Mark Consuelos On Transformation
& American Horror Story: Asylum
FX’s American Horror Story: Asylum is all about transformations. Some of the most shocking of those changes have been physical, as we saw with Chloe Sevigny’s Shelley several episodes ago. This week, it was Mark Consuelos’ Spivey who underwent a makeover thanks to the ever-helpful Dr. Arthur Arden.
Spinoff Online took part in a conference call with Consuelos in which he discussed being the latest character on American Horror Story to go under Arden’s knife in last week’s episode “The Origins of Monstrosity.” Consuelos is best known for playing pretty-boy Mateo Santos Sr. on All My Children, so the fact that the husband of Kelly Ripa started off ugly and ended uglier as Spivey was an exciting change of pace for him.
“The great thing about this role is when I was talking to Ryan Murphy about it, he had very specific opinions about what he would look like. And he was like, we’ll start with your teeth, they can’t be that white and nice, so we’re going to completely screw up your teeth and everything,” Consuelos explained. “Your hair, and your face, and body type and the way he walks, and it was just so exciting just to come at it from that point of view, because frankly a lot of the stuff that I do, it’s the exact opposite of that, and they want to make it as perfect as possible.”
He continued, “I’m typically the guy that ends up kissing the girl at the end of the scene, or at the end of the show or whatever it is, not that that’s not fantastic, but for an actor, especially since I’ve been doing that kind of stuff so much, to be given the opportunity to play a role that people, if you didn’t tell them that it was me, they probably wouldn’t even figure it out, which is great.”
Consuelos definitely does disappear into his character to the point it takes a lot of effort to pick the handsome soap opera star out of the slimy, sex-obsessed inmate at Briarcliff. Series co-creator Ryan Murphy approached Consuelos with the role of Spivey in mind, and it was a part that it was hard for Consuelos to say no to.
“Ryan Murphy said he wanted to talk about this particular project, and over dinner he explained the role and how Spivey was going to look. And we really got into the physical characteristics of Spivey and he did warn me that he’s going to be a super dark kind of character, extremely demented, and for me I said, you understand that’s exactly why I would want to play Spivey, ” Consuelos recalled.
Spivey has only been a secondary character this season, so there aren’t many shades of gray to his personality. Consuelos said Spivey was written “very specifically,” although he still had some freedom with his portrayal of the character.
Both Consuelos and Ripa are fans of American Horror Story, but Consuelos said his wife is more disturbed by the series than he is. In his words, “she wants to look away, but she can’t look away.” For his part, Consuelos is intrigued by way Murphy and co-creator Brad Falchuk created the miniseries format of AHS.
“It’s really interesting for an actor as well that you can continue to do season to season and not be playing the same role, which is one of the interesting things as an actor is you always want to try new things, so the fact that they set it up that you would be doing different things each season,” he said.
Based on that answer, it should go without saying that Consuelos would be game to return for American Horror Story Season 3, whatever that may be. He said he’d “absolutely” return next season if Murphy and Falchuk have a role for him.
“It’s been so fun just to be part of it, the whole buzz around the show is exciting, and then when it actually starts airing people absolutely love it. I got extreme street credibility from my high school aged son,” Consuelos said. “I think the fact that [Murphy] does have that repertory of actors that feels like it’s very much that kind of thing where he gets a group of actors and he continues to work with them, yes, I would love to do it.”
American Horror Story: Asylum airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.