For me, growing up in Indiana with cornfields and churches, I was always very intrigued by the Academy Awards - they were a big event. That was the one night of the year when all of the glittering movie stars got together, and I used to love that night because, as a child, it was a way to dream for me.
I've gotten death threats, yes. I have. I think anytime you shine a spotlight on homosexuality or minorities and you try and say they are as normal or as worthy as acceptance as others, the people who are on the fringe don't like that and they will come after you. And they have come after me.
I wanted to create a culture that allowed my children to see the world differently, if only from a strictly visual perspective: to have a child see a room where half of the people are women and minorities is so powerful. I think everyone wants for their children a world that's better than the one they came up in.
I was very much raised by my grandmother, who actually was Bette Davis - looked like her, acted like her, talked like her. Probably, it was just out of my love and affection for my grandmother that I was interested in Bette.
If you look at 'American Horror Story' or 'Crime Story,' these are visceral, action-packed, sometimes bloody episodes of television. They're not 'feminine.' They're not about sexy women sitting around looking beautiful, drinking lattes. These episodes are calling cards to show companies like Marvel, 'Look, women can do these kind of movies.'
People think I'm just sort of this P. T. Barnum, razzle-dazzle guy. They think I go out of my way to be outlandish and theatrical at the expense of having emotions. They don't get that there's another side to me, and I keep trying to show that other side.
When I got my overall deal at Fox, I got amazing bosses in John Landgraf and Dana Walden and Peter Rice. For the first time ever, they said, 'Don't change who you are; be who you are. And write something you want to watch.' That thing was 'Glee,' and it took off from there.
One of the unique things about 'American Horror Story' is, it's very respectful to actors. Actors in many cases don't want to be tied down to a seven-year contract. So my deal with the cast is: you're free after every year: you can come back, or you cannot come back.