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Lizzie Brocheré

Behind the scenes with American Horror Story's Lizzie Brocheré

"American nudity is not the same as the French... You can't show nipples. You can't show frontal nudity. It's mainly butts showing apparently."

by Jerry Nunn
Created for the FX Channel, American Horror Story by openly gay Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk is already in a second successful season. This time the story is set in an asylum where it's difficult to tell who is crazier the inmates or the wardens.

Actress Lizzie Brocheré is known for her French cinema background with over 40 foreign film and TV roles under her belt. She now has a major character on AHS as inmate Grace. We talked to her after she had been filming all night to get a behind the scenes story on American Horror Story: Asylum.

Jerry Nunn: How are you, Lizzie? Tired I bet.

Lizzie Brocheré: Yes, I am tired.

JN: You're doing an amazing job with the role that gets more and more complex.

LB: Thank you. I appreciate it.

JN: Is it scary on the set? Do you get the creeps at all?

LB: 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, it's a fake flashback, but still, we did it for real, I hid in the closet, I dove 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. It was crazy. I couldn't open the closets after that for a week at my place.

JN: How were shooting those murder scenes?

LB: 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 that.

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 other one.

JN: How do you get into your character Grace?

LB: 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.

JN: You have some nudity in this role. Is that common in French cinema?

LB: It's not common 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.

JN: I thought you were going to hook up with Lana in that one scene. Coming from France does American Horror story feel very American?

LB: 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 if that makes any sense.

JN: How did you become involved in the show in the first place?

LB: I had no idea I would get the part because it was written for an American. I did the audition anyway because 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. The audition for the part of Grace was two scenes. One was a scene taken out of the movie Girl Interrupted. It was very, very out there. It was very provocative, a very strong character so that was fun, it was like, wow, what is that character that they're auditioning for? The other scene was a was a masturbation scene, very provocative as well.

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.

JN: That's great.

LB: Yes it was amazing. I didn't even have a driver's license!

JN: What's coming up for Grace?

LB: What can I tease? Maybe if we talk about episode five my character 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. 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. Watch every Wednesday to see what happens on American Horror Story: Asylum. Visit www.fxnetworks.com/ahs for details and listings.
 
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