Of all the patients/inmates on American Horror Story, Pepper the pinhead has definitely been the breakout fan favorite. From the very first episode of the season, in which she introduced us to the asylum with her creepy little “play with me!” dance, to her participation in this week’s epic dance number, to her character’s more recent, um, developments (no spoilers!), she has peed and danced her merry way into all our hearts. But who is the actress responsible for bringing Pepper to life? Is she really a microcephalic, or is it makeup? Has she been in anything else of note? Here are five facts about Naomi Grossman, the actress tasked with playing Briarcliff’s most lovable “freak.”
1.She does not actually have microcephaly, the medical condition afflicting her character. This is what she looks like normally.
2.She's (probably) never been in anything you've heard of before, with the notable exception of a 1998 episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, in which she played a cheerleader. But that doesn't mean she's not super great! She's primarily a comedian; check out some of her other work at NaomiGrossman.net.
3.She really did shave her head for the role; here she is wearing a look I can only describe as "sexy Pepper."
4.It takes two guys two and a half to three hours to completely apply all of her Pepper makeup.
5.She's pretty excited about all the positive fan attention Pepper has been getting.
"I was surprised along with everyone," she told The Huffington Post. "You can't plan on what the audience is going to react to or what's going to resonate with them. There's just no way of knowing. I think it's incredible people are so fired up over Pepper when over eight episodes, she only said six words! [Laughs.] To get all this fan art and attention after six words, it's really something."
Could this be her breakout role? Perhaps! PEPPER FOR PRESIDENT.