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Wednesday
Dec 17 2014

Quick Impressions: "Younger Ethel Darling"in Freakshow / "Song & Dance Girl"in Magic Mike XXL

KATHY DEITCHNew Series!InQuick Impressionswe're looking at the working actor in key movie scenes.There are showbiz dreams embedded in nearly every frame of your favorite tv shows and films.Consider this series a celebration of SAG card-holders everywhere and double duty advice column for casting directors and aspiring actors.


For today's double-plus-good episode we talked to a young actress of stage and screen who I know you've already spotted on the very popularAmerican Horror Story: Freakshow.KATHY DEITCHdid flashback duty as "Younger Ethel Darling,"for Kathy Bates's doomed Bearded Lady.But all is not misery because get this: next summer Deitch willalsobe getting more than her fair share of testosterone...albeit in a far more enviable way.She'll be partying with your favorite strippers on the big screen in the eagerly awaited sequelMagic Mike XXL.

She tells us about her career-changing moment,fangirling it out while meeting Matt Bomer,and how to prepare for your big break in this exuberant conversationafter the jump...

Kathy in her dressing room adjusting to that bearded lady look.

NATHANIEL R: Have you felt any change in your career since yourFreakshowepisodes aired?

KATHY DEITCH: Are you kidding?![Giddily] I have to tell youthe beststory.The first time I went to New Orleans to shoot...it's first class,very nice,and I'm at the window.Very sleepy,hugging a book,trying to sleep some more.It's before 7!And all of sudden I hear this voice [sweetly] 'Hi!Good morning,how are you?' and I'm like [annoyed]OF COURSE I gotta get a talkie person next to me!

I turn and IT'S MATT BOMER in all his glorious beauty,looking like he just came from a zen buddhist retreat.It's before 7 and you're GORGEOUS.Really?!?And then I sat there smiling to myself for 15 minutes,being such a fangirl.I finally relaxed,we got to talking -- I did a play with his prom date !!!We had a kiki.

This is howMagic Mike XXLcomes in?

One of my friendsChad Darnelljust moved to Atlanta and is casting forMagic Mike XXLso I call him up -- Of course I'm being a smartass -- 'I met your boy Matt Bomer,we're total BFFs now!.' Next thing I know he's asking me for my reel,Steven Sodebergh and the directorGregneed to approve it!

SO,YES,BEFOREAMERICAN HORROR STORYEVEN AIRED IT HAS BEEN AMAZING![Laughs]

Wow.

The first audition I had after was for a Halle Berry movie,like #3 on the call sheet -- I wouldneverever ever get that audition.

It must feel good.

I have to tell you.I was so longing to do the serious serious work that I had to do even for the little tiny part inFreakshow.My heart has been wanting to that serious work for alongtime in film and TV.It's great being funny.But,man,I didn't train for five years at the Meisner studio to be the quirky neighbor who has two lines,you know what i mean?Not to be a jerk but,you know?

Scenes from Deitch's big episode

What I had to do forAmerican Horror Story.I was giving birth and in labor for second plie for a good number of hours.It's on film,it's not digital.You've got to do it.When am I ever going to give birth as a bearded lady outside ever again?Every time I sobbed uncontrollably.I broke down every single time.I was crying for like 3 hours straight.I brought it every time.

And then to doMagic Mike XXLand get to have Matt Bomer all up on me?  The universe is like just 'GOOD JOB GOOD JOB'  [Disbelief] Are you kidding?WHAT IS MY LIFE?I'm drooling right now even remembering it.

InMagic Mike XXLyou're billed as "Song & Dance Girl"I guess you can't tell me too much.

It's basically a huge scene [toward the end] where everyone is just taking off their clothes [Laughter] That's all I can really tell you other than that I have most of my work with Matt Bomer.

How did you get the part which got this party started?Do you know if they saw a lot of people?

With these bigger shows likeMad MenorLouis,they hide what you're auditioning for.You get a weird nebulous breakdown and it's not necessarily even a scene you're going to be shooting.SoAmerican Horror Storyjust said 'robust,rising vaudevillian star.Baltimore accent' and I was like 'Baltimore accent.That's real specific' and I'm from 40 minutes north so I had to get rid of that accent in order to be an actor so I got that in my back pocket.And then vaudeville is the 20s but I knew the show was set in the 1950s.I kind of put it together that it would be for Kathy Bates.

I dressed properly,did the makeup.The other girls didn't figure it out.I went in there and I literally said that [proud shouting]"I FIGURED IT OUT!"and they laughed.Then I told them the story that I was obsessed with Kathy Bates and had cried when I met her and that's actually a true story.

Your big episode -- as Ethel's life turns from happy to tragic when she settles down with the Strong Man.It reminded me ofFunny Girlwhen Fanny joins The Zeigfeld Follies and pretends to be pregnant.

The reverse.You're hilarious

You can laughwithme but notatme.Same dynamic - delighted me.

That's amazing.

Since Younger Ether Darling meant wearing a beard  - did you have any concerns about,vanity-wise?That's gotta be tough.

I understudied Madame Morrible inWicked.I have often had to play crazy things.I did my research on actual bearded women and had an idea of what it would be.I will tell you that very quickly it became something I felt was beautiful.Even the reaction of the crew guys.It was very very sweet.'I don't know how you're doing it but you're making that beard look real cute.'

I also have to pluck chin hairs in real life every single day so it's an extension of my phobia.It was great to go and work out my demons and then come back to the mirror and take care of business.[Laughs] Too much tesosterone?

And here you are with too much testosterone again inMagic Mike XXL

Everyone onMagic Mikewas AWESOME.The girls they hired - we all hung out.It's so funny,all the guys have babies.They're playing these strippers and then go home to these itty bitties.They were so kind and considerate.That comes from the top.Channing Tatum.He sets the tone.It could have been a boys club and it wasn't that at all.They were so sweet to all the girls.

I love the first movie.

I'm a little bit obsessed with it.I watch it every time it's on -- hopefully people will say that about the second one!And then of course I went and sawFoxcatcher.[Channing] is the real deal.He breaks my heart quite honestly.I love that he's so vulnerable but looks like he does.He's a dude but able to dothat?

What advice would you give actors looking for some kind of breakthrough?

Shake up your idea of how you think it's going to go down becauses it can come at you from any direction.I didn't work for a year.I'm part of a theater company and I'm involved there.And I go and read new plays.It keeps my chops up.It keeps the energy out there.

So when something comes my way I'm not like [panicky]"OH MY GOD.I haven't auditioned in so long."No!You're job is to find a way to do it no matter what.

Did you enjoy this episode?You can follow Kathy Deitch onTwitterandInstagram.Feel free to suggest lesser known players for this series when they wow you onscreen."American Horror Story: Freakshow"airs Wednesday nights at 10 pm on FX."Magic Mike XXL"arrives in theaters everywhere July 1st,2015

Previously on Quick Impressions:"Nervous Intern"Gone Girland"Madame Frou-Frou"The Boxtrolls

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Reader Comments (3)

She seems like a lot of fun,great interview.

December 17,2014 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

If it's already been suggested,I apologize,but it would be great to hear from the Flamenco Teacher from "Happy-Go-Lucky."

December 18,2014 | Unregistered CommenterJS

She's gives good interview.

January 8,2015 | Unregistered CommenterTy

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