On an exclusive visit to the set of AHS: Freak Show , creator Ryan Murphy and star John Carroll Lynch talk to BuzzFeed about their nightmare-inducing clown creation. Plus, watch a brand-new teaser!
Warning: According to Ryan Murphy — the brain behind Rubber Man, Bloody Face, and dozens of other horrifying creations that've dominated three seasons of FX's American Horror Story — the anthology's fourth season, subtitled Freak Show, features "the most terrifying clown of all time." And given the fact that he whipped out his iPhone to show a photo of said clown when BuzzFeed recently visited the AHS: Freak Show set in New Orleans, consider that assertion confirmed.
When Twisty the Clown (played by John Carroll Lynch) makes his Freak Show debut, pop culture's prevailing nightmare-inducing clown, Pennywise (played by Tim Curry in Stephen King's It), will soon be forgotten. "We said in the writer's room that if we were going to do clowns, we were going to create the most terrifying clown of all time," Murphy told BuzzFeed News. "That was our goal when we were writing him, but I'm worried about people being too afraid of our clown. It's heart-stopping what he does. I'm worried. I'm worried that people are going to have cardiac arrests... The clown's intro in the first episode is ... even I was terrified of it. It's brutal. Two crew members told me they have had nightmares about this clown since we started shooting and they're not even scared of clowns. I think he's pretty extraordinary because, when you see why he's a clown and why he's wearing the mask ... just you wait."
Twisty is made infinitely more intimidating given Lynch's stature. "I have a physical presence that has to be dealt with," the 6-foot-3 character actor told BuzzFeed News on set. And that impact is only exacerbated by elaborate makeup and costume. "People are honestly terrified of me," he said with a laugh of how the cast and crew have reacted to him on set. "Just standing around in the makeup, not even filming. They're freaked out."