The former Cheers star was announced as a new castmember of writer/producer Ryan Murphy's latest show in September (16), joining series regulars Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts, and Lea Michele, among others, in season two.

Kirstie reveals Ryan reached out and invited her to appear on the drama last summer (16), as she was battling injury and preparing to meet up with family members in Maine - and she ditched everything to race back to Los Angeles for production.

"Ryan Murphy called me when I was in Maine, and I'd thrown my back out, but I didn't say, 'Ryan, I can't walk!'," she laughed on U.S. breakfast show Today. "So he called and said, 'We want you to be on the show this season, this is the character', and I go, 'I'm definitely in', but I was having a family reunion the next day, with 25 people, and he said, 'You need to be here Monday' - this was Thursday or Friday, I don't remember, so my family had a reunion without me!"

The actress, who turned 66 on Thursday (12Jan17), admits she struggled with nerves on her first day onset, but Jamie made sure she felt welcome.

"They just met me with open arms," she gushed. "Jamie Lee Curtis gives out more presents than anyone you've ever seen. The first thing she gave me was a bandolier 'cause I always lose my phone, and it was red and it had 'Scream Queens' written on it... So she was amazing.

"(But) the first day on set, I was just so nervous and I was like (stuttering), blowing up on all my lines!"

And Kirstie doesn't regret leaving her family party to rush off to work: "I had the best time; it was really one of the best times in my career," she smiled. "Everyone was so funny and I fell in love with Taylor Lautner as my (TV) son!"