Interview: Finn Wittrock Talks ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’

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It’s not exclamatory to say that Finn Wittrock was one of the breakout stars of the 2014-2015 TV season with his daring and delightfully deranged performance as Dandy Mott on American Horror Story: Freak Show, the crown jewel in what was a busy year for the actor (Finn had 3 feature films, a short film, The Normal Heart AND American Horror Story: Freak Show in 2014). Finn talks about the craziness of the show, how he crafted Dandy and what his ideal AHS season would be.

The Whirlwind Process of Being Cast

Ryan Murphy is known for his crazy machinations and it certainly extended to WIttrock, who was offered the part of Dandy while on the set of The Normal Heart before even seeing a script. The script didn’t arrive till a while later, but Wittrock says much of the experience of working on the show was just going with Murphy’s vision.

On Crafting the Character

Dandy proved to be a very daunting challenge for Wittrock, given that the character could have easily been seen as overly cartoonish, and he had to find the emotional truth. The actor, who has done theater and films, knew that this would be a unique challenge because unlike those mediums in TV you don’t know where the character could end up. Wittrock had to rely a lot on his instincts early on, looking for ways to add human layers to the character, and trusted that the directors had his best interests at heart. As the show went on, the writers began incorporating his performance into the writing.

On the Physicality and Violence

Wittrock was excited to explore the many facets of Dandy, including the physical stuff like being naked and bathing in blood, but even he was unaware at just how crazy the show could get. It didn’t both him though, as being in the character’s skin let him shed any inhibitions. He also remarked that he preferred to do these crazy scenes than just regular dialgoue scenes. The show is incredibly technical, and Wittrock learned how to operate within the technical limits to perform.

Listen to the full audio below: