With about 40 foreign film and TV roles under her belt, actress Lizzie Brocheré is famed for portrayals of women exploring and mastering sexuality in French art house films like One To Another and American Translation (including the NC-17 variety). But her newest turn, as Grace, a mysterious woman imprisoned in Briarcliffe on American Horror Story: Asylum, may turn out to be her most provocative. Though she can share scant details without getting in trouble with producer Ryan Murphy, Brocheré talks about bisexuality, playing a dominatrix, and things that go bump in the night in the Asylum.
The Advocate: You’re known for some great French art house films. What attracted you to American Horror Story?
Lizzie Brocheré: I was a big fan of the first season and the reason I was such a big fan was that — I was never like a horror freak — but there is something so twisted and at the same time so real about [it]. The show taps it something broader than just horror and something that talks about… our society nowadays with a lot of humor and at the same time with a lot of catharsis. It was just like a show I’ve never seen before. And I love the idea of the second season set up in a totally different universe and totally different context and at the same time to still be talking about [modern] fears and questions and lies. It’s a special project. I was really, really excited to be a part of it.
It’s so risky to do a series where the second season is completely different, including your main characters and actors. That’s pretty phenomenal if it works.
Yes, and making them play something totally different but you’ve seen them play something, at the same time, the year before. Yeah it’s very risky. It feels like some theater troupes… where you take different plays each time and you do them with the same people, you just change the characters. It’s very Shakespearean; French theater was based on the same principle. I like that.
I’ve only seen the first two episodes so right now it’s hard to get a fix on your character, Grace. How do you describe her?
Well, she’s been spending time at a mental institute for awhile, you know? [Laughs] I think it’s normal that you can’t really tell after two episodes. I love her.
How much back story does she come with? Were you given a back story or did you create a back story?
No, I was given a back story before I started shooting, before we started. You will discover her back story.
Did you have to do any research for the part?
I did a lot of research. I can’t really tell you what I researched without giving you what her back story is. [Laughs] I get really excited before a project. I don’t really know if it helps my acting, but I do a lot of research.
So you know whether she was framed for murder or not, but you won't tell me, right?
Yes. And you will know in about two weeks.