And you thought last season was epic.
"American Horror Story: Asylum" is the official title of the second season, and viewers are shuttled from the haunted Los Angeles mansion to Briarcliff Manor, a New England institute for the criminally insane, in 1964. Many of actors used to in Season 1 have returned, but they're playing completely different characters.
Evan Peters, who masterfully played the evil-yet-lovable ghost Tate Langdon in Season 1, is returning in "Asylum" as Kit Walker, a young man accused of murdering his new wife as well as several other women. Nicknamed "Bloody Face," he's known for taking the skin of his victims and making a mask out of it. In the first episode of the second season, he's arrested and taken to the asylum -- but he maintains his innocence throughout, despite ample (and graphic) torture.
HuffPost TV spoke with Peters via phone about maintaining sanity in an insane asylum, how long he's been afraid of Jessica Lange and why you need to watch this season of "AHS."
How much fun are you having with this role?
I am having fun! A lot of the fighting stuff, I get a kick out of it. The torture stuff, not so much. [Laughs.] It's pretty amazing. I'm lucky. I've been fortunate. I should really thank Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk for letting me play around with such an amazing and personal role.
Does it ever feel like a perpetual Halloween on set?
Yeah, it kind of does. But I love Halloween, and I love that feeling: the cold air, the spooky dangers lurking around the corner. It's cool that I get to be in that all the time.
Does this season of "AHS" push the limits of crazy?
I think so. As the episodes go on, they're definitely pushing some boundaries. I'm excited to see it all come together -- we worked very long hours and shot the hell out of these scenes. I can't wait to see the finished project.
What can you tell us about Kit Walker?
He's just a normal guy, who happens to be in love with an African-American girl in 1964. It's a scary marriage that they have. And then she ends up becoming the next victim on the murder list, and he gets wrongly accused for it. He's trying to maintain his sanity in an insane asylum and get back to his wife and figure it all out [even though she's seemingly dead].
That's another great thing about "AHS" -- big issues being dealt with, even in the first episode: civil rights, lesbianism, religion vs. science ...
Yeah, it's awesome that this show deals with the bigger picture rather than just the monsters and horror.
Does this role ever mess with your psyche or give you bad dreams?
No, but it does kind of stress me out. It's a hard role to play. I try to leave work at work and be at home at home. [Laughs]
Your roster of co-stars is one impressive list. How much have you learned working alongside them?
I've learned so much. Definitely confidence, too. In this show, we're all searching to find the truth in this insane reality, so I've learned a lot from all the actors. James Cromwell knows every move he's going to make, and is so good with continuity. I've been trying to work on that too.
And working with Jessica Lange must be eye-opening as well.
She takes her time with her lines, and is very slow with everything. Where other actresses go big, she goes the opposite way and reins it in -- obviously it works very well.
In a weird way, I'm kind of afraid of her now!
I've been afraid of her since "Grey Gardens"! [Laughs.]
Should people who enjoyed Season 1 watch Season 2, even though the characters are different?
I think they're going to love it. It's a totally different show, but it still has some of the same elements as Season 1. There are lots of scary moments. There are definitely big issues underlying everything ... it's more epic, and there's so much more going on. We're not just in one house, either. We're in an asylum, but it reaches out from there. It's bigger, and much grander.
If you could sum up Season 2 of "AHS" in one sentence, what would it be?
It's really, really scary.
"American Horror Story: Asylum" Season 2 premieres on Wednesday October 17 at 10 p.m. ET on FX and FX Canada.