Connie Britton and Dylan McDermott
FX's American Horror Story is arguably the season's sexiest, scariest, strangest show — and it's about to get even weirder. Yep, that means fans can expect more Rubber Man, more ghosts of tenants past, more on Constance's creepy kids and — finally! — the truth behind the baby-daddy mystery. At the heart of the sex-and-screams series are Ben (Dylan McDermott) and Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton), the tenuously married couple who buy the wicked old mansion in L.A. known as "The Murder House." Britton and McDermott take us inside the don't-watch-it-alone thriller.
TV Guide Magazine: Dark Blue, The Practice, American Horror Story. Dylan, you must like dark stuff!
McDermott: I'd like to do a comedy but somehow I find myself in dark roles. They're interesting to play. Ben Harmon takes me to places that I never thought I'd go to on a show.
TV Guide Magazine: For instance?
McDermott: Ben is unraveling. He's becoming more and more haunted by his demons and he can't seem to unshackle himself. I may just be playing the craziest [person on the show]. And there are a lot of crazy people on this show, let me tell you.
Britton: In real life, he's the craziest. [Laughs] I think you are beautifully infusing him with your own crazy.
McDermott: Oh, nice.
TV Guide Magazine: But isn't it the house that's making everyone who enters it lose their minds?
Britton: Everybody's got a little bit of crazy going on [already] and the house is just reflecting that.
McDermott: The house really does bring all that stuff out. Ben didn't have much of a family growing up, and all these unresolved emotional issues got pushed down. When he moved to the house, all that he lived through came knocking on the door. I find that the most interesting thing about him, that he can't stop the repetition of his life, and eventually it bites him in the ass.
TV Guide Magazine: Speaking of body parts, when creator Ryan Murphy told you there would be nudity involved, did the words "Gym time!" come to mind?
McDermott: [Laughs] I have been very proud of my ass for many years.
Britton: He told his agents, "Just get me a job where I can show my ass."
McDermott: Actually, I think Ryan's office called my agent and said, "Does Dylan have an ass double?" I was like, "No, I don't need an ass double."
Britton: That's why you got the job!
TV Guide Magazine: And then, of course, there's the kinky sex. Dylan, what was it like getting into that fetish rubber suit?
McDermott: I had been fitted for that latex suit, which is pretty amazing, by the way. But, alas, I am not the Rubber Man.
Britton: They actually hired a guy [Riley Schmidt] to play the Rubber Man, but then when we shot that sex scene [in the pilot], they had Dylan wear the suit so it would be a little bit more comfortable for me. I was really nervous, and then once we actually shot it, I went up to Ryan and was like, "That wasn't so bad." And he goes, "Ugh, I'm horrified." One of my favorite things was that Ryan Murphy was so shaken by his own creation. He could barely watch!
TV Guide Magazine: So where does this series rank for you two on the jump-out-of-your-seat scare-o-meter?
Britton: Really high! Every episode is legitimately scary in its own right.
McDermott: We want to scare people, we want to entice people, and we want to make them feel something. And I think that happens every single week. But it's not McDonald's, it's not for everyone. And that's fine.
TV Guide Magazine: At the heart of it, though, this is really a portrait of a very screwed-up marriage. Kind of a nightmare version of the Taylors on Friday Night Lights.
McDermott: Yeah, the core of the show for me really is family. And that's the stuff that is rooted in reality. If it's not rooted in that, then it's just a bunch of crazy people on TV.
Britton: That's what makes it accessible to more than just big horror fans. And, frankly, what made it interesting to me. Vivien had a very successful, controlled life. But it's falling apart now, and she has no control over that. What our characters are going through is what we're hoping people can relate to on some level. [Laughs] Well, hopefully not completely...
American Horror Story airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on FX.
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