Leslie Grossman shares her gratitude for her role in ‘American Horror Story: Cult’ | CROOKES Magazine
Interview by Adam Crookes
A few weeks ago, Ryan Murphy (the Creator of ‘American Horror Story’, ‘Glee’, ‘Popular’ & ‘American Crime Story’) posted on his Instagram announcing that Leslie Grossman would be joining the cast of the upcoming ‘American Horror Story: Cult’. I knew instantly that I had to get Leslie in the Magazine to talk about how this came about, whilst of course talking about how she got to this point in her career.
AC: When you’re reading a comedy script, what specifically are you looking for to convince you to take the role?
LG: I think if it’s something that resonates with me personally and if it’s honest. No matter how over the top or crazy a comedy script or part can be, there has to be a nugget of reality or truth to it or it won’t work. I look for the heart there and whether it’s something that I can relate to. To be completely honest — it just has to be funny!
AC: In October you’re back in NBC’s ‘The Good Place’, are you looking to do more episodes after that?
LG: I would absolutely love it! I think it is truly one of the best shows on television. It is created by Michael Schur who has many TV Shows like ‘Parks & Recreation’ — which is one of my all time favorite shows and so the writing is so great, so smart and concise. I play Kristen Bell’s mother and we’re not that far apart in age. They did some stuff to me that managed to make me look older. Kristen’s just incredible, she has perfect comedic timing. That’s a world I would just love to be involved in as much as they would have me. I love that show and I love everyone on that show!
AC: Ryan Murphy described you as “one of the funniest ladies he knows” — where do you think you get your humor and comedic side from?
LG: I was born and raised in Los Angeles and I grew up in the 80s. I think then there was an ideal of what a girl was supposed to look and be like. I didn’t match that. I think I realised early on that being funny had its own currency. It is true that so much of comedy comes from pain and I absolutely wanted to make fun of myself before someone else could make fun of me. I used it as a defense mechanism. I also think it’s just a specific take I have on the world. I also had really encouraging parents. My first audience was with my Mum, Dad and brother around the dinner table. The goal was if I could get milk to come out of my brother’s nose — I had achieved something!
AC: Do you think your part in ‘Popular’ was written around your humor?
LG: I went into that project not knowing Ryan [Murphy] or anyone on that show — auditioning blindly. The pilot script of ‘Popular’ was so different and funny to me that I thought I would never ever get to go on anything that was that good or that I could relate to as much. A day or two later, Ryan called and asked to have a meeting with me. He said “I wanna write you a part”. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing because that just doesn’t happen. I can never thank him enough for doing that. That was a present wrapped in a big old boe handed to me. It was such a kind thing for him to have done for me. I owe it all to him because he gave me this incredible opportunity.
AC: In September you have a role in ‘American Horror Story: Cult’…
LG: I feel like I can’t even acknowledge that I’m on it it’s so secretive!
AC: …How did this very new role come about?
LG: The truth is I don’t know if it was written for me. Ryan [Murphy] texted me and asked me if I wanted to do this season of ‘American Horror Story’. I never thought I’d be doing this show. It’s not how people see me and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever done. This is something that Ryan does, he presents actors with challenges. I have scenes with Sarah Paulson — that’s bananas! That is like getting to be up close and personal in a master acting class everyday.
You can catch Leslie Grossman in ‘American Horror Story: Cult’ on Tuesdays 10pm on FX from September 5th.