Angela Bassett's character on "American Horror Story: Freak Show" was introduced in the second episode of the current installment of the FX anthology series. She is playing Desiree Dupree, a woman with "three titties, proper girl parts, and a ding-a-ling" (the character's own words). And for the record, Bassett is wearing a prosthetic chest, and none of the three breasts that viewers are seeing is real.
"All of it's prosthetic," the 56-year-old actress told Cosmopolitan. "[But] I had the choice."
"I went to a prosthetic house somewhere in the Valley and they asked if I wanted them to make just one or did I want them to make all three," revealed the Oscar-nominated actress. And of course I opted for more. More is always better. If you can make them all symmetrical and standard, let's go for as good as we can get. As pretty as it can be."
Bassett went on to explain how her prosthetic chest is being made and how it is actually being attached onto her.
"It's the same process that you go through if you're making casts for faces or molds for teeth," she said. "The first incarnation they came up with was very heavy... and uncomfortable and, gravity doing what gravity does, it would come apart, it would sag, it would itch... But they worked on it a little bit more and made them out of another material that's much lighter. It takes about an hour to apply it and then to match it to my own skin tone. It's got to be more yellow, more green, more red, more this ... they're magicians though."
"It's actually glued onto the front of me," she added. "Two of them are glued on top of me and then there's the third one that's in the center, holding center-court. Three breasts, two cleavages."
When Desiree said that she has a "ding-a-ling," some viewers jumped to the conclusion that she has a penis. But in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, series' co-creator Ryan Murphy hinted that her "ding-a-ling" might be something else.
"No. I mean is it a penis?" Murphy said. "She says it's a ding-a-ling but what does that mean to somebody. You gotta keep watching for that one. But freak shows have a history of loving that archetype."
As for the character's storyline, Bassett told The Hollywood Reporter that Desiree is a "little conflicted."
"[She's] a little confused, but she's made the best of her life given the circumstances," the Harlem, New York-born actress. "She was rejected by her mother. Her mother had a great deal of shame concerning Desiree's existence. So I think there's a lot of deep-rooted sadness in the things Desiree has had to do just to survive hand-to-mouth.
"It comes out of a deep sense of shame - she could either fall deeply into it, or it puts a ramrod in your back and forces you to stand straighter and really kick ass," she added. "You embrace it, you don't hide in the shadows, and I think that's what she does."
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