Actress Clea DuVall recently sat down with Vulture Magazine to discuss her role as Wendy, a closeted teacher, in FX’s horror-thriller American Horror Story: Asylum, whether or not she is worried about being typecast, how Hollywood’s portrayal of gay characters has evolved since the late 90s release of her cult classic But I’m a Cheerleader, and the difference between just a kiss and a “lesbian kiss.”
DuVall has been a staple in Hollywood since the mid-90s, starring in both television and film, and in every genre from horror, to comedy, to drama. Most know her as tomboy/outcast Stokely “Stokes” Mitchell in the sci-fi teen horror flick The Faculty, or as compulsive liar, Georgina, in the Oscar nominated drama Girl, Interrupted.
Now, she’s making her way back to television, starring as Wendy, Lana Winter’s (Sarah Paulson) recently murdered partner on American Horror Story: Asylum, airing on Wednesday nights at 10pm on FX.
But fans of DuVall need not worry; even though she was murdered in the second episode of the season, she may not be gone for good. “Well, like with the first season, if something happens to someone on the show, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re gone, it’s American Horror Story,” DuVall said.
And recently, her on-screen partner, Paulson, also hinted to HuffPost TV that we might not have seen the last of Wendy. When asked if Lana will find out about Wendy's murder, Paulson said, "I can't answer that yet."
What does that mean…is she not dead, is the entire season going to turn out to be a figment of Lana’s imagination, will Wendy just show up in flashbacks? What are you up to Ryan Murphy?!
On the show, Lana and Wendy are living in 1964 New England, and when asked about her character and how Wendy deals with being closeted, DuVall responded, “It was such a different time. You and I can look at it from the perspective of people living in 2012, but I think that the fear at that time was very real, and you could have your entire life destroyed by who you love and by being who you are.”
Vulturealso asked about any hesitations that the actress may have had about taking the part, seeing as though she had already played an out lesbian in But I’m a Cheerleader. “No, I don’t think it matters much anymore. I think that there was a stigma playing gay characters before that there just isn’t now,” DuVall said.
And when talking about the evolution of gay characters in Hollywood, DuVall stated, “I think it’s changed a lot. When I did But I’m a Cheerleader, what Jamie (Babbit, the film’s director) went through with censors was ridiculous. But I’m a Cheerleader would probably get a PG-13 today, whereas they wanted to give us an NC-17 with the first cut.”
Lastly, Vulture asked the actress about audience reactions, and why there is still a difference between a “lesbian kiss,” and just a kiss.“Yeah, it still makes news, and people want to pay attention to it. It’s more interesting; it’s less common,” DuVall said. “The same reason a blue lobster is on the Yahoo news page. There’s millions of red lobsters out there, but when there’s a blue lobster, everybody’s like, 'Oh my god, did you see the blue lobster?'”
Fans of DuVall can also check her out in the critically acclaimed espionage thriller Argo and her upcoming release In Security, an action/comedy about a failing security company that encourages their employees to start robbing houses in order to boost business.
Click here to check out DuVall’s entire interview on Vulture.