American Horror Story: Asylum's Lizzie Brocheré Talks About Sex and Terror

Lizzie Brocheré talks with The Advocate about bisexuality, playing a dominatrix, and the creepy world inside the Asylum.

BY Diane Anderson-Minshall

October 31 2012 5:39 AM ET

Let me ask you about some of your other works. In one of your films, After Fall, Winter you were a nurse who moonlighted as a dominatrix.
Yeah. [Laughs]

And in another film, One To Another, nearly everybody was bisexual and sex was a big part of the film.
In American Translation also: it was a love story between a serial killer and his girlfriend, and it was very sexually driven. It was the same director of One To Another.

Yes, American Translation, they called that a Bonnie and Clyde with a gay Gen Y twist. Do you get criticism when you do these provocative films?
I do. Well, it's not really criticism because maybe in France we’re a lot more open-minded, you know, about these things. I was 19 years old when I did One To Another, and I really had reason to do it. In France, I’m part of a generation where we have access to porn films very easily… when we did it — and I’m saying "us" because I’ve been working with these directors since I’ve been 19 years old, and I’ve been co-writing with them, and I believe in what we’re saying in those films. We were hoping to give a very different image about sexuality. The image of sex [in film was all these] cute romantic comedies, teen movies but at the same time having access to all these trashy [porn films]. It’s not a criticism about porn films but [we thought] maybe there’s another way of seeing sexuality and showing a sex scene and a way of showing it in a beautiful and humanized way, not like all these stunts that these porn people seem to be doing. [Laughs] Something that can be a lot more fragile. It’s a very different imagery of sex. It’s not something that you’ve been used to.

I think the concept that sexuality is sort of imbued with meaning in the film is a sort of novel.
Yeah, yes, yes. And that your sexuality is part of your identity. The other film, as the dominatrix, I mean, that was a comedy, that was, there was no sexuality shown on screen. It was very American. [Laughs] But it was a really fun movie. What was funny about doing the part was just playing a dominatrix. I kind of met a lot, and what was interesting there, in the same way, I guess what I did in the French film, the art house thing you were talking about. It was showing a different vision of what female sexuality could be —instead of all the imagery you have of women in porn films being totally submissive. I loved that character. She was great. She was very powerful and at the same time, a lot of humor. There’s a lot of humor in BDSM, a lot. You know, they’re not taking themselves too seriously. You can’t when you’re like, chained up in some kind of cage with a mask on your face. I like that, I like that.

France has kind of a different perspective on sexuality. Over all, is it an issue in France for women to identify as lesbian or bisexual?
I think it’s more accepted. I don’t think it’s an issue really. I think for men it’s more difficult. I think it’s actually cool to be a bisexual woman. I’ve never had any problems, you know, not that I’m bisexual but if I said something like what I just said, it wouldn’t make people go crazy. [Laughs]

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