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AHS' Naomi Grossman Said Pepper's Break Had Her Stressed She Did Something Wrong

"American Horror Story" has become famous for its dark atmosphere and demented storylines, which is possibly why many viewers appreciated the sweet, cheery character Pepper (Naomi Grossman) on Seasons 2 and 4. While participating in a 2013 Ask Me Anything thread on the "American Horror Story" subreddit, Grossman addressed a fan who mentioned that Pepper was absent in five episodes of Season 2, titled "American Horror Story: Asylum." 

The actress revealed her character's temporary disappearance from the series caused her to feel anxious about her abilities as a performer. "The break was a little stressful," wrote Grossman. "I didn't know what that meant ... Did I screw up somehow and they wrote me out?!" She also noted that Pepper was not in the asylum because aliens kidnapped her: "I'd heard I was kickin' it with the aliens, but still, it felt like a LONG time."

The "Good Girls" actress realized that Pepper would be a Briarcliff Manor resident again after she received the intricate script for Season 2, Episode 10, titled "The Name Game." Grossman observed that her character had heightened mental capability following her encounter with extraterrestrials. "Suddenly, months later, I got this doozy [of a] script (in a great way) where I got to deliver monologues and babies and a song and a dance," stated Grossman. "And I had maybe a week to get ready for it."

Naomi Grossman shared details about her transformation into Pepper

In the Reddit Ask Me Anything, Grossman revealed that she had difficulty reciting Pepper's post-alien monologues for several reasons. She explained that she was not given firm direction on how to portray the character upon her return. The "American Horror Story" actress also shared that it took effort to say her lines while wearing Pepper's false teeth. "Speaking that clearly and quickly (per the director's request) with those teeth was tricky," Grossman admitted.

Grossman also shared details about her transformation into Pepper, who has the condition of microcephaly, in a 2015 interview with Studio 10. The actress explained that makeup artists meticulously placed prosthetics on her face and hands for each episode, which was sometimes a three-hour process. Grossman also disclosed that she was taken aback upon seeing herself as Pepper. "It's shocking, you know, you don't recognize yourself," said the Colorado native. "It's a weird feeling looking in the mirror and not really knowing, you know — you've got to pinch, like oh, yeah, that's me, yeah, I felt that."