Emma Roberts may have risen to fame by starring in more family friendly fare like Nickelodeon’s Unfabulous and 2007’s Nancy Drew, but the twenty-two year old actress has effectively shed that skin with a bitchtastic turn as witch Madison Montgomery on FX’s American Horror Story: Coven. The seemingly self-involved starlet is may have met an early demise at the hands of Jessica Lange’s Fiona Goode, but Montgomery is back and bitchier than ever as she navigates her way through Ryan Murphy’s macabre witchcraft-infused world. GQ sat down with Roberts to discuss the series, Spalding sex, Madison haters, and if she’ll return for season four.
GQ: Most of your previous work was much tamer than this. Why did you decide to come back to TV now and how did you get involved with American Horror Story?
Emma Roberts: I’ve always loved TV. I love watching TV and I loved working on TV, even though it was ten years ago. I was always a fan of American Horror Story. The first season, I was literally glued to my TV every week. I had to watch it. I wouldn’t even DVR it. I had to go home and watch it live. I just fell in love with it and I kind of know Ryan [Murphy] through some family and friends, so I always running into him and I would say, “So when are you going to put me in something. I love all your shows. I love your work. You need to put me in something.” I think I just badgered him so much that he finally gave in. [Laughs] He called me up one day and said, “I have this role for you,” and he told me the role and – I’m not even kidding – I was silently screaming and jumping up and down, and then I was like, “Okay, that sounds cool,” trying to play it so cool. It was literally my dream role on my dream show and getting to work with people that I’ve been dying to work with, like Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates and Ryan Murphy. I just remember being like, “We need to say yes! Make it happen!” I needed it solidified because if it didn’t work out I was going to cry.
History has taught us that the transition from child star to adult actor is one of Hollywood’s toughest professional hurdles, but Emma Roberts is making that evolution look effortless with wonderfully complex roles in It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Scream 4, The Art of Getting By and Celeste & Jesse. Although it seems that those projects were simply set-ups for her greatest performance to date: as the wickedly wonderful Madison Montgomery on American Horror Story: Coven.
From her first vitriol-laced barb, it was clear that both the actress and her creation were not to be trifled with. Subsequent episodes have given Emma room to evolve Madison into more than your garden variety bitch as she’s slyly infused all of her most venomous moments with an unmistakable insecurity and breathed luxurious lethargy into Madison’s recent resurrection.
I caught up with Emma Roberts in anticipation of tonight’s mid-season finale (titled Head in honor of Madame LaLaurie’s decapitated dome) that kicks the coven vs. coven feud up a dozen notches. In addition to warning viewers they’ll soon be forced to pick a side, Emma opened up about her time in Ryan Murphy’s Coven, basking in the overwhelming online reaction to Madison and the shocking scene that never aired!
ETonline: Coven fans are pretty obsessed with Madison. What’s the reaction been like for you?
Emma Roberts: It’s been pretty amazing. I was so worried people would hate her too much, but I keep getting all these hilarious Tweets from people saying they love to hate her or declaring they’re on “Team Madison.” It’s really fun to play a character that people have such strong opinions about. I love reading Twitter to see what everyone thinks about the fashion and the hair and makeup and her one-liners. I couldn’t be more excited. I’m seriously going to be so sad when I don’t get to play her anymore.
Cordelia’s attacker is revealed. Fiona looks to form an alliance with Marie Laveau. Nan learns a disturbing truth about Luke’s past.
TV Series >> AHS: Coven >> 03.09 – Head – stills
Emma Roberts, Angela Bassett, Evan Peters, Jessica Lange, Frances Conroy and Taissa Farmiga film American Horror Story: Coven in a cemetery in New Orleans on Wednesday (December 4th). Check out the candids below!
Emma shared some photos via Instagram of her on set of American Horror Story: Coven! The show should be wrapping up on filming soon! Check out the additions below!