On American Horror Story: Apocalypse, Michael Langdon is a complex yet terrifying figure. As the actual Antichrist he brutally powerful having brought forth the apocalypse on the world thanks to his connection to his father, Satan.
However for all that power and connection to evil, Michael is also human and a child whose rapid rise to power is in part explained by his very literally aging overnight. For actor Cody Fern, it's that human angle that he used to prepare for the Apocalypse role by giving the Antichrist a relatability.
In a recent interview with ET, Fern explained that in order to ready himself to play the son of Satan he had to do more than simply read the Satanic Bible.
"The human angle, that's exactly what I went for, because how can you play the antichrist?" Fern said. "For me, I can't play a metaphor or a symbol. I needed to play a human being, and I needed to play a human being who is just like any other, who has longing, who has needs, who is hurt, who loves and needs love, and that's how I went about going and getting to the core of who he was."
Getting into that core, he continued, required him to look at Michael in much the same way Queen Elizabeth II is portrayed in The Crown -- be thinking about the role he was born into more than being born any one thing.
"Imagine being born into something that supposedly serves a greater purpose," Fern said. "That's how I approach Michael's anger, first and foremost, that he was born into something that he doesn’t understand, that he doesn't choose. That he needs to go about molding himself into, that other people are continually pressing onto him, that there are all of these expectations and these weights and he has these impulses that he doesn't understand, that he is just enacting."
Going into the penultimate episode of the season tonight, however, Michael does have a handle on at least one of the impulses. Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) recently stripped him of his supporters by burning them at the stake -- including his beloved Ms. Mead (Kathy Bates). As things come down to the wire, Michael certainly has some rage very much focused on Cordelia for that, as well as at her witches.
"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. "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.