When American Horror Story Season 6 premiered, fans weren't treated to one of the famous title sequences that AHS has become known for, but instead saw a title card for a show apparently called My Roanoke Nightmare. Then two talking heads started talking about a real experience they had as Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. appear in a dramatic reenactment. Did American Horror Story: Roanoke suddenly become a horror docuseries? Is this truly based on a true story? Who is Matt, the narrator, and is he a real person?
It seems that showrunner Ryan Murphy has some tricks up his sleeve, as it turns out neither Matt nor his wife Shelby are real people. Murphy has adapted the docuseries format for American Horror Story: Roanoke and has employed the help of AHS album Lily Rabe and newcomer André Holland to portray the "real people" telling the story of their Roanoke Nightmare. While André Holland may not be familiar to viewers in the way that Lily Rabe is, Holland has been making a name for himself as an actor for many years and is a promising new addition to the rotating collection of AHS actors. Here are the roles you may have seen Holland in before he arrived in Roanoke.
Dr. Algernon Edwards In The Knick
Holland's most high-profile role so far has been as Dr. Algernon Edwards in Cinemax's critically-acclaimed series The Knick. Holland stars alongside Clive Owen as an assistant chief surgeon who also runs an illegal operation in the hospital basement where he provides care to those who the hospital turns away. His performance as Dr. Edwards has earned Holland a Critics Choice Awards nomination for Supporting Actor In A Drama Series.
Marshall Malloy in 1600 Penn
Before taking the role of Dr. Algernon Edwards in The Knick, Holland was a supporting player on Josh Gad vehicle 1600 Penn. Holland played Marshall Malloy, the White House Press Secretary who often found himself engaging with the president's incompetent son. 1600 Penn only lasted one season, but luckily that left Holland open for some of the biggest roles of his career yet.
Andrew Young in Selma
André Holland played real-life politician Andrew Young in the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic Selma. The role marked Holland's largest film role to date, and placed him alongside such prestigious cast members as David Oyelowo, Tom Wilkinson, and Oprah Winfrey. Oddly enough, also starring in Selma is Cuba Gooding Jr., who plays the "fictional" version of Holland's American Horror Story character.
Holland is no slouch, balancing multiple roles in film, theater, and television. Hopefully, his introduction to the world of American Horror Story won't be his last. While The Knick provided a great career boost, it's nothing compared to what AHS has been able to do for previously unknown actors like Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters. So far, Holland is merely playing someone recounting their personal experience to a camera, but with an actor of Holland's caliber and range there's a chance that Matt may not simply be the mild-mannered family man he presents himself as. Only time will reveal who the real Matt is.