American Horror Story Season 2 Interview: Mark Margolis On Playing A Nazi Hunter

American Horror Story Season 2

The American Horror Story: Asylum episode “I Am Anne Frank, Part 2″ revealed the Nazi hunter character Sam Goodman. TV Equals was able to learn more about the character from Mark Margolis. Margolis also talked about what he thinks makes the show so popular.

The difference between his role on Breaking Bad and American Horror Story: Asylum

Margolis said his roles as Sam in American Horror Story: Asylum and Tio Salamanca in Breaking Bad are extremely different, jokingly noting that he was without his trusty bell when acting on the popular FX show.

“I had to actually speak, so that was tough. They soon discovered that the guy is better with a bell, but it was too late because they had already employed me,” he said. “I mean, Breaking Bad is a whole other thing. [Breaking Bad is] in a whole other locale, in New Mexico, which is a whole other feeling and this was a strange 1964 kind of shabby motel room. …[I]t was something about working in American Horror Story; everything was very brown and gray, which is the complete opposite of New Mexico, even though my character in New Mexico was sometimes in a grim nursing home.”

What lured Margolis to the role

What attracted Margolis to the idea of playing a Nazi hunter is the mysterious quality surrounding Nazi hunters.

“Nazi hunters are kind of fascinating characters. I was actually–about a year and a half ago, I was up for a film with Sean Penn, the part of a Nazi hunter, and it was a marvelous character. I think the film is coming out in a couple of months called This Must Be the Place. The part eventually went to Judd Hirsch, but I was really hot to do it. Those are fascinating characters,” he said. “I’ve read [about them] over the years–I’ve read a great deal about Simon Wiesenthal, who is probably the world’s most famous Nazi hunter. I think he’s the one that located Eichmann in Argentina, or he’s located others. They’re fascinating people with a certain kind of a mission of devoting their lives to catching these people who are aging and dying–I think that world is almost disappearing at this point. If there’s anybody left, they’re in their 90s. When I heard that it was a Nazi hunter, I was quite excited about that.”

Why American Horror Story: Asylum is so popular

Margolis said that the reason for the show to maintain its popularity is great acting and direction.

“Well, it’s got wonderful actors on it, the principles. The regulars on the show are quite incredible. I mean Jessica Lange is amazing. Cromwell is amazing. There’s a whole group of them that are quite terrific; the regulars. I’ve never seen a show like that,” he said.

I worked in all of Darren Aronofsky’s films…On some level I find a lot of the way that [American Horror Story: Asylum] cut from one thing to another to an eyeball. They’re always going to eyeballs. It’s very reminiscent of what Aronofsky did in his first film Pi where there were these very quick cuts. You know; you’d see a needle, an arm, and then an eyeball expand,” he said. “They…seemed to have gotten some inspiration from the way that Aronofsky’s films cut from one thing to another…I’m sure there are other people that have possibly done what Aronofsky did, and that kind of movement is pretty exciting I think in a way as opposed to things that go on for five minutes and nothing much changes. It’s kind of exciting. It’s a jump from one thing to another thing to another thing; it’s like pop, pop, pop.”

American Horror Story: Asylum airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on FX.