‘American Horror Story’: Scenes With 1 Character Took Nearly a Day to Film

American Horror Story is an anthology series created by Ryan Murphy. It has become hugely popular with viewers of all ages and is noted for featuring a brand-new storyline and characters each successive season while retaining many of the same actors in the cast. From Murder House to Coven, American Horror Story has managed to stay fresh each season, impressing critics as well as fans. One of the most bizarre, frightening seasons was the fourth season, titled Freak Show. Not only was it out there in terms of storyline, but Freak Show featured some of the most incredible special effects in the show’s history. In fact, any of the scenes featuring conjoined twins Bette and Dot Tattler, played by Sarah Paulson, took almost a full day to film. 

Sarah Paulson slightly smiling in front of a black background
Sarah Paulson | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

When did ‘American Horror Story’ debut on television?

In 2011, American Horror Story: Murder House debuted on the FX network. The first season of the series that would go on to change the course of television, the debut season focused on a family who moved into a haunted house. Each successive season of the show continued to up the ante in terms of frights, with Coven, which debuted in 2013, being a standout. 

The most recent season, American Horror Story: 1984, changed things up even further, taking a page from classic slasher films of the seventies and eighties. The upcoming tenth season doesn’t yet have a release date, but series creator Ryan Murphy has been teasing it on Instagram, posting a series of dramatic images of the ocean, which has fans wondering. Over the years, the series has been nominated for over four hundred awards — proving that Murphy’s genius is appreciated by many.

‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ was critically acclaimed

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In October 2014, American Horror Story: Freak Show, debuted. By the fourth season of many TV shows, fans know what to expect, but Freak Show completely changed the game. The season followed a troupe that performs in one of the last remaining freak shows in the United States and the ways that they try to make ends meet as their profession gradually becomes no longer relevant.

Starring Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Emma Roberts, Kathy Bates, Jessica Lange, and many of the other talented stars who had appeared in the show’s previous seasons, Freak Show received excellent reviews from critics, and these days is considered to be one of the very best seasons of the anthology series. 

Scenes featuring Bette and Dot Tattler took hours to film

Sarah Paulson, one of the world’s most talented actors and the star of many Ryan Murphy productions, has played many different roles over the course of her time in American Horror Story. Still, her role as Bette and Dot Tattler, conjoined twins performing in a freak show, is one of her most memorable. The special effects that it took to make Paulson appear to have two heads were extremely elevated, and it was no small matter to bring the twins to life.

According to MTV, every scene involving Bette and Dot took nearly fifteen hours to film. This was due to having to use a combination of special effects and advanced puppeteering in order to give Paulson the appearance of two heads. Fortunately, Paulson’s incredible performance helped to make the illusion complete, and her performance as the twins made a huge splash with fans. Paulson has been confirmed to return for the tenth season of American Horror Story, but no details about her character — or characters — have yet been revealed.