I think at this point in the series we can all agree that American Horror Story: Freak Show is definitely one of the creepiest shows on television. And sure a huge part of that is thanks to Twisty, the scariest clown since Tim Curry and Stephen King's It. But the other part is creepy killer Dandy Mott, who might just be one of the most disturbing humans on TV at the moment. We can all blame our nightmares on Finn Wittrock, who plays Dandy, but luckily the actor is nowhere near as creepy as his on-screen counterpart. In fact, Wittrock's previous roles might just make you fall in love with him even when he's in-character as the murderous, immature Dandy.
Wittrock has been acting for quite a few years now, appearing in small roles on Disney Channel movies like Halloweentown High and bit parts in silver screen pics like Winter's Tale starring Colin Farrell and Noah with Russell Crowe. However, his big break probably came in the form of the soap opera All My Children. On the soap, Wittrock played Damon Miller (later discovered to be part of the Martin family). Damon was a troublemaker who was quite adept at break-ins (until he got caught) and falling for women. It comes as no surprise that Wittrock would be good at getting into the role of the criminally-inclined bad boy, but thankfully Damon was about ten thousand times more likable than Dandy will ever be.
Wittrock guest starred in one episode of Criminal Minds, playing the more successful friend of a low-level, creepy guy. The two men used to be best friends as children, sharing a morbid curiosity about murder and the Zodiac killings. It turns out the two friends killed a girl when they were younger, but it was Wittrock's character who committed the actual murder and pressured his friend into getting rid of the body. His friend became unhealthily obsessed with him after that — despite Wittrock's character pulling away, finding a girlfriend and going corporate. Sure, Wittrock may have played yet another murderer here, but at least it was a murderer who turned his life around.
Wittrock also graced the Broadway stage opposite Andrew Garfield and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the Mike Nichols directed revival of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman in 2012. As if that acting credit isn't enough to make you fall in love with him, Wittrock played Happy Loman in the play, who, as his name might imply, was one of the most jovial characters onstage. Then again, it's not too terribly difficult to be the happiest character on the stage in this particular show. Despite being up against an incredible cast, Wittrock was still able to shine and had great chemistry with his onstage brother Garfield in particular that would tug on your heart strings.
Wittrock will also be on the big screen once again with Angelina Jolie's second film as director, Unbroken. The film is about the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who survived a plane crash, was lost at sea and taken prisoner by the Japanese during World War II. Wittrock plays Francis "Mac" McNamara who, in the book version of Unbroken, was a real life soldier in the War who survived the plane crash that took down Zamperini and other soldiers. Unfortunately, he descended into madness and did not survive being lost at sea. He died after 33 days.
This will be something incredible to see and, from what Wittrock has shown us over his career so far, I'm sure he won't disappoint. He's clearly an actor of great depth and range who can evoke all kinds of emotions in his audience. Sure, as Dandy he might inspire fear, revulsion, and frequently exasperation, but the man behind the Mott is a nuanced performer that you should adore — if you don't already.