Kathy Bates Refused to Pray to Satan For 'American Horror Story: Apocalypse' Role

Ms. Mead may Satan's most devoted follower in American Horror Story: Apocalypse, but while her character is always ready to praise her Dark Lord, actress Kathy Bates couldn't be further from it -- so much so that she refused to have Ms. Mead pray to Satan.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Bates explained that playing Mead presented quite a few challenges that she wasn't prepared for -- including that her character was a Satanist and also, later, a robot -- and when it came to the prayers, that's where she drew the line.

"I have to tell you, when I got that script and they had me praying to Satan, I called them down to my trailer and I said, 'Dudes, I am not praying to Satan,'" Bates said. "'Cody can pray to Satan because he is Satan.' But I was quite serious about it because I'm a two-time cancer survivor and I'm not gonna screw around with that! It's bad enough I have to say 'Hail Satan' a couple of times. I know it's entertainment but I just didn't want to do it. But [executive producer/writer] Tim [Minear] gave me a little more information about it but it was the same as it was every year. They give you kind of a rough idea and then you get a script and go, 'Oh my God! I didn't know that was going to happen!'"

Surprise twists are very much a core part of the American Horror Story franchise, but Apocalypse has had quite a few shocks that have left fans scrambling to figure out what was next. Among them? The reveal that the Mead audiences first meet is really a robot. While the season fleshes out that there was, in fact, once a real Ms. Mead for Bates the character overall was a real challenge.

"Yeah, she's... I don't know if I can really describe her because she's kind of a cipher in a lot of ways," Bate said. "I really plugged into the whole Mossad thing. She was a killer and she was emotionless about that. She was very robotic and mechanical and still, and I think she was full of fervor and rage and all those things. But it was kinda cool to play someone as still as that."

All of that fervor and rage may just come in handy, too. Next week's series finale is set to pit Michael (Cody Fern) and Mead against Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) and what's left of her Coven in a final battle for the fate of the world. Who will win could have major ramifications for the American Horror Story universe.


"We've come to learn that it's not a general thing that Michael is carrying out, but rather a very personal attack against a particular group of people," Fern explained in a recent interview. "And even more specifically, against Cordelia. So that will certainly feed into what we are about to see, and Michael's sense of righteousness moving forward about how he's going to come back to Cordelia. I can't give too much away."

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