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Lawrence "Larry" Harvey is a previous owner of the Murder House. He is a main character in American Horror Story: Murder House portrayed by Denis O'Hare. He has third-degree burns prominently on his face and on the left side his body.
Larry is one of the Murder House's previous owners, having lived there with his wife, Lorraine, and their two young daughters in the early 1990s. He claims to have been arrested and sent to prison after he was accused of dousing the beds of his wife and children in gasoline and setting fire to them while they slept, and that he is out due to terminal brain cancer.
However, this claim was later confirmed to be a lie, as he had revealed to his wife that he was in love with Constance and was leaving her, to which she reacted to burning herself and their children alive.
Personality & Appearance
While at first Larry is only warning Ben about the house, it quickly becomes apparent that Larry has a greater, if not psychotic, interest in pursuing the Harmons. He regularly harasses Ben, usually threatening him, or asking for money, until the situation comes to a climax in "Halloween: Part 2".
Shortly after, Ben digs into Larry's past and discovers that he was not actually put in jail for what happened to his family, but placed in a psychiatric ward. Larry then admits that he fell in love with Constance while his family lived in the house, even murdering her son Beau at her request. He told Lorraine that he was leaving her and was having Constance move back into the house. Larry says that after telling his wife about his plans, she locked herself in their daughters' room and set it on fire, which Larry alleges is the origin of his burns.
After the death of his family, Constance and her children moved back into the house with Larry. He tried to play the father role in Tate and Addie's lives as their father "left" several years prior, however, Tate disapproved of his relationship with Constance. Tate is aware that Larry is the one responsible for killing his brother, Beauregard and retaliated by dousing Larry with lighter fluid and setting him on fire the morning he committed the Westfield High Massacre, which is the real story behind his burns.
- The name "Larry Harvey" is a reference to the founder of the "Burning Man" festival of the same name.
- It is possible that "Larry Harvey" is also a reference to the Batman character, "Harvey Dent" (also known as "Two-Face"). This has not been mentioned, nor confirmed.
Denis O'Hare on Larry
- You're playing such a dark character, and a lot of times we hear actors say that you have to like who you’re playing to be able to play that character convincingly. So, what do you like about your character, and how do you connect with him?
O'Hare: "You know, it’s funny. I love this character, and I love him because I feel like he is engaged in a sort of timeless epic struggle. And I see him as kind of a Dante-esque figure. He’s somebody who is trapped in a circle of hell, and he’s trying to work his way out. And he’s a human being who’s flawed, and he’s obviously weak, and he’s given into temptation and made bad choices.
But through that all, he’s still got this sort of, I don’t know, passion and dream to achieve something. And he’s an odd character. Like no other character I’ve ever played in my life. I find that I have to reach for a metaphor to describe him. I have an innate sense of who he is, and when I’m playing him, it’s all very instinctual. But to describe it, I find myself running to literature, and so I think it’s sort of like 'Igor' in theFrankenstein mythology, or an amanuensis in some other mythologies, or a psychopomp as they call them sometimes, somebody who traffics between worlds. And it’s a really odd, beautiful character."
- It’s amazing. And you, as an actor, seem to really be able to lose yourself in every role you play. You’re so great all the time, but it always takes a minute to go, “Oh, it’s him!” because you’ve become that character so incredibly. So how do you do that, because it’s not something a lot of actors seem to be able pull off?
O'Hare: "Well, part of it is the richness of the character. A part of the reason I’m drawn to characters like this guy, or like Russell Edgington, or like even the guys like John Briggs in Milk, is that they’re sharply etched, and they’re clearly defined. And so I, as an actor, have an easier task. I know where I’m going, and if you add to it an aspect that’s larger than life like someone like Russell Edgington who’s 2800 years old, or someone like Larry who’s got a very severe physical deformity, it takes away part of your resistance as an actor, and you simply give over to the character’s features and the character’s characteristics. You know, Ryan [Murphy] wanted me to have a wooden arm and sort of a limp. So the minute you start putting these things on you feel different and you feel like someone else, and that then forms everything."