The 12 Most Amazing On-Screen Transformations In American Horror Story


One of the reasons so many cast members have been able to keep returning to American Horror Story is because they're unrecognizable from season-to-season. While the actors have to morph into each bizarre persona, the show's award-winning makeup and costume designers certainly play an important part in these amazing transformations.


1. Kathy Bates

Kathy Bates has had many memorable roles on American Horror Story over the years, but her character from AHS: Freak Show is perhaps her most iconic. She plays a world-weary bearded lady, and she does it with and no-nonsense attitude that almost makes you forget the beard is even there.

2. Lance Reddick

When you're gatekeeper to the spirit world, you'd better look the part. In AHS: Coven, Lance Reddick does just that. He's entirely convincing as Papa Legba thanks in part to his otherwordly, voodoo-inspired appearance.

3. Lily Rabe

Lily Rabe had big shoes to fill when it came to playing real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos.  Rabe offered a sauntering performance for AHS: Hotel, but her methodical mannerisms are just a part of the creepiness. Makeup artists turned her into a shiver-inducing dead ringer of the notorious murderer.

4. Naomi Grossman

AHS: Freak Show spawned a catalog of unique individuals, but none stood out more than the diminutive Pepper. A lot of makeup went into overhauling Naomi Grossman's appearance for the role: It took two people nearly three hours to apply the prosthetic details, fake teeth, contact lens, and makeup each day. Grossman even shaved most of her head for the role.

5. Denis O'Hare

Denis O'Hare's transformation into a transgender woman is thorough–and not just on the outside. Aside from the makeup and outfits, O'Hare gave a nuanced performance that showed the emotional impact transitioning can have.

6. Grace Gummer

If you didn't already know Grace Gummer is Meryl Streep's daughter, you would have had a tough time seeing the resemblance in AHS: Freak Show. To achieve her look as "Lizard Girl," she endured daily application of an elaborate puzzle of prosthetic tattoos that covered her entire head and neck.

7. Ben Woolf as Infantata

The late Ben Woolf played the miniature monstrosity in season 1, and the character is the reanimated remnants of the murdered Montgomery child–but he's also ravenous for blood.

8. John Carroll Lynch as Twisty the Clown

It took a hefty amount of special effects talent to bring Twisty the Clown to life for AHS: Freak Show. If you've managed to erase the image from your nightmares, Twisty shot off his jaw with a shotgun, leaving him horribly disfigured beneath his mask.

9. Evan Peters

Evan Peters' character in the first season didn't look all that different from Evan Peters in real life. But when Tate applies skull makeup before a horrific killing spree, it's thoroughly terrifying.

10. Sarah Paulson

Sarah Paulson was certainly no newcomer to the AHS franchise when she suited up as a drug-addled ghost in AHS: Hotel.

11. Frances Conroy

Frances Conroy's character in AHS: Coven is a brutally stoic (but honest) witch who didn't even flinch when burned at the stake.

12. Wes Bentley

Weird facial hair is nothing new for Wes Bentley: he'd already done it in 2012's The Hunger Games. But his character in AHS: Freak Show takes hair to another level.

How do you feel?
Tears of Joy
Relieved Face
Clapping Hands
Thumbs Down

Onedio Conversations

Send Comment
Send Feedback