Clip | Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive - Denis O’Hare on Becoming Poe

Actor Denis O’Hare (American Horror Story, This Is Us) discusses the “tough” job of preparing for the role of Edgar Allan Poe: “There’s so much information about him, and in a way you have to filter out all of the biases you have about who you think he is and get to who the man really was.” The man he discovered was emotionally intense, brilliant and creative.


Major support for Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional support for this film is provided in part by National Endowment for the Arts, Joy Fishman, and Wallace S Wilson.

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Preparing for 'Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive' was actually tough because there is so much information about him, and in a way you have to filter out all of the biases you have about who you think he is, and get to who the man really was.

I read some great biographies about him.

I read a lot of his poems again, and it sounds funny, but I looked at a lot of pictures.

There's a weird thing about actors, you're just trying to see, can I look - can I see into that person?

Can I get to that person by looking at their photograph?

He really does come through in his photographs.

It's a really weird experience.

But, so I did a combination of different techniques to try to figure out who this guy was.

Filming this was I guess about two or three weeks of pretty intense scene work.

It was intense to memorize, it was a lot of material, a lot of his poetry had to be memorized exactly - I mean exactly - word-perfect and punctuation perfect.

But the emotional workout was intense.

He was a person of high emotions, whether that was despair or fear, anguish, dread - these are heightened emotions.

He really lived in a place where everything was at 100 all the time, and that's exhausting.

And so shooting that sometimes, I would look at what we were going to shoot and just think, 'ugh - I cannot go down that path today, but I have no choice.'