When Naomi Grossman showed up to her initial audition for a role in American Horror Story, she had no idea that it would change her life.
“For all I knew, it was a glorified extra role,” said Grossman.
Now, the talented actress, who plays Pepper in the cult-favorite show, has amassed a huge base of devoted fans—nearly 10 million people tuned in to see the season four premiere of Freak Show. Pepper made her debut during season two’s Asylum and, much to viewers’ delight, reappears in the current season. That’s a first for AHS, a unique show in that actors reoccur from season to season, but the characters they played had always been changed.
“The fact that I’m able to go back for more, I didn’t see that coming,” admitted Grossman. “It has been a dream because Pepper was a dream role, and now she just keeps going, which is even dreamier.”
Here, Grossman shares 10 reasons she’s thankful for American Horror Story.
1. “I’m grateful I don’t have to do my hair anymore.”
2. “I’m grateful for the master acting class that I get to witness everyday, as I act alongside greats like Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett.”
3. “I’m grateful for the budget because they can afford to make it look amazing and they do.”
4. “I’m thankful for the fans because without them, I wouldn’t be here; I wouldn’t be back.”
5. “I’m thankful for all the people that tell me how beautiful I am even though it’s not really true. I just don’t look like Pepper and so, yes, by comparison I am a knockout.”
6. “I’m thankful that that’s a fat suit and that I can take it on and off.”
7. “I’m thankful for [Pepper’s] prosthetic brow. It keeps me from having to get Botox, so it has its perks as well.”
8. “I’m thankful for New Orleans because it’s a super cool city and a really fun place to shoot.”
9. “I’m thankful for the horror genre because, for whatever reason, it sort of breeds this incredibly loyal and borderline psychotic [type of] fan—who has been very good to me.”
10. “I’m thankful for Schlitzie, the little microcephalic from Tod Browning’s film Freaks from the 1930s. Without him, I wouldn’t be here.”