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Denis O'Hare

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Denis O'Hare (born January 16, 1962) is an American actor who portrays Larry Harvey in the first season, Spalding in the third season of American Horror Story and Stanley in the fourth season of American Horror Story.

Biography

Denis Patrick Seamus O'Hare was born on January 17th, 1962 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. As a teenager, he was in his school's choir and in 1974 he went to his first audition, gaining a chorus part in a community theater production of Show Boat. In 1980 he left Detroit for Chicago to study theater at Northwestern University. He has become a renown theater actor and has received several awards for his work.

He has appeared as a guest star on several episodes of Law & Order and its spin-offs. In 2008, he appeared as a guest star on several episodes of Brothers & Sisters. In 2010, O'Hare joined the cast of HBO's True Blood in its third season as Russell Edgington, the 2,800 year old vampire king of Mississippi. Recently he has appeared in a recurring role as Judge Charles Abernathy on the television drama series The Good Wife.

His feature film credits include The Anniversary Party, 21 Grams, Garden State, Derailed, Michael Clayton, A Mighty Heart, Half Nelson, Milk, Edge of Darkness, Charlie Wilson's War and Changeling.

Notes

  • Spent 12 years as a stage actor in Chicago before moving to New York.
  • Holds an Irish passport.
  • Married to his husband, Hugo Redwood, on July 28th in New York.
  • He came out as gay while still in high school.
  • During American Horror Story: Coven, Denis O'Hare remained in character while on set refusing to speak to anyone, he had to rely on gestures when being directed.

Denis O'Hare on Larry

  • You're playing such a dark character, and a lot of times we hear actors say that you have to like who you’re playing to be able to play that character convincingly. So, what do you like about your character, and how do you connect with him?
    • O'Hare: "You know, it’s funny. I love this character, and I love him because I feel like he is engaged in a sort of timeless epic struggle. And I see him as kind of a Dante-esque figure. He’s somebody who is trapped in a circle of hell, and he’s trying to work his way out. And he’s a human being who’s flawed, and he’s obviously weak, and he’s given into temptation and made bad choices.
    • But through that all, he’s still got this sort of, I don’t know, passion and dream to achieve something. And he’s an odd character. Like no other character I’ve ever played in my life. I find that I have to reach for a metaphor to describe him. I have an innate sense of who he is, and when I’m playing him, it’s all very instinctual. But to describe it, I find myself running to literature, and so I think it’s sort of like 'Igor' in the Frankenstein mythology, or an amanuensis in some other mythologies, or a psychopomp as they call them sometimes, somebody who traffics between worlds. And it’s a really odd, beautiful character."
  • It’s amazing. And you, as an actor, seem to really be able to lose yourself in every role you play. You’re so great all the time, but it always takes a minute to go, “Oh, it’s him!” because you’ve become that character so incredibly. So how do you do that, because it’s not something a lot of actors seem to be able pull off?
    • O'Hare: "Well, part of it is the richness of the character. A part of the reason I’m drawn to characters like this guy, or like Russell Edgington, or like even the guys like John Briggs in Milk, is that they’re sharply etched, and they’re clearly defined. And so I, as an actor, have an easier task. I know where I’m going, and if you add to it an aspect that’s larger than life like someone like Russell Edgington who’s 2800 years old, or someone like Larry who’s got a very severe physical deformity, it takes away part of your resistance as an actor, and you simply give over to the character’s features and the character’s characteristics. You know, Ryan [Murphy] wanted me to have a wooden arm and sort of a limp. So the minute you start putting these things on you feel different and you feel like someone else, and that then forms everything."[1]

Links

Gallery


References

  1. Olsen, Dawn, "Q & A: American Horror Story's Denis O'Hare, Plus Sneak Peeks at Episode 8", The Morton Report, 23 Nov 2011

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