MM: Lady Gaga was just announced as the newest member of the American Horror Story family and the new season was announced as American Horror Story: Hotel. Are you excited to have her on the show and the potential to possibly work with her in the future?
NG: Yes. I think that’s a brilliant move on Ryan’s part but of course I would expect no less from him. Total genius. This show is all about shocking and one upping the last season. How do you top Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, not to mention a woman with no legs, a two foot tall woman, and 8 foot tall woman. How do you do that? I think Lady Gaga is the only way. I’m really excited. I absolutely hope to be able to work with her. She goofed up my Oscar plans when she wore the — she didn’t wear the dress — but I had to give up the dress that I was initially to wear because she needed to see it.
MM: I read that post on Facebook and it seems like fate that you two should work together so my fingers are crossed for you.
NG: Thank you. I didn’t know that we were the same size so that’s great for me because I know she has a much better wardrobe than I. I’d love to wear her meat dress.
MM: Maybe she’ll give you it for the next season. Now, getting back to this past season, Pepper’s husband Salty died which kind of lead to the freak out, if you will, on her part. Did you face any challenges while doing that scene?
NG: Well yes. The major challenges was the fact that I thought he was my brother until the night we shot that. I kind of went through the entire season assuming he was my brother because I’ve never been told otherwise and let’s face it, we look like our siblings more than our spouses as a rule. That whole relationship hasn’t quite hit me but I think I was able to recover. As far as that, I think we actors have our tricks and how to reach tears in 20 seconds or less, so I pulled out all my tricks and got there.
MM: It was a great scene, all over the internet. People making memes and gifs and all that stuff so you definitely served it well. Kind of random question, if Pepper could star in any show, currently on air, what do you think it would be?
NG: I think it would be hilarious to see a talk show, like one of those typical late night talk shows, only Pepper doesn’t really talk. She has like three words to her vocabulary. I would just love her sitting behind a desk making her guests really awkward and nervous and basically having to sit there and monologues while she works out the words. That’s not necessarily a dream of mine. I’m not trying to fill Jimmy Fallon’s shoes but that is something I could totally see Pepper doing.
MM: It must have been fun in Asylum to have those long speaking roles. Was that– were you surprised that you had more dialogue?
NG: I really was surprised because once again, I thought that I’d been — they didn’t say “you’re coming back.” They said “thank you very much. We’ll call you.” Of course I didn’t get a call for a month and a half so I didn’t know what had happened. I just know I went in and never to be heard from again. That scene with James Cromwell, I remember seeing him — I was brought back of course and he said to me “have you read the next episode because if you haven’t you should.” I wasn’t even in full episodes at that point so having full monologues to say and having an actual script to read was very novel for me. It did take me by surprise because those teeth are not easy to talk in so I had some preparation to do. Not only had I really lived with the character, the early playful Schlitzie inspired Pepper for so long but I’d never really lived with this evolved, doctor Pepper. I really had to discover who she was and try to sound smart with a mouthful of teeth in. It’s not easy.
MM: Doesn’t seem easy. I know this might be a hard question but do you have a favorite season of American Horror story?
NG: To watch or to participate in?
MM: To watch.
NG: I think Asylum. I need to go back and watch them all again but I think, since I was kind of removed from it, I would go to work and clock in and clock out then come home to my love, I was actually able to just watch it on Wednesday’s like everyone else. Where as Freak Show, I was kind of on. All the freaks would go together to the country club in New Orleans and watch together and get free drinks for the freaks. We were kind of a spectacle. People were watching us watch our show which was a whole other experience. I don’t know that I enjoyed that so much. Asylum was really a chance for me to sit and watch TV like a normal person. I will say I loved Murder House. That for me was probably the scariest one, probably because I totally believe in ghosts and also because I wasn’t affiliated with it yet so I couldn’t imagine the smoke and mirrors. I didn’t see the guy pulling the cable an inch off the television screen. So that season was the scariest for me. Asylum was the most well made for me and Freak Show was the most fun to do, no question. It was a full experience. It transformed my life in every way. I picked up and left and was in New Orleans and was living in a basically freak dorm, like a hotel where I’d go downstairs and there’s everyone cooking! It was that kind of thing. It was really fun. New Orleans is really fun. Being able to do a role that I already knew so well that I could just sort of trust myself. Of course, the Orphans episode was a topper. It was really a chance for me to really flex my acting muscles which is what I came to do.
MM: So now, let’s go out with a bang. What’s one fun fact about you that the fans might not know?
NG: I’m such an open book. Between my two shows and my YouTube channel, I feel like everything there is to know about me is somewhere on the internet. Little things like I bought a car on eBay. That’s weird. I broke both of my arms. Most people probably know that. If they were friends with me at the time they probably know that because they were coming over to open the fridge for me. I got my first credit card a couple of years ago. I’ve done every ridiculous actor side job under the sun. I have modeled nude. I have danced for many Bat Mitzvahs. I drove and wrecked the Red Bull car in a shopping mall parking garage. I used to teach Spanish at the playboy mansion. I have a kind of eclectic life. I kind of pride myself on having whacky, crazy stories. I mean part of it is the storyteller in me because I did do one-woman shows and was writing my own material for such a long time, I think I was living my material. I’d get pulled over by a cop for jaywalking and then lie about my identity to him because I wanted to see where it went. Of course it doesn’t end well but it didn’t matter because the storyteller in me taking over. Like I said, I’m authentically quirky I don’t think that’s a secret to fans or readers but it’s there it is.
MM: I think it’s definitely a fact you can pride yourself on because if you were boring then that wouldn’t be any fun.
NG: I am not boring. I get invited to parties because people are like, okay go Naomi. Like at cocktail parties they just expect me to go in and start the conversation. Or weddings. Oh my God I’ve been to more weddings for people I don’t know because they know I will come in and be the first on the dance floor and the last to leave.