Photo by Byron Cohen/FX
There are few celebrity couples that sparkle as brightly as Mark Consuelos and Kelly Ripa. Whether they’re together on her morning show or on BFF Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live their teeth shine white, their tans are deep and dark and they seem truly blissful. So to witness Mark take on the super-dark role of Spivey on American Horror Story: Asylum has been a sight to behold.
With messed up teeth, a less than perfect coif and a badder than bad demeanor, the former All My Children star is undergoing a storyline far more complicated than evil twins. In a recent conference call interview, Mark talked about his edgy turn in Ryan Murphy’s madhouse.
Mark recalled being cast by Ryan Murphy. “Over dinner he explained the role and how Spivey was going to look. And we really got into the physical characteristics of Spivey. And he did warn me that he’s going to be a super dark kind of character, extremely demented. And for me I said, ‘You understand that’s exactly why I would want to play Spivey.’”
After all, even with all the plot twists that occur in daytime TV, Consuelos is thought off as a handsome leading man. So to be able to transform into a lunatic and then in true AHS fashion into a creature, was a great opportunity for the actor to break away from the stereotype.
He described the physical transformation involved in playing one of Dr. Arden’s experiments. Mark explained, “It takes anywhere from two and a half to three and a half hours, depending on what’s going on… But these guys are definitely artists. They’re amazing at what they do.”
As for his mental preparation Mark noted, “It’s always a good collaboration between the actor and the writer and the director to try stuff out during the process. And what was really great is that people were open to certain things and they would let you know if that was something they wanted you to do more, cut that in half, do more of that, we need you to do this, but I feel like on any really, really good show everybody comes with their own stuff and you want to try as much as you can.”
And there are lots of external forces that help Mark connect to the character of Spivey. He revealed, “he sets are so amazing and the makeup and the wardrobe are also really specific that it really, really helps that suspended belief. And you get into character pretty easily on set. And then you’re working with some of the greatest actors ever. They’re so fantastic and that also helps.”
But the 41-year-old actor confessed that as much as the show is haunting to watch, he has an easy time leaving Spivey’s emotional baggage on the soundstage. He conceded, “As dark as you think the stuff that you’re doing as an actor on that show is, once you watch it you’re like, ‘Oh, man, it could have been a lot darker.’ Having seen some of the other things that people were doing. And so I saw it as such a great opportunity that I literally had so much fun doing it and there was excitement about doing it, and I didn’t have that much trouble separating myself from what was going on, on set.”
Of course, it’s not so easy for his real life partner, Kelly, to take in. Mark confessed, “It disturbed my wife a little bit, in a good way. She’s hooked on the show but she finds it so disturbing and she can’t look away. She wants to look away, but she can’t look away.”
He continued, “ And I have one 15-year-old son who loves the genre and he’s been watching it too, which I’m kind of on the fence whether or not he should be able to watch it. But I’ve gotten an incredible amount of street credibility for being on ‘such a cool show,’ as he puts it.”
Tune in to see the coolest dad on TV when American Horror Story: Asylum airs on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. Central on FX to see what’s in store.