Jamie Brewer is making history and what’s better is that she totally effing owns it. The 30-year-old has not only earned her stripes as a cherished MVP of the American Horror Story franchise, but she became the first-ever woman with Down syndrome to walk in New York Fashion Week in February. This month, she’ll claim her title as a recipient of the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award by the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. Luckily, her hard work isn’t going unnoticed.
VH1 spoke with the star at the AHS fan art collection at Hero Complex Gallery in LA over the weekend, and while she gushed about her experiences on the show so far and working with icons like Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, and Angela Basset-who she says are “legends in their own way”-we’re looking at her and see a legend in the making, if not one already. What’s amazing is that she kind of knows it, too.
As a fan of the show, which season would be your favorite?
The first season. Certain things about it I could relate to. I don’t relate to any of the seasons, but [in season one], there were certain things like the mother-daughter bond.
Jessica Lange was your on-screen mom. What was she like on set?
Incredible. She’s amazing, she really is. When you talk about inspiration, I draw inspiration from life. The people that I work with. Everyone I’ve worked with-in my eyes-they are mentors and heroes. The crew, the cast, the directors. One of the biggest life lessons I live by is from Akeelah and the Bee, when Angela Basset says, “Wherever you look, you have fifty-thousand coaches.” Coaches are people who are close to you, who you call family.
What’s a memory from set of all seasons that will always stay with you?
The environment. [It’s] warm, comforting, very supportive.
Will we see you in AHS: Hotel?
Possibly. I don’t fully know, it depends. I really want to be.
What does being a freak mean to you?
For me, the word “freak” [means] we all think alike. At heart, we are all the same.
If you’re not a freak in some way, you’re missing out.
In certain perspectives, sometimes you can miss out.
What is the most touching thing a fan has ever said to you?
Recently, actually. There was a lady who worked as a psychiatrist and said: “Do you know how many people you affect?” Whenever I hear that, there’s a part of me that knows what I’m doing is my destiny.
What mark do you hope to leave on the world?
I was the first woman with Down syndrome to walk in New York Fashion Week. I was proud of that. For future individuals [who] are turning into their craft: find the heart. No matter what. I want to reach a wide variety of people.
What or who inspires you?
The people around me. Family. And I go to the voice from within.
As a little girl, did you always know you’d be doing this?
It was a total shock in getting there. But honestly, it’s who I am.
Do you feel badass, proud, accomplished?
[Laughs] That’s a good way of saying it.