With every season of American Horror Story, there is always one character that is done so well that they become the most memorable character from the season. With Murder House, it was the Rubber Man. With Freakshow, it was Twisty the Clown. With Asylum, it was Bloodyface. With the fifth season, hotel, next to Lady Gaga’s The Countess, it was Liz Taylor.
Liz Taylor was portrayed by AHS showrunner, Denis O’Hare and he gave a stunning performance.
There will always be controversy when playing a transgender role, either if the actor is transgendered or if the actor is CIS. But O’Hares performance had none of that. Liz identifies herself as a woman and never deviates from that. She is not the stereotypical transgender woman story you see too many times in cinema, but Liz is none of that. She has her own eccentric style and is self confident of herself. She doesn’t want to have the surgery and doesn’t take hormones for herself.
Her story starts off as unhappy man that only married his wife because they were the same dress size. When he is staying in the hotel, the countess catches him and acknowledges that he is a woman and all he needs to let her be free. The scene that plays out is heart wrenching as Liz starts walking in the hallway in makeup, jewels, nightgown and a fur coat, feeling both naked and elated in the freedom she feels. Liz also states that she is not gay and that she is woman.
Liz is also kind, she comforted Iris (Kathy Bates) when she is overwhelmed by some rude guests, she was loyal to the Countess (until he betrays her) and made Donovan (Matt Bomer) see what a cruel person he has been to his mother. She also takes over the Hotel Cortez with Iris, keeping watch over the ghosts and when she is diagnosed with cancer, she wants to die there with her friends and family, who are adamant that they can’t just murder her since they have grown so fond of her.
The writers of American Horror Story has created Liz so well, showing with great respect of this transgendered character and O’Hare gave such life to his character.