Interview with Shelby Young

Shelby Young has appeared in several movies and television series. Most recently she plays the character of Leah on the FX series “American Horror Story”. Shelby was nice enough to take time out of her schedule to talk with Media Mikes about the show and some of her other work.

Adam Lawton: What initially prompted you to get into acting?
SY: When I was younger I did this pageant with my mom. There happened to be a modeling agent there who was interested in me. I started doing modeling and commercials around Florida which is where I am from originally. I must have at some point gone to my Mom and told her I wasn’t getting enough dialogue in the commercials. When we moved out to New York I started doing some theater and indie films. We moved out to Los Angeles when I was 13 and things have gone from there.

AL: Can you tell us about your character on “American Horror Story”?
SY: When you first see my character Leah she is the leader of the mean girls at Violet’s school. She and Violet have a run in and Leah automatically doesn’t like her. The two end up fighting one another and to get Leah back Violet lures her back to her house where she is attacked by a demon type character. After the attack Leah becomes a completely different person. Leah is a little freaked out and not as mean. She has also noticed her hair has begun to turn white.

AL: What was it about the role that appealed to you?
SY: I love dark and gritty projects. When I read the script for the show I had to be a part of it! When I found out I got the role I completely freaked out. The show is just so well written and there is nothing else on television like it.

AL: What was your impression from reading the first script?
SY: I love Ryan Murphy’s other work. I am a huge “Glee” fan which is completely different from “American Horror Story”. I knew in Ryan’s hands this show was going to be amazing. The script just really jumped out at me and I didn’t want to put it down.

AL: Were you a fan of the horror genre prior to working on the show?
SY: Yes definitely! Even though I say this I generally end up watching them with my eyes closed for half the movie. (Laughs) I love the feeling of being scared.

AL: How has it been working with the rest of the cast?
SY: Everyone is amazing. I have work mostly with Evan Peters and Taissa Farmiga who are both really talented. Working with them has been fantastic and I am glad I have got to know them.

AL: Will we be seeing more of your character in the coming episodes?
SY: I can’t say anything about that as I don’t want to give anything away.

AL: You also have done some film work as well as voice over work. Is there that stands out as a favorite for you?
SY: I love film a lot and I would like for my career to go in that direction but, then you have something come along like “American Horror Story” that is so fantastic. Each episode is like a mini movie. I would be very content being a lead on a show like “American Horror Story”. Voice work is something fun for me to do on the side. For me the work is a little easier. I enjoy doing the funny voices.

AL: Do you have any other upcoming projects you can tell us about?
SY: I don’t have anything I can tell you about just yet. I have a few interesting projects I am waiting to hear back on but I don’t want to jinx it by giving too much away.


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