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And you thought last season was epic. American Horror Story: Asylum, Fridays, 9.30pm on M-Net Series, is the official title of the second season, and viewers are shuttled from the haunted Los Angeles mansion to Briarcliff Manor, a New England institute for the criminally insane, in 1964.
Many of the actors viewers were used to in season one have returned, but they’re playing completely different characters.
Evan Peters, who masterfully played the evil-yet-lovable ghost Tate Langdon in season one , is returning in Asylum as Kit Walker, a young man accused of murdering his new wife as well as several other women.
Nicknamed “Bloody Face,” he is known for taking the skin off his victims and making a mask out of it. In the first episode of the second season, he is arrested and taken to the asylum, but he maintains his innocence throughout, despite ample (and graphic) torture.
We spoke with Peters via telephone about maintaining sanity in an insane asylum, how long he has been afraid of Jessica Lange and why you need to watch this season of AHS.
How much fun are you having with this role?
I am having fun! A lot of the fighting stuff, I get a kick out of it. The torture stuff, not so much. [Laughs.] It’s pretty amazing.
I’m lucky. I have been fortunate. I should really thank Ryan Murphy [show’s creator] for letting me play around with such an amazing and personal role.
Does it ever feel like a perpetual Halloween on the show’s set?
Yeah, it kind of does. But I love Halloween, and I love that feeling: the cold air, the spooky dangers lurking around the corner. It’s cool that I get to be in that all the time.
Does this season push the limits of crazy?
I think so. As the episodes go on, they are definitely pushing some boundaries.
I’m excited to see it all come together – we worked very long hours and shot the hell out of these scenes. I can’t wait to see it.
What can you tell us about Kit Walker?
He’s just a normal guy, who happens to be in love with an African-American girl in 1964.
It’s a scary marriage that they have. And then she ends up becoming the next victim on the murder list, and he is wrongly accused for it. He is trying to maintain his sanity in an insane asylum and get back to his wife and figure it all out [even though she is, seemingly, dead].
There are big issues being dealt with, even in the first episode: civil rights, lesbianism, religion vs science.
Yeah, it’s awesome that this show deals with the bigger picture rather than just the monsters and the horror.
Your roster of co-stars is impressive. How much have you learnt working with them?
I’ve learnt so much. Definitely confidence, too. In this show, we’re all searching to find the truth in this insane reality, so I’ve learnt a lot.
James Cromwell knows every move he’s going to make and is so good with continuity. I’ve been trying to work on that, too.
And Jessica Lange?
She takes her time with her lines and is very slow with everything. Where other actresses go big, she goes the opposite way and reins it in – obviously it works very well. In a weird way, I’m kind of afraid of her!
Should people who enjoyed season one watch season two, even though the characters are different?
It’s a totally different show, but it still has some of the same elements as season one. There are lots of scary moments. There are definitely big issues underlying everything and there’s so much more going on. We’re not just in one house, either. We’re in an asylum, but it reaches out from there. It’s much grander.
If you could, sum up season two in one sentence.
It’s really, really scary. – HuffingtonPost