Universal Options "The Wicked + The Divine" for TV Adaptation
Warning: If you haven’t seen this week’s episode of American Horror Story: Asylum, there are major spoilers in this article. Also, stop whatever you’re doing and go watch “I Am Anne Frank: Part 2,” because it’s freaking awesome.
It’s been a great couple of days for fans of American Horror Story: Asylum. Not only has FX’s hit horror series been picked up for a third season, but we finally know who the Bloody Face serial killer is.
Did you guess that it was going to be Zachary Quinto‘s Dr. Oliver Thredson? I certainly didn’t. That revelation came with a new batch of questions, and fortunately we have some answers for all of you. Quinto participated in a conference call with journalists on Thursday and revealed some of his psychopathic character’s motivations, specifically whether Thredson actually believed in the psychology and the seemingly levelheaded mentality he was espousing throughout the season.
“I think he definitely believes in it. I think part of being a psychopath is the ability to disassociate from one reality and be in another one completely, and I think he does that expertly. The level of training, medical training, and intuition, instinct,” Quinto said. “I think he’s very skilled, and I think that’s what allows him to get away with it as long as he does. I think he does believe in it, which is kind of another layer of the tragedy of the character is that he could have been somebody else.”
He explained that the entire sequence where Thredson tries to cure Lana Winters’ (Sarah Paulson) homosexuality was all part of his plan to gain her trust and eventually get her out of Briarcliff. He feels Thredson was “trying to show her that he could be there for her” by trying to help her get rid of her lesbian tendencies so she can leave the insane asylum, but that he “knows it won’t [work], on some level.” By having that experience, though, Thredson could set the stage for breaking Lana out in a “more radical” way and eventually trap her in his home as he did at the end of the episode without her realizing the danger she was in.
“I think it’s an incredibly manipulative tactic that works to a T for him,” Quinto said.
It turns out Quinto has known from the get-go that this is the direction his character was heading in. That’s why he signed on for Asylum after a smaller role in the first season of American Horror Story.
“I knew from the very beginning. It was part of the conversation I had with [co-creator] Ryan [Murphy] about me coming back to the second installment of the show in the first place, and it very much informed the character that I was building from the beginning,” he said. “[Knowing early] gave me more to play with and more to hold back and more secrets to keep.”
So if you ended up trusting Thredson like I did, then Quinto was doing his job right. He said he wanted to create a character people thought was the one voice of “reason and sanity” before realizing he actually was a psychotic murderer. Now that the fact Thredson is Bloody Face has been revealed, fans apparently won’t have to wait much longer to find out about his motivations.
“Next week’s show is called ‘The Origins of Monstrosity,’ and so it really dives into a lot of the roots of the characters in this world and asylum. A lot of things will become clear and probably more disturbing in the next couple of weeks,” he said. “[Thredson’s motivation] all traces back to one source of trauma that then sort of branches out to include all of these unfortunate women.”
Beyond that, Quinto wouldn’t talk much about the rest of the season. He teased that Thredson could eventually team up with James Cromwell’s Dr. Arthur Arden, but hedged when asked if the Bloody Face in the present storyline is the same as the one in the 1960s. “Wouldn’t that be cool?” he teased. “Yeah, you’ll find all that out.”
He also said that he thinks fans’ questions will be answered judging by a script from late in the season that he just ready. “[The episode] was pretty freaking cool,” he said, adding that it made him question how much this series can push its boundaries. “It’s really driving to a point very, very well. The storytelling style of Asylum will really pay off in a really big way.”
At least we know that the entire storyline will tie up by Episode 13. Then it’s a whole new setting with a whole new cast of characters that will be revealed at a later date and air in the fall of 2013. Quinto said he found out about Season 3 with the rest of us and hasn’t yet talked with Murphy about plans for a third season.
“I’m sure I’ll have a call at one point, but I don’t know anything about it,” Quinto said. Fingers crossed he’ll be back for more.
American Horror Story: Asylum airs Wednesdays on FX at 10 p.m. ET/PT.