Billie Lourd’s American Horror Story Role Was “Cathartic” After Carrie Fisher’s Death

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Billie Lourd may come from a famous family, but she’s an accomplished actress in her own right. Lourd recently opened up to Entertainment Tonight about how she used acting to process the death of her mother, Carrie Fisher, and her grandmother, Debbie Reynolds, who both passed away in 2016. And she credits Ryan Murphy, executive producer of American Horror Story, with easing through her grief by casting her in the show.
“When Ryan offered me Cult, it was just a few months after my mom passed, and it honestly helped me process all of my emotions through these characters,” she told ET. Lourd then described how she was able to channel her emotions through her Cult character, Winter. “Being able to cry for Winter helped me cry for myself. And it's been really healing and cathartic in an amazing way.”
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Lourd also explained how close she is with her AHS castmates. “Getting to be around all the incredible people on set, they've become like a family to me, and I cannot thank Ryan enough. Honestly, it kind of saved my life.” The AHS cast includes Sarah Paulson and Leslie Grossman, whom Lourd called “some of her best friends” — and she expresses her gratitude and being able to work with fascinating, creative women.
Her role in the show’s current season, Apocalypse, is also meaningful to Lourd, because the character represents strength through compassion. “Getting to play Mallory has made me find this sense of, like, kindness and empathy in myself that I know is there, but I don't really get to access every day,” she said. “It's been really, really rewarding to play this lovely, sweet person who is just so empathetic and connected to the other characters.”
The current season of AHS: Apocalypse just wrapped up, and though Doomsday looked nothing like the book of Revelations, Lourd is still proud of the message the show is broadcasting. “Getting to watch all of us be more powerful than even the Antichrist, it was so inspirational, I think, and such a great message for young girls and women out there.”
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