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Cleaning up 'American Horror Story' with Alexandra Breckenridge

December 22, 2011 | 12:13 pm

Alexandra Breckenridge as Moira on 'American Horror Story'

"American Horror Story" had its season finale Wednesday, and any fan of the show knows the bodies tend to pile up in the crazy house that Ryan Murphy built.

So who better to tidy up an insane first season than the sexy resident maid, Alexandra Breckenridge? Playing the youthful version of Moira the housekeeper (her more mature incarnation is played by Frances Conroy), Breckenridge talks her obscene work uniform, music that gets her in the mood and the stunt that sent her screaming. 

Ministry of Gossip: We need to start with that uniform. [For those who haven't caught the show, think garter belts and stockings, super low-cut, lacy French sexy time.]

Alexandra Breckenridge: [Laughs.] Now that the season is over, let's just say I've been eating a lot more lately. 

MoG: It's so crazy! It's overtly fetishistic. But aside from the costume, did you have any idea how sexual this part would become over time?

AB: I mean, I knew how sexual Moira was from what was on the page, but it was great sort of developing her from that. There's a motive beyond sex; She's a soul trying to free herself from the house. 

MoG: A lot of your scene work this year was trying to trap Dylan McDermott in the boudoir. How do you get to that place?

AB: The thing about Moira is that she's not necessarily seducing Ben [Harmon, McDermott's character]. She's got a very slow, deadpan vibe but is totally free with her body. So I've got some dirty rap songs ... I love "Down On Me" by Jeremih and 50 Cent. 

MoG: You share this character with Frances Conroy. Most of the residents see Moira as an older, world-weary woman taking care of the house for years. But some, like Dylan, see your sexpot. Do you and Frances coordinate at all?

AB: Not really, because it's like a different lens to see her through. We did get to work together a few times though, as different Moiras in the same scene. We also get our hair colored together, which is a really fun time. She's got a great sense of humor, we'd go to the salon every six weeks and just hang out.

MoG: That show loves its redheads.

AB: Yeah, I never learned why, but [Murphy] has a thing for redheads. It's a vampy red, like Jessica Rabbit. Andy Lecompte did the color for both me and Frances, and it's gorgeous. 

MoG: At one point in the season, a businessman threatens to buy the house from the occupants and level it to make apartment units. The ghosts conspire to stop him, so Moira steps in and — there's no other way to say it — bites off his penis during oral sex.

AB: I screamed. I actually screamed when I read that in the script. I didn't get the pages until we were on set, and someone drops it into my lap. But I thought it was so funny. Not during, obviously. Putting your head repeatedly in someone's crotch for hours isn't pleasant.

MoG: In regard to Moira's other skill set, cleaning, are you better at keeping up your own house now?

AB: Well, I'm doing my laundry right now. I think I personally clean my house better than Moira cleans on the show. I think Frances is the side of Moira that's meticulous.


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— Matt Donnelly

Photo: Alexandra Breckenridge in character as Moira on "American Horror Story." Credit: FX.