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'American Horror Story: Freak Show' Star John Carroll Lynch Explains Why He Agreed To Play Twisty The Clown

ByChristian Saclao
Oct 23, 2014 06:55 AM EDT

"American Horror Story: Freak Show's" Twisty the Clown has easily become one of the most terrifying clown in the history of television, but why did actually John Carroll Lynch accept the nightmare-inducing role?

In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, the 51-year-old actor said that he found himself piqued by the challenges that the role offers.

"I knew that the character was going to be primarily silent and that was a challenge," Lynch said. "I knew the character, most of his face was going to be covered and that was a challenge. It's like if you were boxing and somebody said, 'We'd like you to fight that guy, but we'd like you to fight that guy just with your feet and we'll tie your hands behind your back.' I would say no to that challenge, but I said yes to this one."

In addition, he said that he enjoys playing the bad guy. "It's great to play a character that is so starkly drawn, and it's really fun to be a bad guy," the Boulder, Colorado-born actor said. "In this case I really like that (co-creator) Ryan [Murphy] and the writers have provided not only a really terrific, scary character, but also they provided a lot of humanity that you'll learn about as the season progresses."

In an interview with BuzzFeed last month, the "Shutter Island" actor explained that Twisty the Clown's "actions are horrific, but his motives are really strangely, oddly pure, and that's what is most human and most disturbing about it."

"I don't intend to advocate for the horrific characters, but I hope they reflect humanity at its most vicious because we need to really look at ourselves and see it," he added. "Otherwise, we're deluding ourselves into thinking we're not capable of it."

Lynch continued: "You can have the most wonderful motives for what you do, but if what you do harms other people, you're fooling yourself. I hope that's what people get out of [this character]. I hope they see a reflection of their own lives. Even if it means they need to look at what they're actually doing, not what they think they're doing."

And although viewers will learn more about Twisty's humanity in the upcoming episodes, Clowns of America International - the country's biggest professional clown club - is not pleased by Twisty's  portrayal on the show.

"We do not support in any way, shape or form any medium that sensationalizes or adds to coulrophobia or 'clown fear,'" the organization's president Glenn Kohlberger told The Hollywood Reporter.

In response to the backlash, Lynch told the Los Angeles Times: "I don't have any issues with clowns - I feel like I owe them an apology, in some ways," he said.

"My crazy fear is I'm always afraid my keys are going to fall down a subway grate when I walk over it," he added. "I'm afraid they're going to jump out of my pocket and fall down. Isn't that stupid?"

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