Denis O'Hare was very hesitant about playing Liz Taylor on FX's American Horror Story: Hotel at first.
Liz Taylor would ultimately become one of the most popular characters on AHS: Hotel, and arguably one of the most memorable in the show's history, but O'Hare was somewhat scared when he first learned about the character.
O'Hare recalled showrunner Ryan Murphy telling him about his plan for Liz Taylor in the beginning and how he ultimately came to embrace her.
"Ryan gets a very strong visual sense of a character or a setting and he builds from there, and that was certainly the case for Liz. He told me that she was a transgender woman with a shaved head, bold lip, Cleopatra eye, gorgeous, worked in the hotel," O'Hare said in a new Yahoo interview. "Liz Taylor ended up being a very special character for me. I didn't really necessarily think she was going to be when we started the season. When he first described the character, I got nervous and a little bit scared, even though I trust Ryan and I love all of my 'Horror Story' characters. I never thought of playing a transgender part. I've never explored that side of myself. I've never worn high heels or put on a dress. So those weren't things I was comfortable doing."
But O'Hare received advice earlier in his career that if something scares you, you have to do it. The actor said that he remembered this after initially being hesitant.
"As we started exploring her costumes, I started to find my way in," he admitted. "By the time I had my head shaved, she had arrived and I started to see how wonderful she was going to be to bring to life. I remember very clearly one instance of feeling that: I always dress for rehearsal, and I was wearing this long, flowing chiffon cape and Ryan loved it. Because he saw me walking in that number, he got an idea for a low angle shot of me walking down the hotel halls with the robe behind me flowing. I took that and ran with it. That affected the character's walk from then on."
Now, the actor is on the nominating ballot for the upcoming Emmys. O'Hare is eligible to be nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, a category he has been nominated in twice before - both times for American Horror Story. His first nomination was for playing burn victim Larry Harvey in Murder House and his second was just last year for playing con man Stanley in Freak Show.
American Horror Story season 6 is set to premiere this fall on FX.