In an exclusive chat with E! News, American Horror Story star Leslie Grossman weighed in on her power-hungry new alter ego. Plus, find out her inspiration for the part.
Ryan Murphy tends to write the most fabulously biting characters for Leslie Grossman.
In season eight of American Horror Story, Grossman played the gluten-sensitive witch Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt, who always had something quippy to say. And then, in season nine, we saw her emerge as the secretly lethal camp director Margaret Booth. Now Murphy seems to have outdone himself with Grossman’s latest role for season 10.
Grossman is now playing Ursula, a sociopathic agent who encourages her clients to transform into blood-sucking fiends in order to get best-selling work. And, in an exclusive chat with E! News, Grossman made it clear that she had the best time playing this wild character.
“All of the characters I’ve played are my babies, but I do have a very special affinity for Ursula,” she said. “I think she is the most fun. The words that I got to say, were just so insane, and mean, and direct. And I think she speaks in a way that all of us wish we could just talk to people, and not care and not be burdened by a conscience.”
For those who may’ve missed the Sept. 1 episode, Ursula hilariously ripped into Austin (Evan Peters) and Belle (Frances Conroy), as they once again performed for the patrons at the only bar in town. “If I wanted to listen to a s–ty Captain & Tennille cover band, I would’ve just killed myself,” she brilliantly snapped, “because I’m sure that’s what’s playing on an infinite loop in Hell.”
The episode also featured Grossman’s character acting perfectly manipulative opposite Macaulay Culkin, who plays a local drug addict with promise as a writer. So, it’s no wonder that Ursula is currently Grossman’s favorite AHS role to date.
American Horror Story: Double Feature Recap: Drag and Drop
Considering American Horror Story: Double Feature largely revolves around Provincetown’s secret supply of life-changing (and occasionally life-ending) pills, we’ve spent relatively little time with its creator, the mysterious Chemist. But all that is about to change.
Episode 4 finally affords us some quality time with Angelica Ross’ character by flashing back to her fateful arrival in P-Town five years earlier. As she explains to a highly skeptical Holden, she recently left her job at a lab in Providence, referring to it as an “ugly divorce.” And Holden is absolutely right to be skeptical of her, just not for the reason he initially suspected. (Meth? Please. “I have a PhD from Harvard,” she informed him. “Meth is well below my pay grade.”)
After settling in, the Chemist hits the town in search of potential guinea pigs for her miracle drug, eventually bringing home poor Mickey, who offers to do literally “anything” for 20 bucks. But the Chemist isn’t interested in his Halloween special, even if it is a straight-up bargain. Instead, she tells him all about her government-funded discovery of a pill that supercharges the neurons in a talented person’s occipital lobe. (I won’t even tell you how much of that I had to Google. It was… most of it.) Mickey is intrigued, but he’s not quite ready to sign up for her secret human testing. He does, however, agree to send potential subjects her way for $50 a head.
His first find is a karaoke singer — and not a very good one, hence the tone-deaf schmuck’s gradual transformation into the town’s first pale, bald freak. (Again I ask: Did we ever settle on a name for these monsters? Because let’s not forget that Holden offered up “pale, strange homeless creatures wearing the AIDS-era couture” as a perfectly valid option.) In fact, this week’s episode even reveals where this season’s creepers obtained their signature look. Can you believe that Lark owns a vintage clothing store and still finds time to dabble in tattoos and dentistry? A jill of all trades, that one.
The Chemist finds considerably greater success with Belle Noir, whom we meet in the midst of a loveless marriage with one of the most loathsome Horror Story characters in recent memory. Seriously, the guy is just an absolute dick. He won’t sit in on any of his wife’s book readings, he refuses to do “something totally gay” like watching the sunset with her, and he brags about boning a townie (twice!) before announcing that their marriage is over. Of course, he has no idea that Belle has taken the pill, so it’s a real O-M-G moment when she kills him, drains him and leaves him strewn about the beach in pieces. Honestly, he deserved worse.
Two years later, Belle has become a best-selling author in search of a new look. Naturally, she ends up in Lark’s shop, where we learn that Billie Lourd’s character is also a friend of the Chemist. “I killed my last boyfriend,” she says way too calmly. “He could bang me pretty good, but he was boring as f–k, so I drank him dry and burned the body.” You know, just a casual chat between murderers.