[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Wednesday's episode of American Horror Story: Asylum. Read at your own risk!]
Bloody Face has finally been unmasked!
On Wednesday's episode of American Horror Story: Asylum, Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson) made her escape from Briarcliff Manor with the help of Dr. Thredson (Zachary Quinto). What a gentleman, right? Wrong! It turns out, he is actually Bloody Face, the serial killer with a penchant for skinning and beheading his victims. Poor Lana ended up in his murder room faster than she could realize her partner Wendy (Clea Duvall) had been killed by Thredson. Is Lana doomed to the same fate? TVGuide.com turned to Paulson to get the scoop on what's in store for Lana in this new house of horrors.
Did you know from the beginning that Dr. Thredson was Bloody Face?
Sarah Paulson: I did know from the beginning when we first got the four scripts even though it was not clear then, I did know. [Executive producer] Ryan Murphy had told me that this year's Rubber Man was going to be Zach, but I don't know if they knew at that point, although they probably did, that Lana was going to be the victim of Bloody Face.
Lana is about the only character we actually want to see survive this season. Is there a possibility that she could?
Paulson: Well, I'm still shooting. I can tell you that. We're starting Episode 11 so I'm still here, but I can't say in what capacity or how.
That's good news! Dr. Thredson did say he wanted her to tell his story. What are we going to see for their relationship in the coming episodes?
Paulson: I think what is going to be revealed in the coming episodes is why Lana was chosen, that maybe there wasn't a random quality to the choice.
Will Lana still be holding on to hope that someday she might get to expose Briarcliff?
Paulson: I think the one thing that keeps her going is the idea that she will. I think Lana never loses hope. I do think that's true. I think her motivation shifts. Right now, it's going to be about how to survive. It was always about survival, but before it was about how to get out. Now, it's about how do I stay alive? And then later on it, she's not just for herself. So I can say that.
Will anyone come looking for her?
Paulson: So far, nobody has.
Not even Sister Jude (Jessica Lange)?
Paulson: There's so much more [going on]. I think that's an interesting idea, but when you see what actually does happen and how it all uncoils, I think you will be pleased. It's very complicated and it will be very exciting.
How hard was it for you to do the conversion therapy scene?
Paulson: Yeah. That was one of the more difficult things I've ever shot, although I will say what comes up in [Episodes] 6 and 7 and also in 8, also in 9 —I do really feel like there have been some harrowing things that my character has gone through and thus, I have gone through them in trying to portray them truthfully and authentically. I've had to go to some dark places in the recesses of my mind or my heart to convey these things. So on one hand, the actress in me is exhilarated by the opportunity of getting to flex this kind of muscle, but the human being part, the separate part of me, it was definitely not easy. The greatest thing about it is that Zachary Quinto is one of my close friends. What we have to do together this year on the show is very dark. So our friendship and our mutual trust of one another has made this actually an exciting thing to do as opposed to just traumatic and scary. And you ain't seen nothing yet!
He did say they're not done with therapy, so what can you tease of the new horrors she'll be facing?
Paulson: It makes Briarcliff look like the Four Seasons. It makes Briarcliff look like a spa you go to in the Swiss Alps or something to be medicated and tended to is what it makes it look like compared to what happens to her. Yeah.
When Rubber Man was unmasked in Season 1, and as we learned more about the ghosts, they became less scary and more humanized. Do you think that will happen now that we know who Bloody Face is?
Paulson: I don't know about a human side. Part of what's so beautiful about having an actor as emotionally available as Zach is you will at least understand the why behind Bloody Face's actions. I don't know if that will make you feel less terrified of him or more terrified of him.
And will we get answers as to why we're seeing Bloody Face and the copycats in the future?
Paulson: Oh, yes you will. That won't be revealed until probably closer to Episode 9. I don't know that everything will be explained in [Episode] 9, but you will start to understand that part of the story more clearly by around Episode 9.
I had this sick theory that maybe the future Bloody Face is actually Lana and Thredson's forced love child.
Paulson: That would be very sick. You're sick.
I'm sorry! I'm thinking in Ryan Murphy's head!
Paulson: I understand that. Trying to think in Ryan Murphy's head is hard to do.
Do you think you could do a third season coming back as another character? Or are you just too physically and emotionally exhausted?
Paulson: I am. There is that creepy part of me as an actress that when I did the electroshock therapy scene, I couldn't walk for two days afterwards because you're contorting your body. They weren't moving the bed at all. It was all something I did physically. So I remember having a conversation with my mother and she was like well, "How was your workday?" And I said, "It was good. I'm really tired today. I did electroshock therapy yesterday." And she was like, "Well, that must be so devastating and hard." And the sick part is the actress in me, it was like a great day at work for me, because I got to really roll up my sleeves and do something. And not to take away from any procedural shows or jobs that I've ever had, but there have been times when I've walked into a room as a file holder or briefcase [holder], and that gets old pretty quickly. So what I've gotten to do here is just so multilayered, and when you think about where Lana started and where she is by the end of Episode 5 and where I know she's going, it's a pretty amazing thing to be given.
So yes, I'm tired. By the time Episode 7 came around, something happened in Episode 7 that I had to ask them to let me leave the room for a minute because I was so upset. So it's definitely been harrowing, but to me it's all worth it because I feel very protective and responsible for Lana Winters. And I want to tell her story and this experience to the best of my ability. So I try to get out of my own way and my exhaustion or my thoughts about it and just try to portray her as honestly as possible, given the insane circumstances that she's in.
Overall, how do you think this season compares to the first?
Paulson: I think this year is much darker and, to me, much more terrifying. I think Jessica [Lange]'s character last year provided an awful lot of black humor. And this year, I still find Sister Jude funny. Certain things she does are still very funny. But I think there's something terrifying about people that are locked away against their will and have no recourse. There's nothing they can do to help themselves. There's no power. It's really a story between the powerful and the powerless. That, I think, is the ultimate terror. So I find this season to be much scarier than last year.
Were you surprised by the Bloody Face reveal? Do you want Lana to survive? Hit the comments!
American Horror Story: Asylum airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on FX.