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Zachary Quinto On ‘Bloody’ Details of American Horror Story’s Reveal

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.”

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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.


  • Shokdiesel

    The acting on this series has been awesome, but I feel the show isn’t as compelling as last season. But it definitely bodes well that Quinto, who I think is one cool dude, says the storytelling will pay off. I hope he’s right.

  • Shakeluver4

    WHAT HAPPENS TO SHELLEY???? Is she going to end up blowing the lid off of Briarcliffe now that she’s outside or are the cops just gonna shoot her down since she looks like a monster?

  • Kevin Melrose

    I find this season so much more entertaining than the first. I wanted to skip every scene featuring Connie Britton or Dylan McDermott (unless the latter included Denis O’Hare).

  • Jim H.

    “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

    That’s why it was pretty obvious he was going to be Bloody Face; everybody else was already something else weird and twisted except him!

  • Starleafgirl

    It was a great reveal to have Dr. Thredson be the psychopathic murderer nicknamed Bloody Face. I was taken completely by surprise (until Lana arrived at his home, then I started getting, “Oh crap, this is not going to end well” vibes from the show, haha). In retrospect, it should’ve been more obvious, as his concern for the patients seemed to ebb and flow with his particular needs being served and was always sort of more casual than urgent, consistent with someone who’s putting it on just for show. It was brilliant the way he got Kit to “confess” to his “crimes,” though. Things don’t look good for anyone on this show and, as we know from last season, there’s not necessarily a light at the end of this dark tunnel!

    Did you also see the social commentary at the end that the perfect ’50s housewife is a lobotomized woman? Lol. Ouch.

  • Jack R

    Oddly, I saw this coming.  Maybe as soon as the Bloody Face shots in the promos for episode 2.  body language?  in the eyes?  Dunno..  But I’m not gonna pat myself on the back too much about it.. Because I have no idea what’s going on with the Monsignor and I didn’t pick up on he nazi thing with Arden in the first episode until they got more explicit about it in later episodes.

  • married guy

    I’m enjoying this season more than the first.
    Lange & Quinto are awesome.
    The writing is great, and the atmosphere is almost pitch perfect.
    LOVE IT!!!