'American Horror Stories': Paris Jackson says her vindictive character 'makes my blood boil'

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When Matt Bomer and Paris Jackson found out "American Horror Stories" would be taking viewers back to the original Murder House, they couldn't say no.

"I was running around taking pictures and being a total nerd about it," Jackson reveals.

FX's "Horror Stories" is an anthology spinoff of the hit "American Horror Story" series, with each episode featuring a different horror tale and cast. The two-part opener, "Rubber(wo)Man," which premiered Thursday (and is now streaming on Hulu), follows a new family – two house flippers (Bomer and Gavin Creel) and their sadistic daughter, Scarlett (Sierra McCormick) – who move into the infamous Murder House from Season 1 of the original series.

You'll see some familiar connections to "AHS," including an infamous rubber suit, a cameo from Infantata (the stitched-up remains of the child living in the Murder House's basement) and the return of Bomer, who starred as Countess' lover Donovan in "American Horror Story: Hotel."

In the new series, Bomer plays Michael, a loving father to a serial-killing high school girl and husband to a frustrated co-parent.

'American Horror Stories' is a spin-off of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s award-winning hit anthology series 'American Horror Story.'
'American Horror Stories' is a spin-off of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s award-winning hit anthology series 'American Horror Story.'

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His goal? "Trying to keep his family together, trying to keep his daughter from going off the rails… and keeping his marriage intact," Bomer says.

"Even though this family is sort of magnified and sensationalized, the core of Michael's story is the fears that a lot of parents in 2021 have," Bomer says. "How do you stay connected to your daughter who is heading down a path you feel like you can't control?"

Bomer, who is married and a proud father of three sons, says playing Michael was "rewarding."

Matt Bomer, who starred in "American Horror Story: Hotel" returns as Michael in the spinoff series.
Matt Bomer, who starred in "American Horror Story: Hotel" returns as Michael in the spinoff series.

"It's a privilege to get to play a gay parent," he says. "I wanted to give those relationships the respect they deserved, because I do think the world needs to see and normalize…that gay parents have their own problems with their kids."

In contrast, Paris Jackson, who made her debut on the horror franchise, calls her character – Scarlett's classmate Maya —"vindictive" and "hard to relate to."

"I don't really know if there's a way to describe her in appropriate language. All the words I would use are considered inappropriate," Jackson quips.

Maya pretends to want a romantic fling with Scarlett (McCormick), only to publicly humiliate and out her during a secretly recorded livestream. Jackson admits she was initially "infuriated" to portray such a mean character, especially after having struggled with her own sexual identity as a teenager.

"Just the idea of something like that happening makes my blood boil," Jackson says. "I remember … being conflicted about my sexuality and confused at 15, 16 years old. I remember having questions and not really knowing how to present myself or how to go about that."

Paris Jackson, a longtime 'American Horror Story' fan, made her debut as Maya in 'American Horror Stories.'
Paris Jackson, a longtime 'American Horror Story' fan, made her debut as Maya in 'American Horror Stories.'

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However, what helped her get into character was understanding that Maya is just trying to cope with her sexuality — even if it's in an unhealthy manner.

"Maya does have feelings for Scarlett, and she's trying to hide it and bury it, but clearly her friends don't think that's OK. So she's doing what she can to make her friends comfortable and not let them know who she really is."

So what can viewers expect next week? Jackson, who has been watching the "AHS" franchise since it premiered in 2011, says viewers of the new anthology series will be rewarded by other callbacks.

Other actors include Kaia Gerber, Billie Lourd, Charles Melton and Danny Trejo.

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Bomer adds that the show's unpredictability is what makes it so unique. "It's not an extended season to the show, it's a new world, a new story every week…you don't know what you're gonna get, and there's so much that is alluring about that."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'American Horror Stories': Paris Jackson, Matt Bomer on new FX series