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Dec 8 2011

'American Horror Story': Taissa Farmiga talks last night's huge Violet twist -- 'I totally called it'

by Tim Stack Fans of FX’s horror series have been debating for weeks now whether or not Violet (Taissa Farmiga) is dead or alive and last night’s episode finally revealed the truth: Violet actually died weeks ago after a pill overdose. Farmiga says it was tough reading that her character had perished. “I was sad because now she’s trapped there,” says the actress. “She can’t get away from it. Once she finds out all the secrets that are around, she’s not gonna be too happy.” That’s an understatement given that her boyfriend Tate (Evan Peters) not only impregnated her mother Vivien (Connie Britton) with potentially the anti-Christ but is also basically a serial killer. And you thought Edward and Bella had it bad. EW talked to Farmiga about the shocking twist and what this means for her character’s future on American Horror Story.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Were you surprised to find out Violet was dead?

{C}TAISSA FARMIGA: Honestly, I totally called it. The writers gave you little hints like she hasn’t been to school in two weeks. I was like, “Wait a minute — Is Violet dead? Is she dead?” I was asking people and they wouldn’t tell me and they weren’t allowed to tell me. As soon as I read the script, I screamed. I was like, “I knew it!”

What was that like to see your dead body? {C}It was a prosthetic they fitted my head. But that was creepy enough that it was supposed to be me. Before we even filmed it, I was freaking out because I was nervous to do this scene. It was just really emotional.

This is kind of the beginning of the s*** really hitting the fan. {C}Exactly. It’s just the beginning.

What’s this been like for you? It’s such a big twist for the character? {C}I wasn’t sure what to expect. You just kind of go with it. We’ve been getting these scripts last minute the entire season so you find out something big, you’re in shock for a second, but then you just go with it and shoot it and it’s all good.

Have you wrapped yet? {C}I officially got my series wrap last Saturday night. It was really sad. I thought I’d be really happy now I get to finally go home for a while. But as soon as I heard I was wrapped I was really sad. It’s so heartbreaking.

I’m assuming once Ben and Vivien find out Violet’s dead it’s emotional. Is that safe to say? {C}It is safe to say. At first, there’s disbelief especially with her dad. She’s trying to tell him and he won’t believe it.

Is Violet involved in the birth of Vivien’s baby? {C}Well the birth of the baby, most of the house is involved in that. There’s a lot of ghosts in that scene I will say.

So does Violet interact in these final episodes with like Hayden or Nora? {C}Violet never interacts with Hayden. I don’t even know if she knows that her father’s mistress is in the house. But Violet is a part of that big birthing scene.

Looking back, this was your first series and like your second acting job. How was this? {C}It’s been great. It’s been such a good experience. I feel like I learned so much just being on set and getting the first-hand experience of it and just working with everybody. I’ve had a really good time. I’ve loved it.

Everyone was pretty shocked when Tate was revealed as Rubberman. What was your response when you read that? {C}I was angry. I read it like five times over, that one little line, and I was like, “No! This cannot be happening!” I felt so bad for Violet. I just wanted to slap Tate. I wish there would have been a scene where Violet slapped Tate!

So what does this mean for you and season 2? Has [[wikipedia:Ryan Murphy|Ryan Murphy]] or Brad Falchuk told you anything? {C}I wish I knew something. They keep me under wraps. I wish I could tell you something.

'American Horror Story': Ryan Murphy on the Violet reveal and Ben's 'magical towel' -- EXCLUSIVE

by Tim Stack

Well, Ryan Murphy had promised last week that we would get closure on Violet’s status and we sure did: the Harmon daughter is indeed dead. She kicked the bucket a few episodes back when she took all those pills, attempting suicide. While it appeared Tate had saved her, he was in fact too late. Last night’s episode, “Smoldering Children,” also revealed that Tate was actually the one who burned Larry in a drug-induced rage before embarking on the school shooting. Heavy stuff but then there was some levity when Tate attacked Ben, who was wearing only a towel. For more on Ben’s “magical towel” (see photo for a lovely visual aid) as well as Violet’s big twist, EW talked to AHS maestro Ryan Murphy.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So Violet’s dead. Did you always plan on that happening? RYAN MURPHY: That was a really interesting experience and I think we have such a wonderful writing staff and I adore them and love them. I always knew she was dead but I didn’t wanna tell people until I absolutely had to. So in the writer’s room as we’re writing one day, two episodes after the pill thing, I go “You guys do realize Violet’s dead?” And then they’re all like, “What?!” I edited the show where she took the pills in a way to me that was very vague. So yeah, I always knew that I wanted her to die. The thing about where the body was revealed was always in my mind as well. I think Evan and Taissa were so brilliant in that episode. It was very emotional to watch.

When we shot it, I think we did not show Taissa the mold of her body. We reserved that for her close-ups so what you’re seeing is her actually responding and looking at a dead her.

Will Ben and Vivien find out that she’s dead? They will eventually find out if she’s dead and imagine what you would do as a parent if you found out your child was dead. Would you want to live? Would you want to die yourself? I knew that it would be ripe for that family.

Is this the last we’ll see of Larry? Yes, I think this is goodbye to Larry.

He’s headed off to Illinois? Oh yeah, we had to ship him out of state.

Do you think he’s actually doing this as penance for his sins? Or is he still just infatuated with Constance? I think it’s both. I love that scene with the wife where he says, “I’m gonna make Constance pay.” And she says, “You’re the one who broke the vow.” I think that was an interesting lesson for him and I love that the show is dealing with the consequences of actions. I do think he realized he needed to pay for what he did to his family. But I also think he did it to save Constance who against all odds he should not still love. And I just loved what Jessica Lange did with that scene. My favorite scene Jessica has done in the whole show is the interrogation where you cut to see what Constance really did. I love that.

So is Tate’s reason for the school shooting mostly Beau’sdeath and his hatred for his mother? Yes. Well, I think it’s more than that. I don’t think his motivations were as sinister and dark and f***ed up as Dylan Klebold for example. I do think Tate was probably someone who was bullied and made fun of. What he has done in many ways, all of it is in retaliation of Constance. She had several children and he was “the most beautiful” and she had such high expectations and needs and wants and probably wanted him to fill some of her own dreams and ambitions and he was just not gonna have it. We show him doing a lot of crystal meth. That’s what he’s doing, coke and crystal meth, before the shooting. I think his massacre became even worse because of the drug taking.

So are we gonna see Constance’s fourth child? Maaaaaaaybe.

Is the fourth one like a spider-monkey or something? I think Constance’s fourth child is Michelle Pfeiffer [laughs]. That’s all I’m gonna say.

Where is the infantata?! I miss that little guy. The infantata is further explored and we really get into him in the one after this one. The thing about the episode that’s great is we’ve been very careful to only show split seconds of the infantata and in the next episode you really get to see what that little baby has grown up to look like and it’s really scary. I think it’s the scariest shot of the year.

I love that the fight between Ben and Tate occurred with Ben half-naked. We almost called this episode “The Case of the Magical Towel.” [laughs] Dylan was so funny when we were shooting. He’s gotten so much attention for his quite well-formed derriere. Well if he lost the towel it would be like, How are we going to shoot it? We had to protect his pee-pee. But I loved that as the title. “The Case of the Magical Towel.”

Since next week’s episode is called “Birth,” does Vivien give birth? She does give birth but the outcome is not what you would expect.

Next week’s is the second to the last episode? “Birth” is the penultimate episode and “Afterbirth” is the finale.

So what can you say about “Birth?” “Birth” is dealing with the fact that she’s deceased so she’s trying to protect her parents from the pain of that. I think that episode is really about “Out with the old and in with the new,” so to speak. Also, there’s been so much talk in the last five episodes that people want those babies. Everyone in that house has baby fever.

It has one of my favorite scenes we’ve ever done. Zach Quinto and Jessica Lange wanted a scene where they went head-to-head. So we were like, “We are happy to oblige.” So we wrote this really great, 3-page fight scene between them where it’s Chad vs. Constance which is quite delicious. It’s really good. I’m sort of pissed we didn’t do this earlier because truly the only person who go against Constance is Chad.

The next two episodes in terms of “Smoldering Children” and “Birth” are interesting because I know that some people in the two before with the Black Dahlia and Connie and the loony bin, I think people felt you’re getting away from our main characters and people really loved the Tate/Violet stuff and they really wanna know about the core Harmons. So these last three episodes are all about the Harmons and the outcome of the Harmons.

American Horror Story's Taissa Farmiga Dishes on Violet's Fate and What's Coming Up Next

Dec 8, 2011 02:00 AM ET
by Denise MartinUm, worst boyfriend ever?

So Tate, it turns out, decided it was best for Violet not to know she had accidentally killed herself and instead proposed that the two commit (fake) suicide and live in Murder House happily ever after. Because of course that trumps boarding school! And when that idea didn't go over so well, he took poor Violet to see her decaying, fly-bait of a corpse, which he had stashed in a crawl space beneath the house. Because that's the best way to reveal that she's dead.

The question now is: How much more can Violet take? After all, Tate still has sins he's keeping hidden. TVGuide.com quizzed American Horror Story's Taissa Farmiga, who made her acting debut just one year ago in big sister Vera's directorial debut Higher Ground, about Violet's surprise demise, all those flies (yuck!), and what will happen when she finds out that her boyfriend is so much more than a mass murderer:

On one hand, poor Violet! On the other, she has really bad taste in guys.
Taissa Farmiga: I kinda caused it myself, yeah (laughs). It's all Violet's fault. She didn't even know she was dead. But Tate knew — and Tate's keeping even more secrets.

It seems inevitable that she will find out that Tate (Evan Peters) has impregnated her mom...or so we're assuming.
Farmiga: Yes, she finds out in the next episode, and it's, ummm... it's gonna be something.

She's already been OK with having a dead boyfriend who killed a bunch of his classmates (not to mention various previous owners of Murder House). But knocking up her mom seems, somehow, extra wrong? Farmiga: It's a pretty big secret! I think she handles it the right way — I won't tell you how she does it, but I think she does it the right way. Tate's pretty messed up, but she's drawn to him because she's drawn to darkness. He started empathizing with her about her cutting and school and her parents, so she started to trust him. He's the only person she can talk to. She loves him. But, yes, there are some things that are just...too much.

Constance (Jessica Lange) has been hot and cold when it comes to Violet, first trying to poison her and then confiding in her when Addie died. What's ahead for them?
Farmiga: Now that I'm stuck in the house forever, I gotta deal with her. They don't really like each other, but they need each other now. Violet goes to her [after the reveal] and she's asking questions. Constance seems to have some of the answers and she also needs Violet's help in return. But really, they do not like each other.

How else do things change for Violet now that she knows she's dead?
Farmiga: She becomes really protective of her parents. She accepts her death because she's been so immersed in this world already. You saw that she accepts it pretty easily, actually. But she doesn't want her parents to know because she doesn't want to hurt them any more than they are already. So she does try to deal with it -- but then all these other issues come up with her mother being pregnant and then the Tate of it all.

Violet did seem pretty calm at the end of the episode playing cards with Tate. But what was it like for you seeing your own corpse?!
Farmiga: How would anyone react if they saw their dead body like that? By the way, they released, I don't know, 5,000 or so flies during that scene. There were so many flies, it was disgusting. So imagine seeing a dead body that looks like you, lying there in the dirt and there are flies everywhere -- that's how it felt. I was really nervous for that scene, too. I was kind of freaking out before I even saw the dead body. I had to get a full head prosthetic, but I told them I didn't want to see it until we shot the actual take. I was really psyching myself out before hand, and the reaction you see is real.

Were you told about Violet's fate in advance?
Farmiga: Nope! Absolutely not. But I had a feeling because of the hints they'd been giving. Violent hadn't been to school in two weeks! I knew some people knew the answer but they weren't allowed to tell me... When I read the script, I was like, "I totally called it." I ran to my mom and said, "Read this! Read this!" I was so excited, I screamed.

What were you told about Violet when you were first cast?
Farmiga: They didn't give much away. I didn't know too much about Violet when we started. I was learning about her as we went along. I was only a couple of scripts ahead of the audience. I will say I loved her immediately though. She had spunk to her, she had attitude. Normally, I don't really like horror stories or scary movies but I thought it was be cool to be on the other end of the camera and see how things actually work. Maybe I wouldn't be so scared. That didn't actually work, but it was a nice theory!

What can you say about the finale and how this will all end for the Harmons?
Farmiga: I was creeped out by the ending, especially the last act. It's really, really twisted.

Is there any chance that Violet could stick around for Season 2?
Farmiga: If they have talked about that, I wasn't let in on the discussion. I have no idea. I wanna know. I'm dying to know. But no one tells me anything. I have nothing to share. It bums me out.

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