He’s only 30 years old, but actor Cody Fern is making real waves on television in 2018 with roles in American Horror Story: Apocalypse, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story and House of Cards.
January of this year was when most people first heard the name Cody Fern. Though he’d done a few short films and starred alongside Jennifer Garner in The Tribes of Palos Verdes before then, it wasn’t until acclaimed TV producer Ryan Murphy cast him in The Assassination of Gianni Versace that we woke up and took a glimpse at this handsome, talented actor. In Versace he played David Madson, the second victim of Andrew Cunanan. It was hard not to be overshadowed by Darren Criss’s stellar performance, but he did it with aplomb.
On American Horror Story Cody Fern plays none other than the son of Satan, the literal Antichrist, who must face off against a coven of witches that want to see him dead (and with good reason, yeah). And on House of Cards, which he joined this year following the ouster of Kevin Spacey, he’s the son of Diane Lane’s character, representing a new generation of Washington, D.C., power players.
With so much accomplished over the span of one short year, Cody Fern has secured a spot as biggest TV crush of 2018. Not bad for someone who’s only been in the business for five years.
Here are five reasons why we’re head over heels for TV sensation Cody Fern:
1. Hey, we’re a sucker for that Aussie accent.
Fern was born in Southern Cross, a small town in rural Western Australia, and he says that initially he didn’t have plans to become an actor. “I thought for a time that I was going to be a therapist, and that could kind of numb, to a certain extent, my desire to be an actor, but I couldn’t get away from it,” Fern says. He says he “joined the circus” at the age of 24.
In 2014 Cody Fern was awarded the Heath Ledger Scholarship, something given to up-and-coming Aussie actors that offers up acting classes, flights to Los Angeles and living expenses. Cody Fern considers Ledger to be one of his heroes, saying, “He’s an inspiration, in particular because I come from Western Australia where he is a legend.”
2. No one can play the son of Satan like Cody Fern.
His role on American Horror Story: Apocalypse, which sadly comes to a close tonight, has got people talking. When Cody Fern has discussed the preparation required for the role, he cites reading a lot of Ayn Rand, the Old Testament, the Satanic Bible and watching a lot of politics.
“I don’t know how to play a character unless I love him,” Fern has said about playing Michael Langdon, Satan’s son. “I don’t see the evil. It’s not useful to me … you can’t play evil. How can I play evil?”
Fern has even compared his role as the Antichrist with Claire Foy’s role on The Queen:
“Imagine being born into something that supposedly serves a greater purpose. That’s how I approach Michael’s anger, first and foremost, that he was born into something that he doesn’t understand, that he doesn’t choose. That he needs to go about molding himself into, that other people are continually pressing onto him, that there are all of these expectations and these weights and he has these impulses that he doesn’t understand, that he is just enacting.”
3. There was no love lost when Kevin Spacey was booted from House of Cards.
During a recent interview with FoxLA, Cody Fern discusses coming on-board for the last season of House of Cards, which just premiered earlier this month. Fans of the show are well aware that after openly gay actor Kevin Spacey was removed from the show following allegations of sexual assault, Robin Wright took over as the show’s lead.
Fern joined the hit Netflix show right before Spacey was ousted, having started filming before the show went on hiatus and eventually resumed shooting. He says of the energy on set, “Everyone was so excited to stand behind Robin, and she’s such a formidable talent, and she’s been holding it up since Season 2. So it was really extraordinary just to stand behind her and really get behind women.”
He calls Wright “another extraordinary woman who is not allowing the actions of one man to define the entire season of a series that people have built over six years.”
4. Is he queer? Dunno. But we like how Cody Fern plays with gender norms.
Cody Fern plays a convincing gay man in The Assassination of Gianni Versace and offers up some queer undertones in Apocalypse as well. (That gorgeously long, luxurious wig is downright fabulous.)
But in real life Fern has intrigued us, too, unashamed to throw on a little eye makeup before hitting the red carpet, and getting a little androgynous with his style choices.
Cody Fern tells Vulture, “All of my role models as an artist have always been women actors,” and says of his decision to take his Apocalypse role, “[Ryan Murphy] said my character had long hair with an affinity for capes, and that’s all I needed to know.”
5. Yeah, Cody Fern is famous, but it hasn’t gone to his head yet.
Do you remember Mortal Kombat? I went as Scorpion. I just walked around in disguise. There were a lot of people like, “You’re Cody Fern.” It’s so weird to hear people to say my name, especially my first followed by last, just based off of seeing my eyes.