When it comes to power, very few people understand it or know how to wield it. In Ryan Murphy's case, he knows how to do both. The producer and creator of shows, such as Glee, The New Normal, Nip/Tuck, and the wildly popular American Horror Story, has pushed the envelope of what audiences see on TV. "I don't go into a project thinking I'm a groundbreaker or a pioneer," Murphy told Out. "But all my work has a gay voice and gay characters and always will."
That kind of determination is what made him the wildly successful producer he is today. Earlier this year, Murphy was finally able to bring Larry Murphy's Tony award-winning play, The Normal Heart, to a mass audience and critical praise. And at the Emmys, his worked was honored with 16 nominations for the HBO film and another 17 for the third season of AHS.
Following two major wins for Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates, the fourth season arrived with tons of anticipation and delivered on hype. Freak Show debuted to 10 million viewers with FX immediately renewing the show for a fifth season.
Yet, all this success is owed not to Murphy or even his growing cast of actors, which also includes Matt Bomer, Sarah Paulson, and Evan Peters, but to his grandmother, Myrtle.
"Myrtle was the best. Everything I have in my life, in terms of my imagination and my ambition and my drama -- the love of all that -- comes from her 100 percent," Murphy says. "She put on a lot of makeup and jewelry and loved the color purple, so she wore it every day."
Her love of the paranormal soap Dark Shadows and macabre entertainment is what inspired Murphy to create AHS. "She turned me on to all the tropes of horror I came to love. In a way, American Horror Story is a tribute to her," Murphy says, "She would hate Glee. She hated musicals."
American Horror Story airs Wednesday at 10/9 c on FX.