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Lizzie Brocheré of
"American Horror Story: Asylum" on FX
FX NETWORK: American Horror Story: Asylum
November 9, 2012/2:00 p.m. EST
Lizzie Brocheré, American Horror Story: Asylum
Moderator Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for standing by.
Welcome to the American Horror Story: Asylum call. At this
time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we
will conduct a question and answer session. Instructions
will be given at that time. As a reminder, this conference
is being recorded.
I will now turn the call over to our host, Matthew Mitchell.
Please go ahead.
M. Mitchell Hi, there. Thank you for joining the call today
on behalf of FX and 20th Century Fox Television. Today we’ll
be talking with Ms. Lizzie Brocheré about American Horror
Story: Asylum. As most of you have already seen parts one
and parts two to …, we do ask that questions about the
second part remain confidential until Thursday of next week,
so that we allow viewers to actually not have it spoiled, if
that's possible. If you guys have questions after the call,
feel free to call me (310) 369-7110 or via e-mail.
At this time, I'll turn it over–just so you guys know;
Lizzie was shooting last night until about 2:30 in the
morning, so we will do our best, but please be patient with
We can get started. Hello?
Moderator Thank you. Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times, please go
J. Nunn Hi. How are you today? Tired, I bet.
L. Brocheré Yes. I'm tired. Hello.
J. Nunn Your character has gotten more and more complex as
the periods have gone on. You’re doing an amazing job, first
L. Brocheré I’m doing what? Sorry.
J. Nunn You’re doing an amazing job, first off.
L. Brocheré Thank you. I appreciate it.
J. Nunn Is it scary on the set? Is it actually that scary,
or do you get the creeps at all?
L. Brocheré I did, especially on the … floor; I did get the
creeps. Yes, because the story was so dark and all these
flashbacks that we shot. For example, when I hide in the
closet, and it's a fake flashback, but still, we did it for
real, and I hide in the closet, and I dove back and I go
back and I think that I'm saved and then there's this foot
with blood dripping on my shoulder right next to me. So
realistic, so realistic. It was crazy. I couldn't open the
closets after that for a week at my place.
J. Nunn There is a–you have to do a lot of nudity in the
show too, is that hard for you or is that common in the
French cinema, so that's not a big deal for you?
L. Brocheré It's not common in the French cinema. I did a
lot in the French cinema. I couldn't say I don't feel
comfortable doing it, but American nudity is not the same as
the French one. You can’t show nipples. You can't show
frontal nudity. It's mainly butts showing apparently.
J. Nunn That thing with you and “Lana,” the character
“Lana,” I thought you guys were going to hook up in that
scene? So, I was really surprised when it happened, but I
love the lesbian theme in the show. I think it's really
L. Brocheré Say what? Sorry.
J. Nunn I liked the lesbian scene on the show. It's very …
on how it's handled and the issue–it's really.
L. Brocheré I can't really hear everything. The lesbian
J. Nunn The handling of … issues on the show very well ….
Moderator Can someone hear that question?
J. Nunn That's okay, Lizzie. Thank you, so much for the
L. Brocheré Don't worry.
J. Nunn Okay.
L. Brocheré The line isn't really good.
Moderator Stacy Harrison from Tribune Media Services.
S. Harrison Hi. I was just wondering if you could maybe
expand a little bit on, since the show is called American
Horror Story, if you've noticed anything particularly
American about it as far as the style of horror or just the
storytelling, you know coming from France?
L. Brocheré Everything is American about it. All the myths
and legends and the mythology are very American. I don't
recall zombies as being very European–not zombies, but
aliens are not American. All of the imagery is very American
rooted. Even the thrill and the excitement of horror is not
something that is very French, that we have in France; if
that makes any sense.
S. Harrison Yes. What do you make of all of that? Is it
interesting to be a part of that now?
L. Brocheré It's great. It's fascinating, which also you've
exported a lot that in horror mythology. I grew up in
it–whatever you know, even on the other side of the
Atlantic. I like it; it's so exciting.
S. Harrison Thank you, Lizzie.
Moderator Erin Willard, SciFiMafia.com. Please go ahead.
E. Willard Hi, Lizzie. Thanks so much for being on the call
today and congratulations on your very excellent work on
this show. It's really a pleasure to watch you.
L. Brocheré Thank you.
E. Willard How did you first get involved in the show?
L. Brocheré Weirdly, I self-typed from France. I had no idea
that I could get the part because it was supposed to be an
E. Willard Okay.
L. Brocheré I did the audition anyway because I never felt
safe and my managers here sometimes get mad because I never
send anything in, and because also the process of the
audition was so much fun. I watched the first season of
American Horror Story and have been a big fan, and the
audition for the part of “Grace;” it was two scenes. One was
a scene taken out of Girl Interrupted, “Lisa’s” character...
E. Willard Okay.
L. Brocheré It was very, very out there. It was very
provocative, a very strong character and very …. So that was
fun, it was like, wow, what is that character that they're
auditioning for? The other scene was a scene from …, which
was a masturbation scene, very provocative as well.
E. Willard Oh, great.
L. Brocheré I was like; I don't know where they're going
with that character, but she's wild. So I did the audition
with my friend, and didn’t really believe in it, and then
two weeks later I was in L.A. meeting Ryan Murphy … for five
minutes and they were talking to me about the part … and
that was it.
E. Willard Oh, that's great.
L. Brocheré Yes, it was amazing. I didn't even have a
E. Willard … California. Oh, very nice. Can you tell us a
little bit about shooting the murder scenes; was there a lot
of … coordination? Was the atmosphere—?
L. Brocheré Shooting in what, I'm sorry?
E. Willard The murder scenes?
L. Brocheré Oh, shooting the murder scenes, that was so fun.
Did you say was there a lot of…?
E. Willard Sure.
L. Brocheré … it was fun because we wanted to–I mean the
whole crew was so happy to change my look, and they were
really excited about doing some kind of flashbacks and
knowing a little bit more about “Grace.” So everything,
costumes and hair, for example, I don't have the same
haircut at all. They really wanted to show “Grace” as she
was before the asylum, and everyone was really excited about
The actual murder scenes, there was a lot of blood, a lot of
different axes. I think we had six different axes that are
still in the props office, and they're all on the walls. You
have one that's a rubber axe, and then you have another one
that's a real axe, and you should never mix up with the
E. Willard Right.
L. Brocheré Then you have another one that's a half cut axe,
so that you can pretend that it's in the body. You only have
a part of it sticking out of the body. I mean we have so
many different axes; it was funny. Then you have, for
example, when I kill my stepmom, we have these effects guys
that were behind the body of my stepmom … blood on the face
each time that I hit her. There were so many people in that
closet it was …, but it was fun.
E. Willard Thanks, so much.
Moderator Amy Harrington, Pop Culture Passionistas, your
line is open.
A. Harrington Hi. Thanks so much for your time today.
L. Brocheré You're welcome.
A. Harrington You talked a little bit earlier about being
afraid to open closet doors for a week after shooting those
scenes. How do you on a day-to-day basis overcome the
intensity of shooting and then going back into your normal
L. Brocheré Well, apart from that week, I was pretty much
okay. I have very different ways–the crew, for example, is
so much fun–I mean they're totally disconnected from the
cast …. Joke with the crew when you get out of set, for an
example, that helped me so much. Otherwise, in my day-to-day
basis, it would be I guess, a bit of yoga. I go biking,
read, watch shows, I go to music concerts. I've taken a lot
of road trips since I've been here. I've been to The Joshua
Tree. I've been camping on the Channel Islands. Each time
that I have two or three days off, I'm off somewhere in
A. Harrington That's perfect. The asylum itself feels like a
character on the show, so how much does that environment
help you get into a scene?
L. Brocheré It makes the scene. There’s no question about
where you are. I remember one of the first days on the set
when …–the first scene was something in the solitary, and
I'd be visiting in the solitary cells. When you're in that
hallway with all the solitary cell doors; Ooh. You have no
question of where you are. It's such a particular asylum.
It's such a designed asylum. It's such an interesting–I
don't know you can feel the whole weight of the metaphor
that it represents, you know.
A. Harrington Definitely. Well, thank you so much for
talking to us despite your late schedule and good luck with
the show this season.
L. Brocheré Thank you so much.
A. Harrington Thanks.
Moderator Thank you. Michael Gallagher, StayFamous.net, your
line is open.
M. Gallagher Hi.
L. Brocheré Hello.
M. Gallagher I read that one of your parents was a casting
director, and I was wondering growing up, did you learn any
lessons from them about the entertainment business that has
helped you in your career and really prepared you for
working in Hollywood?
L. Brocheré Prepared me for working in Hollywood, no,
because the French and Hollywood are a whole different
business, but have I learned things about–yes, of course.
I'm not sure I actually had lessons in the way that my mom
wanted to give me; you know, sat me down and told me that
this is how this was happening and blah, blah, blah.
I grew up around actors, a lot of them struggling actors. I
don’t know why, but a lot of them struggling. That's always
been a part of the reality of this job, for example. I don't
know what else I’ve learned–yes, of course I've learned a
lot, of course. Also there's one thing, it's that I've
worked at my mom’s every time I didn't have a job–not every
time, but a lot of times when I didn't have work, so I've
been on the other side.
I've been talking to producers about the casting that I've
been working on. Talking about the actors that I've felt
like hearing their answers and their feedbacks of why they
didn't choose that person or that brilliant actor that I
thought was amazing in the scene and hearing their comments.
Yes, it makes you, of course, a little more realistic about
the whole game; that's for sure.
M. Gallagher Do you have a message for the fans of the show?
Is there anything you'd like to say to them directly?
L. Brocheré I don't know what to say of them. So many
things, I guess. Thanks for watching, that's for sure, and
we’re shooting Episode 10 right now. This season is getting
more and more twisted, and going in darker and darker
places. It'll be a pleasure to talk to everyone once we're
allowed to actually say everything. That’ll be great.
M. Gallagher Thank you.
L. Brocheré Thanks.
Moderator Monique Jones, TVEquals.com, please go ahead.
M. Jones Hi, it's nice to speak with you today.
L. Brocheré Thanks. Hello.
M. Jones The show is set in the 1960s, what do you think
that time period adds to the overall tone of the show?
L. Brocheré I think America in the 1960s was a very
interesting period concerning civil rights. So when you're
doing a show that questions the norms of society concerning
human beings, you know, when you're doing a show about
asylums, I think it's interesting to set it in the 60s and
at the same time though something about–it definitely gives
it a very precise, I mean a very esthetic design also that I
At the same time, I think sometimes when we put a story in a
historical background, like when we put it in the past, in a
historical perspective, it enables us more easily to see
ourselves without feeling too concerned by it. Does that
make any sense; do you see what I mean?
M. Jones Yes. What's the hardest thing about your character?
How do you get into character to play “Grace”?
L. Brocheré How do I get into my character to play “Grace”?
There’s so many different ways, but I think what I worked on
the most was that back story you heard, because when we
started shooting, we already had the first four scripts, so
I had the back story of “Grace” in the fourth episode. I
think that since she was based on this American character,
Lizzie Borden, I read a lot about Lizzie Borden.
I discovered a source book with her inquest testimony; I
loved reading it out loud. I thought she was so smart and
strangely fascinating, that character. I don't know if it
helped my acting, but it was necessary for me to know a bit
more of that character who was a very important American
figure. I had no clue who she was, in fact, …for example.
I did a lot of—this is going to sound weird, but I did a lot
of stretching, yoga and dancing, almost ballet. I felt, you
know, how she's always–you want her to be moving in a very
smooth maybe, and she's very sexy, so you want her to be
moving in a smoother way than I do. So that was a little
job, and “Grace,” I don't know she's somewhere in me–apart
from that big back story and all that; her sarcasm, her way
of seeing life and that little liveliness she has. You know,
how she always says amazing lines when you feel like she's
young little Tibetan monk.
I don't know, … to you. She has all these lines that are so
true. I don't know; she was just someone I knew. I don't
know how to say it. It wasn't that hard to tap into her,
apart from the killing of my dad and all of that.
M. Gallagher Okay. Thanks.
L. Brocheré You're welcome.
Moderator Daniel Johnson from ScreenInvasion.com, please go
D. Johnson Hi, Lizzie.
L. Brocheré Hi.
D. Johnson Thanks for talking with us today. I was really
curious if you watched Season 1 at all and how the
relationship was working with Evan Peters, who played
“Tate,” and if you've seen his work before and just what
that was like? I was interested in hearing how actors
L. Brocheré I have seen Season 1 before, and I have to say
that one of the reasons I loved Season 1 was because of
“Tate.” I came out of watching Season 1, and said, wow,
who's that; he's awesome. I was really excited to be working
with him. How has it been working with him? He’s great. The
thing is since we're in an asylum, we haven't been
collaborating much. It's a lot about characters being alone
with their little story and kind of colliding in the scenes.
I don't know; for the first three episodes, we didn't
really–I didn't feel comfortable collaborating with him on
scenes because you don't want to get too familiar. You want
to keep that kind of distance. With four, we kind of bonded
and trusted each other more as our characters were …
themselves more ….
D. Johnson No, that's great. It mirrors what you're doing on
the show. That's awesome. I have another question you’ve
already kind of answered, but I was also curious, how much
you knew about your character because they really keep your
character kind of a secret for a while? How much you knew
when you were auditioning and first getting in there. How
much did they keep from you until the scripts came in, that
sort of thing?
L. Brocheré I didn't know anything since the audition scenes
had nothing to do with the character. All I knew was that
they did choose these audition scenes, so they were going
D. Johnson Yes.
L. Brocheré “Grace” is so different from–everyone kept
saying, oh … and Girl Interrupted, and “Grace” has nothing
to do with Girl Interrupted. Maybe one or two things, maybe
the smile, maybe some kind of confidence, but she's so much
more broken, or I don't know; she's very different. I didn't
really know more, but what I did know, was from the meeting
with Ryan and Brett, was that she was based on Lizzie
She was based on Lizzie Borden, that they told me during a
meeting, while they were telling me that she was going to
happen in an asylum in the 60s and it was going to be
Jessica Lange who plays “Sister Jude,” a sister holding the
For example, I didn't know that she was—that was one thing I
discovered was that, with all the trust and all the
breakdowns of the character since the beginning, everyone
was saying she's a…during her whole life. That was a big
surprise. So that's where that rage comes from, and that's
where that sexiness comes from. So it's way more twisted and
painful than I had ever imagined before.
D. Johnson Cool. Thanks a lot. That answered my questions.
Moderator Morgan Glennon, I’m sorry, from BuddyTV. Please go
M. Glennon Hi, Lizzie. Thanks so much for taking the time
out to talk to us today.
L. Brocheré It's a pleasure.
M. Glennon I'm wondering; American Horror Story is kind of a
pretty twisted, dark show. What do you think about this show
that appeals to people and what appealed to you when you
were thinking about joining the cast?
L. Brocheré What appealed to me is that I had this feeling
in the first season that behind all the horror and sometimes
… provocative style of The American Horror Story, there was
something where it was talking about our society nowadays
and there was something that was most disturbing, that's
where the horror was rooted and very deranging when you
watched it. What I loved about the second season was that it
was even more of that for me.
I could feel this asylum is some kind of purgatory, but that
felt kind of familiar in the 2012 society. To have all these
different human sciences, or paths of religion science,
psychology with the characters of “Sister Jude,” of “Dr.
Arden,” …, and each of them trying to understand or give
answers to the unknown or the unknown that you can have in
the human being, you know, try to give answers and all of
them failing in their quest and at the same time being
beautiful in it, and horrible, and I love that place.
I love that place of trying to understand the human nature
and the darkness in it and trying to go beyond the labels
and the comfort zone of normality, questioning what's normal
and what's not; what sane, what's insane; what's bad, what's
good; what's, you know, all these things. When you're honest
with those questions, the frontiers are so, so much greater
than what we pretend they are, so all that was fascinating
for me. I love that because … right now and all these scenes
are getting so much sicker, and I love that.
M. Glennon That was actually going to be my next question,
it's obviously that you can't tell us very much, but is
there something you can sort of tease for what's coming up
for “Grace” in the upcoming episodes?
L. Brocheré What can I tease? So much is happening to
“Grace,” poor “Grace.” I don't really know. Maybe if we talk
about Episode 5 or that kind of beginning, but I
can't–because there is a storyline that starts in five, so
I'm sure not going to be until Thursday of next week–what I
like about my character is it kind of joins a storyline that
I cherish a lot, which is the alien storyline, and that is
something that I've been really looking forward to.
I'm so happy about that because, first of all, when you move
to the United States for work, which is what I just did, you
have a visa where they call you an alien with extraordinary
ability, but still that's what I am right now. It's strange,
to be like right, in the administration system, you have a
label which is a visa 01, which is for aliens with
extraordinary ability; good Lord.
So ever since I got a foot in the U.S. administration and
moving to the U.S., I've been like, oh aliens; interesting.
Aliens are immigrants. That's interesting, what is an alien?
So when I got the script everything kind of made sense in a
way. This idea of foreigners–so I love being close to that
storyline because I felt so much myself like an alien.
M. Glennon Yes. Well, thank you so much for taking the time
out to answer our questions.
L. Brocheré Yes.
M. Glennon Thanks.
Moderator There are no further questions in queue. Ladies
and gentlemen, that does conclude our conference for today.
Thank you for your participation and for using AT&T
Executive TeleConference. You may now disconnect.
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