Ryan Murphy says that he’ll only work on things that scare him, and it’s a good goal to live by
He has so many shows that they might as well give him his own network, like Oprah, but according to prolific showrunner and producer Ryan Murphy, he still needs to be scared by a project for him to forge ahead with it.
Of course, Murphy is behind some of the best TV shows around, including Nip/Tuck, Glee, and his anthology shows, like the terrifying American Horror Story, American Crime Story, and Feud. Indeed, FX, where most of his shows live, has even green-lighted a new project from him called Pose, which will be a “juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York City: the emergence of the luxury Trump-era universe, the downtown social and literary scene and the ball culture world.”
To have that many shows on the air, we imagine that Murphy must come up with hundreds and hundreds of ideas. But how does he make sure that the idea is solid before pitching a series?
Well, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter as part of a roundtable, Murphy explained that he now has to have a certain feeling when doing things, and that there was importance in creating a community.
“What I’ve learned to do is to have a group of three or four really strong collaborators who can help me, who also have the same dream,” he explained.
Murphy contended that fear, when starting a new project, is a good thing.
“One thing I always do is just tell actors that I’m as afraid as they are, because I can sense that and I feel it, too. I did that with Susan [Sarandon] when we were shooting Feud,” he added. “She was signed on, but I constantly thought she was going to bail. I finally got her to admit that she was afraid of tackling it, and I said, ‘Well, I’m afraid, too.’ And from that came a communication of, ‘OK, how can we make this better for you and a safer space?’ And that’s just what I try and do.
"And I am now at a point where I'm only interested in doing stuff that scares me because that's where the goodness comes from."
Obviously, Murphy’s shows are actually scary, as we’ve seen from American Horror Story, which, at times, can be genuinely terrifying (albeit in a camp way). But we love hearing that he likes to push himself and step outside of his comfort zone. It’s probably this that makes everything he works on electric.