“American Horror Story,” which premiered Wednesday night to about 3.2 million viewers (2.03 million in the key Adults 18-49 demographic), is overflowing with weirdness, unanswered questions and dangling bits of depravity.
But, we can give you an answer on one little bit — just who was inside the full-body black “bondage suit” during the pivotal sex scene with former “Friday Night Lights” star Connie Britton.
Connie’s character, Vivien Harmon, assumed it was her husband, psychiatrist Ben (Dylan McDermott), from whom she has been estranged since a family tragedy and his infidelity.
“It was supposed to be that she’s become a cold fish, and she’s not interested in having sex,” Britton tells Zap2it. “She turned off her body, because she cannot sleep with this man who did this thing to her. It’s very specific. It’s not that she doesn’t want to have sex … that might be something that’s specific to a woman’s body, but I think, honestly, men would probably have a similar reaction.”
Well, the suit seemed to have worked very well for Vivien, who appeared to be thoroughly enjoying herself. But shooting the scene wasn’t quite as much fun for Britton.
“In reality,” says Britton, “the rubber suit is outside my comfort zone, we could say. But again, that being said, this show, for me, was about taking a challenge. I was scared; I was so nervous about shooting that scene.
“Then when we shot it, I finished, and I was like, ‘Oh, that isn’t too bad.’ I felt kind of empowered that I was able to do it. It’s hilarious, after, I said to Ryan [executive producer Ryan Murphy], ‘That wasn’t so bad at all.’ And he was like, ‘Oh my god, I was so uncomfortable, I wanted to die.'”
But there was one element added to shooting of the scene that made it a little easier for Britton — she knew the man inside the hooded suit (which was featured in the show’s poster art, at right).
“Dylan was in it,” she says. “It’s funny, because there is a guy, there is ‘Rubber Man.’ There is a guy they hired who is Rubber Man, which I was sort of surprised about, because, when I read it, it never occurred to me, ‘Who’s going to be in the rubber suit?’
“So there’s a very sweet guy who’s playing Rubber Man, but Dylan did that part, because that was a little more comfortable and actually how it should be.”
Regarding McDermott’s reaction, Britton says, “Oh, are you kidding me? He loved it. Listen, let’s keep a couple of things in mind — Dylan: A, darkness; B, working out like crazy. He was thrilled. He got to put on a rubber suit and look like a fantastic, creepy, dark lover guy.
“He was on cloud nine.”
McDermott confirms Britton’s assertion, saying, “”Yes, it was me. They made a suit for me as well. It was more of a comfort-factor thing with Connie. But, ultimately, I’m not Rubber Man. I may throw the suit on once in a while” — he gives a hearty laugh — “but I’m not him.”
As for the suit itself, McDermott says, “They tailored that suit to me, which was pretty remarkable, to have a rubber suit made for you. It was pretty cool. I enjoyed having it made. It’s pretty great to have it on.”
When asked if viewers shouldn’t assume that, just because McDermott was in the suit, that it’s a guarantee Ben was, Britton says, “Exactly.”