This week AHS: Freakshow is set to debut on Wednesday, October 8 at 10pmEst/9pmC on FX. In anticipation of the season premiere, FX released videos of two of the stars of the show: Rose Siggins who plays “Legless Suzy” and Mat Fraser who plays “Paul the Illustrated Seal.”
The videos are a platform from which the actors are able to give their personal back story and are quite informative. Siggins was born with legs that were amputated in the 1970s when she was two because they did not work and Fraser has a condition caused by his mother’s use of a morning sickness drug which stopped his limbs from forming, giving him seal-like hands.
Siggins talks about her personal journey in life, becoming a mom to two boys. She speaks about how she spoke to her children’s classmates because she’s physically different. I have the sense that she is doing the same thing with the audience in this video. It is an icebreaker that addresses the curiosity that viewers are sure to have when seeing people who are different. It is also surely one reason why some viewers will tune it: the fact that the freakshow will be brought to them, in their home and their curiosity can be sated.
Perhaps because she is a mother, Siggins compares the freakshow to having “a sense of family” that was formed out of the many different people coming together. While it is hard to imagine Siggins’s life, she cannot imagine it any other way, saying, “This is my normal.”
Fraser has been acting in and studying freakshows before getting cast in AHS: Freakshow. Fraser comes across as confident and believes in his ability as actor. He mentions that this is a “dream job” for him, but that he wishes there will come a time when he is hired simply as an actor. He also addresses stereotypes of people with deformities and he has worked to combat those by getting his black belt and being good at sex because people assume that he cannot fight or be good in bed based on his appearance.
Fraser’s outlook on life is to live it to the fullest because he acknowledges that anyone can die at any time. He wants to have fun everyday and he appears to greatly love his job. This outlook is not special to him, but I would not be surprised if his life experiences have taught him this. Like Siggins, he seems to have found a space to belong as a part of the show.
The videos are a great way to introduce the actors and what makes them “freaks” to the world. The publicity is good for the show because it allows the actors to explain themselves in their own words, lowering the wall between them and the viewers. By showing the real people behind the characters, AHS: Freakshow has hopefully changed the way the viewers will see the characters and the stigma that can come from the physical differences that people have.
I know I am excited to watch the premiers of the fourth season and while I usually do not watch promotional videos for television shows, I was glad to watch these videos. I think they are interesting because I was able to learn about people who are different describe their lives on their terms and in their own words. While I am more excited to see the character of Twisty the Clown because he actually appears frightening to me, I have to admit I respect the inclusion of real people in AHS: Freakshow.