'AHS: Freak Show' Star Rose Siggins on Her Real Life Without Legs: 'This Is My Normal'

American Horror Story is about to get real. The upcoming fourth season of the Ryan Murphy horror anthology will go back in time to the year 1952, with a retro look at one of the last remaining freak shows in America. But the cast members who play the circus sideshow attractions in the new installment of FX series have a few stories of their own.

In the above "Extra-Ordinary Artists" preview video for American Horror Story: Freak Show, Rose Siggins, the actress behind the character Legless Suzi, talks about the real-life struggles she endured after having her legs amputated as a child. Siggins says she understands why people stare at her, but she adds, "I did not want to be part of a Freak Show in the sense of exploiting myself. I pretty much have lived a life where I haven't done that."

[Photos: Meet the Inhabitants of 'American Horror Story: Freak Show]

The actress was born with sacral agenesis, a deformation of the spine that limits her use of her legs. She had her legs amputated at the hip when she was 2 years old in lieu of being wheelchair-bound, explaining, "In the '70s when I was born, the medical idea was, if it doesn't work, take it away. And now today we find out, if it doesn't work, keep it." Still she wouldn't change a thing. "I couldn't imagine myself being normal, because this is my normal," she says.

In 1999, Siggins even had a normal pregnancy, even though she was completely shocked to find out she was expecting her first child. Doctors were concerned, and so was she. "No one in the world, since the beginning of time, has ever done this before," she says. The pregnancy was risky, but Siggins's baby boy, Luke, laid in a transverse position, so her belly developed more like a barrel shape, from side to side. She ultimately had an easy first pregnancy and a problem-free birth. "Everything they feared did not come true," she said. Seven years later, she gave birth to a daughter, Shelby.

 Rose Siggins in 'AHS: Freak Show'
Rose Siggins in 'AHS: Freak Show'

Although her home life is relatively normal, Siggins calls her time on AHS a definite freak show. "When you get so many people together who are uniquely different, what else can you possibly call it?" she asks.

In addition to returning regular AHS cast members Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, Denis O'Hare, Frances Conroy, Sarah Paulson, Jamie Brewer, Emma Roberts, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, and Gabourey Sidibe, Siggins will be joined by 6-foot-8-inch model and fitness trainer Erika "Amazon Eve" Ervin; the world's smallest woman, at 2 feet, 0.6 inches, Jyoti Amge; and Mat Fraser, an actor-musician whose phocomelia resulted in the malformation of his limbs. Fraser will play the character Paul the Illustrated Seal in AHS: Freak Show, which is set in Jupiter, Fla.

Fraser explains his condition:

And for her character, Siggins says, "Legless Suzi is a very scared and frightened person. I can't imagine people treating you so poorly because of how you looked. Once you remove the legs, which is considered three-quarters of the body, mentally you start thinking of yourself as 'I'm not a whole person.' So of course she would have joined a circus too, because that was family."

American Horror Story: Freak Show premieres on Oct. 8 at 10 p.m. on FX.