Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s “American Horror Story” features the excellent work of actor Denis O’Hare, who was exceptional on HBO’s kitsch horror series, “True Blood,” as King of the vampires Russell Edgington a season back.
His tormented character ‘Larry’ was featured again on “Rubber Man,” Episode 8—which aired last week (Wednesday, November 23) on FX.
Denis talked to Monsters and Critics last week on a conference call, and shared his thoughts on Larry, the tortured former tenant of the Murder House who stalks the Harmon’s.
“I love this character, and I love him because I feel like he is engaged in a sort of timeless epic struggle,” said O’Hare, who sees him as a “Dante-esque figure.”
“He’s somebody who is trapped in a circle of hell, and he’s trying to work his way out. And he’s a human being who’s flawed, and he’s obviously weak, and he’s given into temptation and made bad choices…it’s a really odd, beautiful character.”
Larry is O’Hare’s troubled soul who lost his family to fire, was burned and maimed because of it, and lives in squalor, returning to the Murder House in an attempt to both warn and be close to the light in his life, Constance (Jessica Lange) who has spurned his advances for years.
O’Hare explains, “In a metaphorical sense, I think he’s looking for meaning. Why have I gone through this? Why have I experienced this pain and suffering? Why have I not been allowed to reach happiness?
And I think what he wants is resolution in the form of an answer, and that answer can be an action or it can be a message.
I think all the characters in American Horror Story, which is why I love it, are looking for some sense of meaning, and also it’s their form of happiness. If you think about ‘Tate’ and ‘Violet,’ if you think about even ‘Vivien’ and ‘Ben,’ their marriage, they’re—people are struggling to find sense in what is a crumbling marriage. So I think for ‘Larry’ it’s a similar thing. He’s looking for, sort of, a way of out of what he considers to be a hellish existence.”
The next installment of American Horror Story will see Larry’s relationship with Constance play out even more.
“All I’ll tell you is all will be revealed in, I guess its Episode 9/10. There’s an explanation of that, and I would be irresponsible if I said anything more. I love their evolving relationship, and I love the information we get. But there’s some great information that comes out about ‘Constance’s’ life with ‘Larry’ and ‘Larry’s’ attempts to become part of the family, which are sad and disturbing.”
“But ‘Larry’ being trapped in these worlds, immortal, he understands exactly what’s happening in that house. And I think he greatly fears, greatly respects, and is drawn to the house. I’m not sure that he understands the mechanisms and the why behind it, but he knows exactly what’s happening, and he knows the power of it. And he’s very attracted to it and repelled by it.”
O’Hare also praised the Local 706 makeup artists who transform him to Larry, twisted by scar tissue from horrific burns.
“Makeup takes about three and a half hours, and it’s this great company that works with American Horror Story. Christien Tinsley is the name of the company, and a guy named Mike Mekash is my primary makeup artist, and he’s just fantastic.
And it’s a long process, obviously. It’s multi-layered appliances, and then there’s a lot of painting, a lot of hand painting, and then there’s a wig involved, and then that goes on. And then the hand has to be cinched in, and the hand gets makeup-ed. And it’s exhausting, but it’s really great, because it allows me to sort of step down into the character gradually.”
Monsters and Critics asked Denis if we’re going to meet his dead family in the panoply of ghosts of the house.
“Well I’ll refer again to the upcoming episode; it’s another big ‘Larry’ episode, which would be in probably three weeks or so. I’ll just say this. I’m sure right now you know the rules about how if somebody dies in the house they come back. If they don’t die in the house they don’t come back. That’s all I can say about that.
M&C asked Denis who his favorite back story of the house was, as a fan of the series.
“That is a tough one. That’s a tough one. I’m really loving the ‘Chad’ and ‘Pat’ story because it’s so unusual, and I find the dialogue for those characters really, really incredible. I love the ‘Charles’ and ‘Nora,’ because it’s so gothic, it’s so incredibly disturbing. That thing last night with the baby which you don’t see, the brilliance of not actually seeing that thing.
But I have to say ‘Tate’ is my back story, the one I like the best. I find him as a character really heartbreaking. Something about his confusion that really draws me in. And yes, I find myself wanting to spend more time in his … universe.”
Watch a Special Preview from the Eighth Episode of the New FX Original Series, American Horror Story.
Episode 9 – “Spooky Little Girl” (Airs November 30, 10:00 pm e/p) – One of history’s most famous murder victims pays the house a visit. Constance discovers more of Tate’s bad behavior. Written by Jennifer Salt; directed by John Scott.
Episode 10 – “Smoldering Children” (Airs December 7, 10:00 pm e/p) – Violet learns about the rules of the house. The truth about Larry’s condition is explained. Constance is interrogated by the police. Written by Michael Lehmann; directed by James Wong.
Episode 11 – “Birth” (Airs December 14, 10:00 pm e/p) – Vivien gives birth. Tate and Violet attempt to rid the house of some of its ghosts for good. Written by Tim Minear; directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.
• #AHSFXNote the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.