Hey guys! I did an AMA a few years ago and am back to answer more of your questions. Victoria's helping me out today over the phone.

You can follow me on

Let's open this up for questions!


Update - Well, thank you for your questions! I would be NOWHERE without my fan's support, so I am incredibly indebted. It takes more than two to tango, in this game of Hollywood, and I appreciate your support. I mean, you guys really made me. So I'm incredibly indebted to you guys. And I would LOVE to come back and do this again sometime.

Comments: 91 • Responses: 22  • Date: 

gramturismo30 karma

Hey Naomi, I found this picture from imdb really looked cool so I painted it:


What show is this from?

naomigrossman22 karma

That was - while we were shooting ASYLUM, my agent at the time said "You have this really fierce haircut, we should get some photos of you rocking it." Cuz the fact is - before that, I always had this very conservative bob, my entire life, and the show provided me a wig, so that I could continue my life, and not NEED to get new pictures necessarily, but this opened up a category for me as an actress - I could suddenly play a "punk rock chick" or a "Hare Krishna."

So that was basically my agent and I trying to get more work. With me having this new haircut, and all the roles it opened me up to.

thebig3517 karma

I love the character Pepper! What is it like working on a show like AHS?

naomigrossman19 karma

It was really inspiring.

I mean, I'm surrounded onset by... so many consummate professionals, working at the top of their game. Everyone from MAJOR A-listers to Emmy-winning hair & makeup & wardrobe teams on these spectacular sets that basically belong in galleries.

It's really inspiring working around SO many people that are SO good at what they do, and they care so much for the end product.

cam_9713 karma

How would you feel about returning to AHS for Season 5 as a character other than Pepper? We would love to see you try something new!

naomigrossman30 karma

I would love that. I mean, I can't imagine an actress that wouldn't like that. Except maybe Jessica Lange, and that's because she's had such an awesome career behind her- I don't blame her for wanting to see her grandkids once in a while! What grandma doesn't want to see her grandkids, haha?

But I don't have grandkids. So yea, I'd love that.

I think - the other actors on AHS get to play other characters, so why can't I? It would be an interesting move, to actually see my own face, and maybe even hair! That would be awesome!

I think they've done a really good job of wrapping up Pepper's story. So i personally don't feel like there are a bunch of loose ends to be tied up. Don't get me wrong- I could do Pepper FOREVER, and I think it would be hilarious to see her knock on the door and call out 'Housekeeping' at the hotel - but I think it would be time for me to do something new on AHS!

ExtraAndroid12 karma

What's the funniest blooper you can remember from filming?

naomigrossman25 karma


I have to say. For being sort've the..."class clown" on set... I would say I am not one to do bloopers. I know this specifically because I have a friend who's in post-production, he's one of the editors. And when they were putting together the blooper reel for one of our wrap parties, he said point-blank "You're not in this at all."

So that's the little overachiever in me - the little go-getter, Northwestern alum who doesn't do bloopers, haha!

But off-set, biggest blooper... gosh... I don't even KNOW!

I don't know. I think Pepper got her period once, like I don't know! Nothing that doesn't just happen in life.

naomigrossman34 karma

It's just one of those things.

You can't hide that from wardrobe.

I will say I was EXTREMELY accident prone, especially this last season. There were 3 epic accidents.

The first was HORRIBLY embarrassing. I'm embarrassed to even tell you this story.

They were calling us to set, and I was in the little transportation-van to go to set, and I realized I'd forgotten my phone.

And NORMALLY, I wouldn't be so tethered to my iPhone - who cares? But when we work, it's 12 hour days. So for me to not have communication for 12 hours, that's a REALLY long time. And I'm sure plenty of other people can relate.

So i JUMPED out of the transportation van, and landed on my ankle.

And it was baddddd. And of course, I had to pretend it was "no big deal" because I didn't want them to write me out, the fact was I was completely lame. I COULD NOT WALK. I was actually out for a full week, and I played it off like it was nothing, but it was something. I almost broke my ankle, and it was because i was such an idiot - I couldn't go without my phone.

That was the first.

The second was when I could finally WALK again, I came back to work, and in the scene where we're all chopping up the cop in the Louisiana swamp... I got eaten alive by chiggers.

People from the South will know that these horrible little insects will leave your legs- like, I swear I was a wreck. And it didn't happen to anyone else!

THEY LOVED THE PEPPER! Nobody else got eaten by them! Just me! And at some point, I will follow up this with a photo tweet of my legs, and you will throw up in your mouth.

SO AWFUL. So I had to spend the rest of Louisiana wearing full-length dresses. I looked ridiculous. But I could not show my legs.

The third was when I was on-set, and it was a scene that Jessica did, where she basically shoved me and Salty, and because I'm a whole lot lighter than I look in the fatsuit, I actually went FLYING and basically scabbed my knee - hard. I got thrown to the ground, totally accidentally of course, and actually, she did break character a good 45 seconds later as I was correcting myself, and even asked "Are you okay" And I was like YES YES! Keep going! You're killing it in this scene!

But afterwards, I had this bloody knee, and I was thinking to myself I hope this scars so I have a scar for life, and can point it out as a memory of Jessica forever.

Anyway, needless to say, I had THE UGLIEST legs for Hollywood for that premiere.

Between the bloody knee, messed-up legs, and elephantitis ankle, I was a hot mess from knees down.

So those would be my bloopers. All off-screen thankfully. But that's not to say I don't have bloopers. I just don't let them happen when cameras are rolling.

Seraph_Grymm8 karma

Pepper is a truly unique character being the only character to cross over seasons in AHS, that's got to be exciting!

Of course American Horror Story gave you loads of attention, but you've been in lots of other things. Do you have any plans in other projects? Where do you see yourself going after AHS (maybe improv, or back to short films )?

naomigrossman14 karma

I hope not, hahaha, back to short films! Because short films were just a means to an end for me. That was, like I said before, I wasn't getting cast, so I decided to cast myself, and take my career in my own hands. Now that it's in other people's hands, I quite enjoy it. I much prefer being in other people's projects, and more with their budget, which is more than mine.

I'm a new believer in not micro-managing the universe here. For the longest time, I thought SNL was going to be my breakout show. And it's AHS. Still an acronym, but different letters!

So at this point - listen. If Lorne Michaels is on AMA right now - I am still available and would love to be on his show.

But the fact is - I think we hone our craft, and we put it out there, but we don't necessarily need to get attached to the results.

I'd love to do that, but I'm also kind of over that. If SNL never calls - that's alright! AHS will!

I mean, the fact is, it's working out for me. AHS is an amazing show, arguably better than SNL - again, no offense Lorne, but you need to cast me already, haha!

BreckensMama5 karma

Have you ever been truly creeped out by a set/prop/scene?

naomigrossman18 karma


I've got a pretty high tolerance for creepiness.

But yes, I would say the sets are immaculate. And so yeah, the spiral staircase in ASYLUM? Was really creepy.

The trailers in FREAK SHOW - also, really, really creepy.

My dad's an architect. And he came with me once to the ASYLUM set, and he was BLOWN AWAY with the craftsmanship, the way they were able to create these sets that looked like actual asylums from the 1960's.

And yet, it was all in a soundstage, and they tear it all down.

And it was amazing to be on the FREAK SHOW set, and wander around a corner, and they built a little "Briar Cliffs" corner just for me, for the Orphans episode... you can imagine the flood of emotion and memories as I walk on and think OH! There it is! That was back at Paramount in Los Angeles, and now we're here in New Orleans!

They are - I can't say enough - how immaculate the art direction is on that show.

They actually padded one of the walls so that in "Orphan" I could REALLY bang my head against the walls without giving myself a concussion.

That's really awesome, that they would think to do that!

kbslasher885 karma

How did you feel when Ryan Murphy asked you to be the first character to reprise a role between seasons?

naomigrossman12 karma

Well, it didn't come out like that. Basically, there was a rumor that I'd be back. And then there was a rumor that I would be back as Pepper. When we were in New Orleans, I was in the makeup trailer, and I remember hearing Ryan say "So... what do you thinking? are you playing Pepper? Or another Pinhead?" and I remember thinking Gosh, you're the boss, you tell me! We should probably decide this now before we start shooting.

I think that initially there was the concert that if I played the same character, that it wouldn't be a miniseries. Which would take them out of any contention, as a miniseries. So that's why, I think, initially if you watch the first couple episodes of FREAK SHOW, they don't actually call us by name. They refer to us as "the humorous Pinheads." I think later on - it was clear that i was Pepper- this is my face, I can't change my face, hahah - and they used the same prosthetics as last time. If they wanted a different Pinhead, they would have to cast someone else.

So no, there was never that conversation, "Would you like to come back as the first returning character." It just happened to me.

chapel444 karma

How awesome is Jessica Lange?

naomigrossman10 karma

EXTREMELY, she's such a force! She's a legend. I am so blessed to have been able to work with her.

She's a total inspiration. Every day on set is like a master class that i get paid to attend.

princepoopypants3 karma

I watched you on Halloween Wars. Do they tell their guests to remind the audience numerous times who they are and why their famous?

naomigrossman4 karma

HAHAHA! You know, I've not even watched it, so I gotta watch it now and see what you're talking about! No, no they don't, to my knowledge. But I don't recall them asking us to do that.

They do kinda want you to constantly tie your judgements back to your own experience? So for example, if you're gonna say "As a HORROR ICON, I think..." that is something they encourage us to do.

So that is true.

I remember having a very difficult time doing that, because every creation they made, looked like some sort of phallic or generally obscene thing to me, haha? And I remember just blurting whatever out I saw, and kinda getting in trouble for it - not actual trouble, but thinking "Shoot! I hope they have something they can use here!"

Because I was obviously entertaining the crew, and kinda pissing off the contestants... but what's really important is that the network has something to use, and I'm not sure if they did.

lightning_falls3 karma

Hey! Just started binge watching American Horror Story, I need more of this! Are you going to be involved with the next season at all?

naomigrossman7 karma

I can't say! I don't know.

I know as much as anyone else does. I hope so! I read the posts just like everybody else. I know about Gaga, and Boehmer, and Bentley, and I hope to be one of 'em.

naomigrossman7 karma

If I suddenly just stop tweeting, and no one knows where I am, that's probably a good indication. So follow me on Twitter, and find out.

scottmcb-2 karma

Hi Naomi,

My question is do you collect anything?


Some guy in Australia.

naomigrossman4 karma

Clothes, hahahahah!

I don't.

I pride myself on being a minimalist. Although you walk into my bedroom, and it's quite the actress boudoir.

I have a wig... a shoe... for EVERY occasion. If you want a yellow skirt with fringe- I'll just ask how short, hahahaha!

That's how obnoxious my wardrobe is.

It's like a wardrobe department.

handsomelamp2 karma

Hi! I have to say it was kind of great finding out more of Pepper's backstory in Freak Show. My question to you is did anything you learned about her surprise you? And did you learn anything about Pepper that didn't make it to our screens?

naomigrossman5 karma


Yeah! Lots of surprises. I didn't actually know that Salty was my husband until that episode?

So I'd been playing him like he was my brother all along - and then BAM! We're falling in love, and getting married, and I'm mourning his death - so that was a surprise. Fortunately - their love transcended sex, which gave me an out. That'll be my excuse...

Honestly, I think I surprise myself playing her?

And I think I surprised the crew, and hopefully the audience.

I hadn't had a chance to cry on cue. At least, not since acting class thousands of years ago. And for me to all of a sudden get to use my instrument, and exercise my dramatic muscles - that was very exciting for me. I think deep down I knew I could do it, but I didn't have the opportunity.

I mean, Jessica Lange gets to cry every day - and she can just turn it on, like a sink. And I don't get to do that. So it was sort've an experiment for me, and it worked out!

highonnoopept2 karma

What kind of research did you do on microcephalics before playing Pepper?

naomigrossman4 karma

I watched FREAKS on a loop, practically all summer, leading up to ASYLUM. I really studied Schlitzie's movements. In addition to that, I read a lot about microcephalia. And I'm pretty sure i even saw someone with the condition with my own eyes. I was sitting in a movie theater, and someone with an itty-bitty head came and sat in front to me, and so I was worried that they might have recognized me - so I didn't want to stare, but of course I really wanted to stare, because this was like research that had been gifted to me! Within my reach!

And of course, I'm at the movies, so where else am I going to look except in front of me?

I don't feel that was a coincidence. I think that was a gift.

Krazie_Korie2 karma

How is the progress coming along on your book? You mentioned that possible future project. I can't remember if it was during the Q&A at the Victoria Comic Con (Texas, Jan of this year) or at the little party that Saturday night. BTW - I was the one that seemed to pop-up at every event that weekend. (VIP Dinner Friday night, Saturday night party) LOL

naomigrossman4 karma


There is no book.

I'd like to write a book. At this point, I don't have time to answer emails, so I don't see a book happening in my IMMEDIATE future. But I have written 2 solo shows, as I mentioned before - and I do love to write, I've been told I'm a better writer than an actor - so thanks for the reminder! Because I do feel like I need to write a book at some point.

But it's not really happening right now.

I'm one of these like "adventurer-seeker" people... I totally go out of my way to have adventures. Often they go HORRIBLY astray, or awry, I should say. And yet I just want to see how the story ends. I'm VERY guilty of this. People invite me to their parties, just because they know I'll have a story to share!

And yeah, it's always an adventure. I should commit them to the page.

They're being wasted at cocktail parties.

jonemillard2 karma

Hey Naomi,

To you, what has been the most shocking thing to happen on American Horror Story?

naomigrossman3 karma


You know, that show is like a well-oiled machine, so there aren't that many surprises on-set. We sorta know everything that's gonna happen.


I almost lost my cookies on that wheel? They happened to serve crawfish - I mean, it's New Orleans! How am I not gonna eat the crawfish!!?!

And then I had to go directly to the "Wheel of Death" which was almost the death of me.

Honestly, I was really concerned.

Talk about bloopers.

There was NO WAY to prepare for that.

AGallagher4101 karma

What's your favorite ride in Disney?

naomigrossman6 karma

I'm not a huge Disney person?

I like all rides. Pfbbbt.I'm thinking Pirates of the Caribbean, because it's the only one I can even think of? Matterhorn? I like roller coasters. I like to be scared.

Sorry, that was a bad answer.

Bentumbo1 karma

Who has been your favorite actor/actress to work with?

naomigrossman10 karma

Oh, that's so UNFAIR. I can't possibly choose favorites!

I'd say everyone is special to me in their own way. I think Sarah Paulson is absolutely HILARIOUS - the fact that she's known as a tremendous dramatic actress is just incredible, because she's actually one of the most hilarious comediennes, and you'd never know that! Angela Bassett is like my homegirl - I LOVE her. I grew up with her reading The Velveteen Rabbit. There's nobody I would rather have comfort me than her. I find Jessica to be SO outstanding and so inspiring as an actress - she just gives so much. She makes your job in a scene incredibly easy...

I would say... working with some of the Freaks - Matt Frazer, who has little flippers, or Rose, as Susie... I was surrounded by these really extraordinary artists last season. From the big A-listers to the lesser-known for-lack-of-a-better-word "freaks" - we were like a family. Nobody was better than anybody else. Oftentimes, there's a hierarchy on a set, but we were like a family.

We were at our premier party - and I SWEAR - Kathy Bates was more excited to see the Freaks than they were to see her! And that's awesome.

So I don't have a favorite. I love them all.

[deleted]0 karma


naomigrossman4 karma


My favorite burger is a blue cheese burger, but with crumble. So don't give me dressing on a burger, that's BULL!

And no, I didn't expect this. I thought it was a glorified extra role. So when they asked me to shave my head, I said "wait a second" - I mean, why would they cast me, if they're putting Chloe Sevengy in the guest roles? I could only conjecture it was a tiny, throwaway part. I didn't imagine the "Pepper for President" campaign, or the tattoos on fan limbs, much less a second season out of it!

And happy birthday!

oreesama-2 karma

you should prob flag your website as NSFW.

All in all, my question is how did you go about your career?

naomigrossman10 karma


Well, I would say... there is some content on my site that's a little sexy, that I'm totally unapologetic for! That's just who I am. I've got a little sense of humor that goes a little blue every now and then, so maybe be careful what you google at work?

I took a very unorthodox path. As a child, I was always very involved in the arts - my parents were very good about exposing me to the arts, to theater, ballet, opera - so I got involved at about the age of 9 in children's theater in Denver, CO. And pretty soon I was doing regional commercials, the Father Dowling Mysteries (I'm probably dating myself), basically any sort of TV that came out of Denver, I had my hands in... I got my SAG card on my 15th birthday - kinda ironic, because I did all these very adult-like things as a kid, and as an adult, I did very childlike things - and then from there, I was a theater major at Northwestern University, survived 4 winters in Chicago and got the HELL out - I love Chicago, I just don't think it's livable - and moved to Los Angeles, where I pretty much found zero success for a while.

I auditioned, and did the whole "aspiring actress" thing, but I didn't have a whole lot of luck. And I think a lot of that is because i was such an extreme character- and so I just wasn't auditioning for roles LIKE Pepper. I was getting wallflower, "nurse 4 to the left" type roles which frankly, I'm not.

So I wasn't getting cast, I was getting VERY very frustrated. There was no question that was what i wanted to do, but Hollywood didn't seem to be agreeing with me.

So in order to keep the passion alive & stay in the game, I started writing some of my own material. And I came up with 2 shows, and HUNDREDS of sketches - I performed quite a while at the Groundlings.

And that's really been my secret to success - just staying in the game and keeping the passion alive. I really had to do that myself. I created many of my own opportunities. I mean, let's face it - I haven't been cast a whole lot. I did happen to get cast on one of the hottest shows on TV right now, but before that, I was pretty much just casting myself.

So if you look at my resume, you'll see lots of self-produced work, all of which I am very proud. Like my one-woman shows - those are something only I can take credit for.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY is so awesome, but it's awesome because there's hundreds of thousands of awesome people working on it, and a spectacular budget behind it - whereas my solo shows, my YouTube shorts, those were paid by my teeny budget, with my little brain. So I'm really proud of that.

That's all me. And nobody else can say that.

oreesama0 karma

i don't mind the sexy content, but some people might thus my suggestion for NSFW.

Your story is pretty interesting, but it bough me one question to mind if you don't mind me asking again.

What kind of people would you like to act with from american horror story if you had the oportunity to? doesn't have to be same kind of show BTW

lol someone keeps downvoting me because of my initial question

naomigrossman2 karma


I would love to see Jessica Lange in a comedy. I can't imagine....

Shoot. What about Emma Roberts on a scream queen? Between my comedic background and my horror following, I think that's a no-brainer (but of course, I'm a pinhead...) - I mean, listen, I would LOVE - I could see myself having a sex scene with Matt Bomer next season, and Gaga could watch, I don't know!

It would never happen, but I really - in my wildest dreams - Pepper has a talk show, and really doesn't say anything - because she's not really a wordsmith, but she sits there on the sofa, and her guests come, and just sit there to be awkward.

It'll never happen - so we can't realize that vision - but a girl can dream.