I'll admit it -- when I first saw Naomi Grossman as Pepper on "American Horror Story," I thought she really was microencephalitic. Yes, a pinhead. It didn't hurt that she'd shaved her head, slapped on a prosthetic nose and teeth, and wore a tiny ponytail at the top of her head, not unlike one of the real "pinheads" we've seen in Tod Browning's "Freaks." She looked like the real deal -- so, it had to be special effects, right? Nope.
When I spoke to Grossman at PaleyFest, she admitted that, while she did shave her head and wear prosthetics ("it takes a village," she explained), the trick was mostly hunkering down, body padding, and simply acting the part. That she so completely sold me made Pepper's transition into a wise, thoughtful speaker of truth later in the season all that much more of a shock.
It turns out that Grossman has a wealth of character building experience coming into the role -- she was a Groundling and has had her own one woman shows, including "Carnival Knowledge: Love, Lust, and other Human Oddities." It likely gave her the skill set to be, as she says, "besties with Jessica Lange" late in the season. Though Pepper made her mark, I'm betting we'll see more shades of Grossman in the future, don't you?
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
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