And that’s a wrap! Another terrifying season of FX’s American Horror Story is officially over, after a hair-raising season finale on Wednesday, November 16, that was full of bullets, bloodshed and a fiery end for the haunted house at the center of the story. And the star of the show? It was Lee Miller (Adina Porter), the former cop who survived the Butcher — not to mention being butchered — only to make the ultimate sacrifice in the show’s final moments.
With all of AHS: Roanoke‘s secrets officially out of the bag, Porter, 45, opens up to Us Weekly exclusively about her character’s arc and her on-set experience. Here are her 10 biggest revelations, including what it’s like to get eaten.
Pig hearts make you super high.
Porter took an interesting approach to her post-pig-heart-eating scene, in which Lee murdered multiple people after a creepy interaction with the wood witch. “I played it as if once an addict, always an addict. After everything I had gone through with the option of that pig’s heart, I took it as another kind of drug, like the best kind of drug,” she explains to Us. “Besides wiping away all of the pain, it would empower me. That drug, with the power of the blood moon, allowed your alter ego to come out.”
No matter how weird things got, she never complained.
Porter never questioned Lee’s character arc: “‘Cause I don’t think that I have that power. I think that when I’m an actor, I get hired, and you say jump three inches, I’ll jump three inches. I just kind of trust what the writer’s vision is. I’ve worked in this business long enough that I know people who complain, like, ‘My character does this and my character does that,’ and I think it’s just ego talking.”
Porter had no idea she’d be the Final Girl.
“I kind of assumed I would die before the, you know, the Emmy and Oscar winners and nominees did,” she admits. “I was kind of surprised that I didn’t!”
Being eaten alive by Finn Wittrock was quite a surprise.
Porter was just as shocked as you were when she ended up being served for dinner at the Polk family farm. “I thought when they captured me, the worst possible thing that could happen is I’m going to be raped and killed,” she says. “Then I turn the page, and I go, ‘Oh, God! That’s not the worst possible thing that could happen. Being eaten.'”
She totally fangirled over Sarah Paulson.
Porter had a creative idea about how to play the creepy scene between Lee and Audrey (Sarah Paulson), which she floated to Paulson while blocking. “I think she said, ‘I loved it,'” Porter recalls. “Her reaction was like, ‘Yeah, you know what we’re doing. You know what you’re doing.’ At the end, she said, ‘Great scene.’ That coming from an actress like Sarah Paulson will stick with me forever. I don’t think anyone else heard it, but just her thinking that she admired what I did made me feel like a million bucks.”
The irony of that police-involved shooting wasn’t lost on the cast.
“I mean, as an African American — we made a couple of jokes, like, ‘Yeah, this is fiction that the cops killed the white girl,'” Porter says, in reference to Audrey’s death at the hands of the police in the penultimate episode. “It was like, ‘That doesn’t happen.’ That was kind of the joke that was going around.”
The star spilled zero beans about what’s coming next on AHS.
Whatever information may have leaked from the American Horror Story set, you can be sure that Adina Porter was not the blabbermouth.
“This whole thing about announcing stuff and sharing it online is a new phenomenon,” she says. “Keeping things private is really really easy and simple. … I just think the writers are working really hard to come up with a story, and it’s kind of selfish. I kept things secret from my manager and agents; they had no idea.”
She loved the meta aspect of this season’s story line.
“Being famous by any means necessary … and thinking that airing your dirty laundry in front of hundreds of thousands of people in a TV show could actually bring a couple closer together — I thought that was ingenious,” Porter says. And she’s not immune, either: “We’re all susceptible to it. I get a thrill out of looking at my Twitter following and seeing how big it has gotten.”
Her season 1 bit part got her the starring role five years later.
Believe it or not, Porter has been on American Horror Story before — in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it guest role as a demented patient of Ben Harmon’s, back in season 1. And when she auditioned for this season? “They went back to that work and reviewed it,” she said. “I’m glad that they still thought it was good work, and it was held up, and they offered me the job.”
And if you’re still wondering about Lee’s motivations, here’s the key to her final sacrifice.
According to Porter, it was Mason’s murder that made Lee realize she needed to die to save her daughter. “I didn’t know the longest time for sure if it was calculated, an accident, or passion,” Porter said of her character’s violent act. But once she knew the truth, it made everything clear: “I think that’s why she decides to become a mother to Priscilla rather than a mother to Flora, because she’s not safe,” Porter said. “Deep down inside, she’s not safe enough to have a live daughter. She’d rather be with a dead daughter.”
Tell Us: What did you think of American Horror Story’s latest season?
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