×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘AHS’ Star Adina Porter on Bringing Personal Experience to ‘Apocalypse’s’ Voodoo

When Adina Porter first signed on to “American Horror Story: Apocalypse,” she was told her character, Dinah Stevens, was a “self-made billionaire like Oprah.” And while that certainly proved to be true — Dinah was a wildly successful talk show host before the events that led to the end of the world and her taking refuge in the Outpost 3 bunker — it was just one layer to a complicated woman.

“Dinah is a chameleon and she becomes whoever she needs to become for whoever her employer happens to be, whether it’s a rich Beverly Hills socialite or Papa Legba,” Porter tells Variety.

The seventh episode of “Apocalypse,” titled “Traitor,” revealed that Dinah’s drive came heavily from her roots as a voodoo priestess.

Porter says she learned her character would have magic within her while she was shooting the first episode of the season and was soon after told to watch all of the “Coven” season to get a better idea of the magic with which they would be playing. Voodoo was introduced there through characters such as Papa Legba (Lance Reddick), who returned for a guest appearance in “Traitor,” but Porter didn’t want to just copy what Reddick had done in the earlier season of “Horror Story.”

“With ‘Coven,’ the witches all have their different powers and different spells and there’s not one way to be a witch. So I wanted the voodoo queens to also have that same flexibility,” she explains.

Porter, whose father is from Sierra Leone, has spent a lot of time traveling around Haiti and West Africa and has been to many voodoo ceremonies herself. Drawing on personal experience was imperative for her in formulating Dinah’s own rituals.

“Voodoo is a religion, it’s not something that just comes out at Halloween time,” Porter says. “There’s not just one way to be a voodoo priestess. … A voodoo ceremony in Haiti was different…than a voodoo ceremony in Nigeria, than one in South Central.”

While Porter notes that “voodoo came to New Orleans from the slaves coming from Africa,” she decided Dinah’s connection to voodoo would be older than New Orleans because “I was told that Dinah and her energy and her spirit is old.”

Porter admits she and Reddick didn’t have to do anything special in preparation ahead of the scenes to combine their takes on voodoo. She simply “felt the freedom” to carry out her version because of her experience and trusted the process on set.

Similarly, Porter says the freedom of immersing herself in a completely new character for each season of “Horror Story” excites her more than trying to find parallels between them.

“I want to reveal different parts of myself for people when they’re watching, to forget that’s also the same person who played Beverly Hope [in ‘Cult’], that’s also the same person who played Lettie Mae in ‘True Blood,’ and that’s also Indra from ‘The 100,'” Porter says. “I want [Dinah] to be completely her own person.”

American Horror Story: Apocalypse” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

More TV

  • BBC Orders Spoof Talk Show Fronted

    Spoof Talk Show Fronted by an Animated Vladimir Putin Coming to the BBC

    The BBC will air a spoof talk-show fronted by an animated Vladimir Putin. The U.K. pubcaster has ordered two pilot episodes of “Tonight with Vladimir Putin,” a semi-scripted talk show hosted by a CGI representation of the Russian leader. The first guest will be Alistair Campbell, a former high-ranking political spin doctor in the U.K. [...]

  • Upcoming Fantasy Shows Like 'Game of

    10 Upcoming Shows to Watch if You're Mourning 'Game of Thrones'

    Millions of people’s Sunday night routines are ruined now that “Game of Thrones” is over, and there are holes in their hearts as big as the hole in The Wall that are aching for a new fantasy series to fill them. Several prequel series are on their way, but as there’s no word on just [...]

  • Game of Thrones Composer Ramin Djawadi

    'Game of Thrones' Composer Ramin Djawadi: 'I'm Still in Denial'

    Since the first season, Ramin Djawadi has composed the music for “Game of Thrones” and created the epic tunes, including the iconic theme song, heard over the series’ most memorable moments. With the series finished, he talked with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s Beats 1 about his experience on the show and an upcoming 20-city [...]

  • TUPAC SHAKUR black panther collection

    ‘Defiant Ones’ Director to Helm Docuseries on Tupac, Who Assaulted Him in 1993

    Director Allen Hughes, who helmed the award-winning HBO documentary “The Defiant Ones,” has closed a deal with Tupac Shakur’s estate for a five-part docuseries for which he will have full access to all of the late rapper’s released and unreleased recordings, writings and poetry, according to an announcement from his rep. The announcement says the [...]

  • Ellen DeGeneres -- The Ellen Show

    Ellen DeGeneres Extends Daytime Talk Show Run Through 2022

    Ellen DeGeneres is sticking with her daytime talk show. DeGeneres announced Tuesday that she has signed a new deal to continue hosting “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” through 2022. There had been rumors for some time that DeGeneres was planning to leave the show when her current contract was up in 2020, something she leaned into [...]

  • How YouTube Is Trying to Get

    How YouTube Is Trying to Get Will Smith His First-Ever Emmy Nomination (EXCLUSIVE)

    YouTube could be the key to Will Smith finally earning a Primetime Emmy nomination — or win. The superstar Formerly Known as the Fresh Prince has been nominated for two Academy Awards, five Golden Globes and one Screen Actors Guild Award, and has won four Grammys (out of eight nominations). Yet a Primetime Emmy nomination [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content