Dylan McDermott Talks 'AHS' Return & Sarah Paulson's Directorial Debut in 'Apocalypse' (Exclusive)
By Desiree Murphy
"I'm Constance Langdon and this is my f**king house."
American Horror Story:Apocalypsefans were in for a treat Wednesday night, with the return of original fan-favorites like Jessica Lange, who fantastically reprised her iconic Murder House role. Episode six's "Return to Murder House," which marked Sarah Paulson's directorial debut, also brought back season one's Harmon family -- Ben (Dylan McDermott), Vivien (Connie Britton) and Violet (Taissa Farmiga). With the help of Constance, they explained to Coven's Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) who the new Supreme, Michael Langdon (Cody Fern), really is, and why everyone at Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies should watch out for his extremely dark powers.
ET spoke with McDermott over the phone early Thursday, who filled us in on what it was like being back on the AHS set for the first time since 2011's Murder House and 2012's Asylum. He also shared his personal thoughts on the episode, including that epic opening line from Lange.
"Jessica is such a force of nature," McDermott, 56, marveled. "She's so strong, so solid. And in many ways, it is her house. She's a powerhouse, she really is. She has such truth about her."
"I always enjoying acting with her," he added. "I learn so much."
Like many longtime AHS fans, McDermott is personally invested in the Murder House/Coven crossover, but admitted he didn't get a chance to watch Wednesday's new episode just yet. "I can't wait to see it! I was busy last night so I wasn't able to watch. But I've heard it was a real tearjerker..."
He's, of course, referring to the scene where his character is seen staring out the window, crying while masturbating, a genius callback to the very first episode of American Horror Story.
"I thought it was hilarious," McDermott said of creator Ryan Murphy's decision to recreate that moment for his character. "It was so fun. The fact that Ben is in this hell and he has to do this every day, at a certain time, I think is so funny. It's so strange, it's so great. He's trapped in this hell, and he's in that house still. He's still in the house! It's been all this time and his penance is so heavy. Just the fact that he has to do that all the time, and he's in the house forever. Ugh!"
McDermott told ET he first heard about the crossover news from Murphy himself. And when it came to deciding whether he'd be open to reprising his role of Dr. Ben Harmon, there was absolutely no hesitation. "I've been talking to Ryan for years. We're friends and I knew that this was going to happen," he explained. "I'm so happy that people are pleased with it, and that it's getting great reaction. I think it's so satisfying for all the fans who have been here since the beginning."
"Whenever Ryan asks me to do something, I always say yes," he added. "Because he's the s**t. He's the best producer in Hollywood. He knows exactly what he's doing, he makes the greatest shows. I love his content and his style. I just think he's a genius."
McDermott also admitted that he actually missed playing the role of Ben, whom he calls "the worst psychiatrist in the world."
"I just love to play this guy that is so terrible at what he does and so convincing at the same time," he said. "It's so hilarious to me. There's so much humor in the show. I hope that people get it, but Ben doesn't actually help anybody. He's just not good at what he does, and I love that part of him. So going back and being in that psychiatrist chair again... that's what I missed about him."
Plus, being able to reunite with Paulson, Britton and Lange was "like a homecoming," McDermott said.
"We were in the same house, some of the crew members were the same, so it really was like we never left," he continued. "It really felt that way. It was beautiful. You don't get to have that too much in a career, where you actually go back and play a character, especially after seven years."
McDermott told us that part of the reason why the experience was so great was thanks to Paulson being such an amazing director. "She was phenomenal," he raved. "She made everyone feel at ease and comfortable. She's such a great actress, so she knows exactly what to say, but also what not to say."
"She knows when to push you, when to help you and when to leave you alone," he continued. "That's why actors are often great directors. She has that built in already, and I really appreciated that about her. She's also very encouraging and makes it easy. I can't say enough about her. I really enjoyed working with her, and I think she has a career as a director waiting for her."
Another co-star McDermott had nothing but amazing things to say about was Fern. Though he plays the most wicked character of them all this season, McDermott said there's nothing evil about the 30-year-old actor in real life.
"He is such a lovely guy!" McDermott shared. "He is so dedicated to the work. He's an actor's actor. He's completely present and thorough. The kid has a huge career waiting for him."
Before we let McDermott go, we, of course, had to ask him about the fate of Tate (Evan Peters) and Violet's relationship. As fans discovered at the end of the episode, the two are back together... but does he think their love will last this time around?
"Oh, boy. I don't know," McDermott confessed. "I mean, it's one of their relationships where you ask, 'Is it love, or is it addiction? Is it toxic, is it real love?' There's just so many unanswered questions about those two."
"I know in the first season that people really loved them together, but at the same time, Tate is a psychopath," he joked. "So, it's not so easy."
McDermott confirmed to ET that "Return to Murder House" is the only Apocalypse episode he'll appear in. However, fans can catch him in another Murphy project, The Politician, soon. The political satire is set to premiere next year on Netflix, and McDermott is currently hard at work training for the role.
"This is why Ryan is such a genius. The writing for this is so good," he teased. "My character, I love playing this guy. Wait 'til you see what goes on with him. The writing is phenomenal."
American Horror Story: Apocalypse airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.