American Horror Story: Cult brings co-star Adina Porter her first Emmy nomination after 30 years in television, film, and theater. Here, she talks about Emmy morning, the crazy genius of the AHS series, and what drives Beverly Hope’s murderous rage.
Take a moment, pull up Wikipedia, and review the career of actress Adina Porter. OK, take a few moments. You’ll need it. Her career spans 30 year of work on the stage, in film and in some of the highest profile television series of the last ten years. She first caught my eye as Lettie Mae Thornton, the self-described (by Porter of course) “bad mom” to Tara (Rutina Wesley) in HBO’s True Blood. I’ll never forget the scene in which Lettie Mae, now rehabilitated and seeking amends with her estranged daughter, begs Tara – now a vampire – to let her drink her own blood.
The line went something like “Let me feed you now as I couldn’t when you were a baby.”
But Porter is no stranger to difficult material. Enter Ryan Murphy and the American Horror Story series. 2016’s Roanoke saw Porter’s Lee Harris tied and seasoned, ready to be consumed by a set of horrifying cannibals. The role brought Porter a Saturn Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress on Television. But then, something even more shocking and (to many) horrifying happened.
In 2016, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton to become the 45th President of the United States. That moment seemed to cause a cultural rift that many artists and filmmakers continue to grapple with today. Murphy used the seventh season of his American Horror Story series – dubbed Cult – to work through some of these social and political crises.
Enter Adina Porter’s Beverly Hope, a news reporter who channels years of pent-up rage into murder. As one does in the American Horror Story world. The role, which many have proclaimed the performance of Porter’s career, resulted in her first Emmy nomination – Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie. Here, Porter talks to me about this recognition, about taking on such a politically charged role, and about using personal experiences to generate Beverly Hope’s rage.
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