Mark Margolis Discusses Playing American Horror Story’s Nazi Hunter
Last week’s episode of American Horror Story: Asylum brought on Breaking Bad alum Mark Margolis in a small role as a Nazi hunter named Mr. Goodman. He might not have a bell or a wheelchair, but Margolis definitely made an impact in his debut on FX’s hit drama.
After the episode aired, Spinoff Online participated in a conference call with Margolis to discuss his character’s impact on the series. Although Goodman hasn’t done much beyond look into whether Dr. Arthur Arden (James Cromwell) is actually Nazi war criminal Hans Gruber, we likely haven’t seen the last of him considering it was revealed at the end of last week’s episode that Arden is the evil man that Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) suspects he is. For his part, Margolis wouldn’t say whether he’ll be reprising his role.
“[Goodman] may already have done his work before [Jude] even made the call to him [to stop looking into Arden]; he may have done some level of work,” Margolis teased. When asked if Goodman would ever have a scene with Arden/Gruber, he hedged, “Probably.”
Margolis said he has enjoyed portraying a Nazi hunter, and actually had already put some research into that type of person because of a role he almost had in a Sean Penn movie called This Must Be the Place. The part eventually went to Judd Hirsch, but it’s a type of character that Margolis has long been intrigued by.
“Nazi hunters are kind of fascinating characters,” he said. “I’ve read a great deal about Simon Wiesenthal, who is probably the world’s most famous Nazi hunter. I think he’s the one that located [Adolf] Eichman in Argentina, or he’s located others. They’re fascinating people with a certain kind of a mission of devoting their lives to catching these people who are aging and dying — I think that world is almost disappearing at this point. If there’s anybody left, they’re in their 90s. When I heard that [this role] was a Nazi hunter, I was quite excited about that.”
As for how Goodman differs as a character from Breaking Bad’s Hector Salamanca, Margolis joked, “Well, they took the bell away from me. … I had to actually speak, so that was tough. They soon discovered that the guy is better with a bell, but it was too late because they had already employed me.”
But, in all seriousness, Margolis said that having the TV series be so different helped him create entirely unique characters.
“I mean, Breaking Bad is a whole other thing. It’s in a whole other locale, in New Mexico, which is a whole other feeling and this was a strange 1964 kind of shabby motel room,” he said. “It was just a whole other — it was something about working in American Horror Story; everything was very brown and gray, which is the complete opposite of New Mexico, even though my character in New Mexico was sometimes in a grim nursing home; whatever. It was completely different. It was a whole other kind of man with a whole other demeanor, a whole other world, and had come from a whole other world.”
American Horror Story: Asylum airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.