‘American Horror Stories’: Billie Lourd on Liv’s Demon-Banishing Ritual Scene

“We shot that scene at 3 a.m., and I was almost as delusional as my character was,” the actress tells TheWrap

AHS American Horror Story Billie Lourd
FX on Hulu

(Warning: This post contains spoilers for “American Horror Stories” Episode 5, “Ba’al.”)

“American Horror Story” franchise veteran Billie Lourd has played everything from a liberal college student turned cult member to a ghost to a Manson family member. And now for the fifth episode of FX on Hulu’s thriller (which was released Thursday), she plays Liv Whitley, a woman desperate to be pregnant and have a baby, after five failed rounds of IVF.

But, of course, no story in the “American Horror Story” universe can stop right there. So as the episode continues, Liv takes a creepy little demon statue from the fertility clinic’s receptionist, Bernadette (Virginia Gardner), to put under her bed while she and her husband, Matt (Ronen Rubinstein), are being intimate in hopes that a little magic might help along conception.

Does it work? Yes! But, at a cost — Liv starts seeing the demon in her baby monitor and hearing strange noises and voices in her house. Eventually, she decides to perform a ritual to get rid of the little devil, but in doing so, she ends up accidentally stabbing Matt with the ritual dagger. And a couple of weeks later, she’s in a mental hospital.

In the episode’s first twist, we learn that it was actually Matt and his high-school friends working together to gaslight Liv with costumes, hallucination-inducing drugs and special effects into thinking the demon (Ba’al) was real so he could divorce her and take her money. But turns out, the demon is real and — per Liv’s orders — murders Matt’s friends, landing him in prison, while Liv promises to release the demon if it can give her another baby.

TheWrap interviewed Lourd via email about the episode and its twists upon twists, which you can read below.

TheWrap: You became a new mom this fall — congrats! So how did you bring in your own experiences as a new mother into this storyline and character?

Billie Lourd: Any moms out there know having a baby is full of ups and downs. It is extremely exhausting but also the most incredible experience in the world. I thankfully have never seen demons in my baby monitor, but my experience as a mom definitely gave me insight into how delusional sleep deprivation can make you feel. 

Can you talk about what it was like shooting the ritual and stabbing scene?

We shot that scene at 3 a.m. and I was almost as delusional as my character was. I had woken up at 5 a.m. with my real life baby and reciting all that Latin after being awake for 22+ hours was no joke (reciting Latin on a normal amount of sleep is no joke). 

What was your reaction to the first twist and finding out that your character’s husband was in on the chaos?

It was shocking and deeply devastating! Liv and Matt had gone through so much together and he seemed like he was the ultimate supportive husband but that was obviously NOT the case. 

And we end on a bit of a cliffhanger. Do you think your character gets Ba’al to give her another baby? What’s next for her?

I think Liv is the ultimate girl boss (as the kids say) and will make anything she wants happen for her. I think she definitely gets Ba’al to give her that second baby! 

Did you have a way to remember the spells you had to recite?

I recorded the Latin spells on my phone and listened to them on the way to work and when I had downtime on set and repeated them out loud religiously. I’ve had to recite Latin multiple times on “AHS” now and it never gets easier! 

We know you’re going to be in “AHS: Double Feature.” Is there anything you can tell us about the season?

As always, I am sworn to secrecy and will be arrested by the “AHS” police if I reveal any secrets!!! 

New episodes of “American Horror Stories” will premiere Thursdays on FX on Hulu.


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