If Mark Consuelos had his choice, he would have shaved his head to play a mental patient on American Horror Story: Asylum.
That idea may have been nixed, but it’s a testament to how willing and eager the former All My Children star was to physically transform for his role as Spivey, a patient at Briarcliff Manor, the institution at the center of this season.
In fact, it was creator Ryan Murphy’s desire to change up the actor’s look that made him even more excited to take on the role. “I said, ‘Yes, I’ll do it. You had me at dark and demented,'” he recalls. “Kelly [Ripa, his wife] was with [us] and she said, ‘No you don’t understand. [Murphy]’s really dark and demented. More than any other person.'”
He threw his wife’s caution to the wind and dove into the part — greasy hair, a set of blackened teeth, a scarred face, and aged features included. “Any time you get a chance to do something different or get away from your appearance or get away from what people are used to seeing, I think it’s always good,” says Consuelos. “That’s whats been part of the fun of going to work there, you know you’re going to have fun and completely transform your look.”
Of course, it’s a look fans of the show haven’t seen much of — yet. Almost three episodes in, Consuelos has been seen in only a few scenes so far, but he assures the truth about Spivey will eventually be revealed. But unlike Sarah Paulson’s Lana or Lizzie Brocheré’s Grace, who seemingly have no business being patients at the asylum, Consuelos suggests Spivey may belong there. “I think in his mind, he absolutely thinks he’s there unjustly and he should be out. But I think it’s fair to say he deserves to be there,” he says with a laugh.
And, argues Consuelos, every actor deserves a chance to step out of their comfort zone. “I’ve done some theater and played some dark characters and have always had a good time. But in this business, [you don’t always] get the opportunity to do it.”
American Horror Story: Asylum continues its season tonight on FX.