Meet the World's Shortest Woman (and American Horror Story: Freak Show Star!)
Five things to know about Jyoti Amge, who appears in the scary FX show's fourth season
The season premiere of American Horror Story: Freak Show on Wednesday will mark the American TV debut of Jyoti Amge, a 20-year-old from Nagpur, India, whom Guinness has declared to be the world’s shortest woman.
The 2’6″-tall actress plays Ma Petite, a member of a traveling sideshow that arrives in Florida in 1952, at the same time a creepy murderer rocks the town.
In anticipation of the season debut, here are five things to know about Amge, who attended her first red-carpet premiere on Sunday for Freak Show at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
1. She’s accustomed to breaking records.
Amge, who has a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia, was previously ranked as the world’s shortest teenager, until 2011, when she succeeded an American, Bridgette Jordan, as the world’s shortest woman, according to Guinness. She is not expected to grow any more.
1. This isn’t her first rodeo, er, carnival.
Through a Hindi translator, Amge told PEOPLE after Sunday’s premiere that she’s appeared in two reality shows in her native India, including the country’s version of Big Brother, called Bigg Boss. After seeing a Guinness video on Amge, a producer for AHS Googled her and found Amge’s website. “I want to work in Hollywood and become an actress,” Amge said.
3. She gets to hang out with Jessica Lange.
In Freak Show, Ma Petite is close to Elsa, the head of the sideshow played by AHS vet Lange. “My character not dangerous, very funny and very innocent,” Amge said. “She always stays with Elsa, looks after her and wants her wellbeing.” She speaks her first lines of dialogue in English in the premiere episode.
4. She’s treated like royalty on set.
Though Amge can stand on her own, her feet have barely touched the ground since beginning production on the FX drama. (She doesn’t want to reveal how many episodes she appears in, other than saying “a lot.”) “Everybody loves me so much, they just want to carry me around,” Amge told PEOPLE of her castmates, who include Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Gabourey Sidibe and Michael Chiklis. “Sometimes I think to myself, when am I going to stand, because I’m being carried all day?”
5. She’s got starry eyes for the leader of the free world.
Now that she visited the Guinness Worlds Records Museum on Hollywood Boulevard – where she was “overwhelmed” to see a statute of herself – Amge would love to meet President Barack Obama while filming in the United States. “I don’t want to meet an actor,” she admits.