When it comes to directing Lourd in this particular episode, Brown couldn’t be happier it was her to help the actress through it. The two previously worked together on Scream Queens, where Brown helmed five episodes during its two seasons. The two have since grown closer off-screen as Lourd has dealt with the back-to-back deaths of her mother, Carrie Fisher, and grandmother, Debbie Reynolds. “It was such a challenging episode for her as an actress and also as a human being with what she’s gone through in the past six months,” Brown says, referring to filming over the summer, adding that it was nice that the two had that previous experience and trust in each other. “We are close and gotten closer with all those things happening in her personal life. But we just talked every step of the way. She knew I would never ask her to do anything [she was uncomfortable with].”
As for Brown, the episode marks her first time helming an installment of American Horror Story, after transitioning from script supervising (on multiple Murphy series) to directing. With the help of Murphy, she got her break directing Glee and will soon be directing an episode of 9-1-1, his new FOX series starring Angela Bassett, Peter Krause and Connie Britton. “I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor,” she says, while also celebrating the TV producer’s Half Initiative, which aims to increase diversity behind the camera and has helped place Brown with mentees onset. “Here, I very quickly kind of give back. You have a chance to help somebody -- give somebody an opportunity. Shadowing has gotten much bigger now and it’s just great to have these mentees. As the program continues, we’ll get to keep participating in Ryan’s mission of creating a more diverse DGA.”
American Horror Story: Cult airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.