“American Horror Story” welcomed a new company member to its fourth season in the form of “The Shield” alum Michael Chiklis as strongman Dell Toledo. At first glance, Dell seems like a real man’s man, flaunting his physical prowess and his three-breasted wife. But Chiklis tells Zap2it there’s more to the story than that, which viewers will find out about in “Pink Cupcakes” on Wednesday (Nov. 5).
Zap2it: “Pink Cupcakes” is a big episode for Dell. What can you say about it?
Michael Chiklis: Without giving too much away, there’s a lot of backstory and a huge reveal in terms of his character and why he is the way he is. It’s one of the real interesting and pivotal turns that his character takes over the course of the season. It certainly speaks to that period of time, the early ’50s, and what he is going through and why. It’s really big for his character’s arc.
Does Dell consider himself above the freaks because he seems more “normal” than they are?
a great question. I’m parsing my words as to how to answer it because
of what I know that you don’t know. [laughs] Suffice to say, no. As a
matter of fact — how to say this without ruining anything — he knows
he’s a freak. He certainly feels like one. … He’s a tortured guy, he
carries a lot of rage and baggage from his
youth, from growing up under — things that you’ll find out about his
childhood and that inform his behavior that he, on many levels,
instantly regrets. He’s a conflicted guy who on a number of levels does
not want to be the person that he is.
On the one hand you have a
person like Dandy, who is a full-on remorseless psychopath, which can be
really cool and interesting to play for sure, but then you have someone
like Dell, who is not just a remorseless, sociopathic nut. He’s a guy
who has rage issues and fear and all kinds of different problems where
the aftermath is often more damaging than his actions. Does that make
Interesting. Perhaps Dell
simply appears more normal on the surface, but his freakiness is due
more to his … sexual proclivities, shall we say, based on the two
women he’s been involved with.
Um … that is an observation that you’ve made. [laughs] You’ve made an observation that could or could not be accurate.
What about Jimmy? Will Dell try to forge a relationship with his son?
will definitely make an attempt. It’s complicated, it’s not just cut
and dried, what happens between them. It’s made further complicated by
all of their different actions, not just Dell’s. There’s a lot of people
in the show, and they’re all personally just trying live through it all.
All of these different actions have various degrees of dire
consequences for them all. It is “American Horror Story,” after all.
It’s pretty dark.
It seems like this season of the show is not so much scary as it is
really sad, given the treatment of these people who are on the margins of society.
think there’s that. I don’t agree that it’s not scary, at least for me.
Maybe I’m just a wimp. [laughs] Some of it scares the s*** out of me.
The Twisty stuff just scared the hell out of me and then made me sad
because you find out why he is the way he is. So yeah, there’s
definitely that sadness for these people, the difficulties of their
collective lives. But there’s also some real horror in there.
Perhaps Dell is homosexual, which would have made him a “freak” in that time period. But you won’t confirm that.
That’s interesting. You’re right, I won’t confirm that. [laughs] I think we need to leave it there, actually.
“American Horror Story: Freak Show” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.