When we saw the unexpected, intimate scene between Desiree (Angela Bassett) and Jimmy (Evan Peters) on Wednesday’s episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show, we immediately thought: “WTF IS HAPPENING?!” — a reaction Ryan Murphy and his team of masterminds clearly wanted. “[Evan] is a cute little boy who’s engaged,” Bassett told VH1 with laughter. Wait, is it the fact that Peters’ fiancé Emma Roberts also works on the show that makes us think this was awkward? Or their huge age gap? Bassett explains.
“It wasn’t too awkward. You’re playing characters and he’s quite a professional,” she said during Friday’s AHS conference call. Bassett admits the scene was powerful, especially for Peters: “I think the most awkward part of it was that he was so emotional! Just tears and things coming out of [his] nostrils,” she said. “That was the most awkward part. But you know, sexually, it wasn’t.” Viewers could tell the two were emotionally charged during filming. No one can deny the acting on this show is ah-mazing.
We especially give props to Bassett for portraying Desiree’s character so beautifully. Turns out she didn’t find out she’d be playing a hermaphrodite until after she signed on to the show:
I didn’t have a clue whatsoever… I think it was about two weeks before I was going to come down to start shooting that I got the hot-off-the-press script… You read the stage direction: African American woman, 40s, hermaphrodite. Three breasts and a ding-a-ling. You’re like, “Oh my God!” Immediately close the pages and have to walk around to process that for a minute because you’re thinking, “What does that mean?! Oh my god! If they thought I was crazy, demonic last year, what are they gonna think this year?” I wasn’t scared. I just knew that it was absolutely going to be something that I have never done before. That’s what an actor craves, new challenges. And that was certainly meant to be one of those.
Freak Show fans are fascinated with the show’s exploration into what has typically been uncharted territory. Bassett feels it’s human nature to be interested in abnormalities and people who are different, and compared this to the public’s obsession with reality TV. “There’s a little enjoyment in the misfortune of others,” she said. “The whole thing about watching a car crash or something, where we slow down and rubberneck and look.”
It’s a good thing we have a season-long admission ticket to the Freak Show, because we can’t get enough.
[Photo Credit: FX]