obviously he has to shut Lana up because she holds the keys
to the kingdom.
It sounded like Dylan McDermott’s voice as modern day Bloody Face. Is he modern day Bloody Face?
Yes. Dylan is modern day Bloody Face. So the question is Why is he
the modern day Bloody Face? What is he doing? And that’s revealed in
Is the previous episode the last we see of Mark Consuelos’ Spivey?
Oh God no! No no no! He has a very romantic scene coming up with
Sister Mary Eunice. Mark wrote me after that and he said, “Well I just
busted my no nudity cherry.” No I love Mark. I think he did such a great
job and he was so unexpected and he really got down and dirty with that
You got greenlit for a season three so does that mean you have a plot already for it?
Yes. I do. I have an idea and I went to Jessica and she was very
excited about the idea and possibly where it would film and how we would
make it. I did the same thing last year—we almost work a year ahead.
It’s a very dense script and it’s a lot of prep time. I do—I know what
next year is.
Last year, Billie Dean gave that speech in the finale about
asylums, which was a clue to this season. Are you planning on putting
clues in the finale this year?
I think so. We haven’t decided what lead actors are coming back. I
know what it is and I know that there will be clues in the final
episode. Last year we didn’t announce what it was about—we waited til
the summer to do it. I think we’ll announce it earlier this year.