American Horror Story Freak Show is one of the hottest TV shows on air. And Naomi Grossman plays Pepper, one of the “small-headed” freaks, who is a fan favorite from Asylum’s season as well.
The beautiful star reports that she sits in the makeup chair for about three hours, Grossman then transforms into the unforgettable mental patient-turned-circus performer—complete with buck teeth, a shaved head, and prosthetic ears. And that’s just the start of it.
“People tell me, ‘Oh, I could never [sit so long for of the makeup],'” Grossman to Us in an interview. “To which I say, ‘Really, you couldn’t go to your job, and lay back and close your eyes for three hours?'”
Grossman adds, “Granted, on a sixth day in a row of shooting, when my skin is super-tender from having glue applied to the same place everyday, I think about how quaint it would be to act with my own face.” Nevertheless, the stage actress admits, “I wouldn’t be Pepper without all those prosthetics. She’s been so good to me, and she’s such a joy to play.”
Not that there aren’t any drawbacks to the process. “The one contact lens. It blinds me in that eye, so I’ve been known to take a tumble!” Grossman says. “Those intense, close-up scenes when I have to look into someone else’s eyes and really communicate? Forget about my eyeline—that’s all over the place.”
Tune in to American Horror Story: Freak Show on FX, Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST.