Inside TV Exclusive TV News and Scoop

Tag: American Horror Story (14-26 of 168)

Jessica Lange: 'AHS: Freak Show' 'will surpass anything we've done before'

Despite changing plots and wild twists, one of the constants of the four seasons of American Horror Story has been star Jessica Lange, who has now won two Emmys for AHS. The actress is back for this year’s Freak Show (premiering Oct. 8 at 10 p.m. on FX) to play the maestro behind the titular group of performers, an ex-German cabaret star named Elsa Mars. Lange, who has said that this will be her last AHS installment, talked to EW about about bringing the concept to co-creator Ryan Murphy, musical numbers, and what else is in store for this year’s epic Show.

EW: So Ryan said you brought this to him, right?
JESSICA LANGE: Yeah this had been in my mind for a long time. I have forever been fascinated and I photograph it a lot myself—small-time kind of carnival, sideshow, things like that. I mean I started kind of looking into freak shows. It is an amazing history and I’ve always been fascinated by a community of people living like gypsies, on the road and traveling from place to place and, in this case, heightened to the degree that they’re all extremely special.

So it was something I suggested to him a year or so ago. I had originally imagined it like a traveling freak show, maybe Dustbowl, with that kind of desperation. Ryan has set it in another time, which I think is clever, actually.

With the time setting and the return of Pepper (Naomi Grossman), it’s almost like a prequel a bit to Asylum.
Well, with that character, yes. For all the outrage at exhibiting freaks at the time, the fact is they had community. They had family. Some of them made quite a bit of money. They were extremely popular in Victorian times. Yes, they were being exhibited, but when you look at the other side of that, they were cared for. The most important thing—and I think this is what people don’t understand—is the idea of community.

I think what will be revealed with Pepper is that when these freak shows were finally closed down, in a lot of cases they were closed down without the consent of the performers. And a lot of these people ended up in asylums, alone and isolated. So you’ve got many facets to this topic.

You play Elsa Mars, a German lady. And you’re sort of the owner of the freak show and it’s on its last legs.
Yeah, it’s kind of that thing of the end of one popular entertainment and the beginning of another. As Ryan likes to say, “The end of one freak show and the beginning of another.”

And you arrive in this town and you discover conjoined twins Bette and Dot (Sarah Paulson) and they become the new star of your show?
Yeah, that was a way a lot of these people were found. They would find them in hospitals or jails or wherever and recruited. So that’s how Sarah is introduced into the story. I hear something about her, she’s in the hospital, and I go there.

Is it a maternal relationship between Elsa and the twins?
Well, maternal would be putting it very generously. My character is very manipulative. She understands what’s needed, and she provides it. However, the thing I want to be very clear in this is that my character Elsa really loves these people. She truly cares for them, in her own selfish, narcissistic way. But they mean a great deal to her. It’s not just exploitation. She’s tough, and she’s mean sometimes, and all of that, but she really does love them.

Is she not as villainous as Fiona or Constance?
I don’t see her as villainous. She’s delusional—let’s put it that way [laughs]. But it’s fun to play a delusional character. But she came out of the Weimar Republic, out of that just the s–tstorm between the two wars in Germany and was at one moment a very successful cabaret performer and then everything dissembled. And this is ultimately where she ended up: in a freak show, small town circuit in the south in the early ’50s. So it’s been a wild ride for Elsa. I don’t see her as villainous. I see her as delusional, as narcissistic, as ruthless in her ambition. But her ambition is all tied up in her delusion.

I heard you get to sing again.
Oh my God! Singing, yes! In the first four episodes, I sing three numbers. Which is nuts!

How was that?
Well, actually, it was great. Ryan is a little more than usual playing a little loose with time and genre. So we’ve got a couple really big production numbers that I think if they work are going to be very unique.

You perform in the freak show?
Yes.

And there’s a flashback?
Yes there’s a flashback to the cabaret, to the late 1920s, early ’30s.

Well, “The Name Game” performance was one of the highlights of Asylum, so I can’t wait for more Jessica Lange singing.
Yeah, well, you’re gonna get it, for better or worse!

And Kathy Bates basically plays your henchwoman/right hand gal, Ethel Darling.
Yeah that’s another character I kind of save. We have a long history and bond together. We’ve got some amazing characters I think this year. The actors, of course, are all great.

I heard the sets are phenomenal too. Ryan said you actually got emotional when you walked on.
Well I walked onto our big set, the big compound where all the tents are set up and the trailers and everything. I mean I told our art director it was like a poem. It was like you are inside this poem. Incredible. I’ve never seen a set like that.

Have you had to do any scary stuff yet, like deal with Twisty the Clown (John Carroll Lynch)?
No. Ryan always keeps me out of that fray because he knows that’s not my favorite part. I think this is very different, certainly very different from last year. I mean, I don’t know where this is going, so there’s always that! But I don’t forsee any real slasher moments.

Has Ryan told you what the end of Elsa’s arc will be?
Yeah, he has. He just came up with it the other day.

And what did you think of his plan?
I thought it was kind of brilliant.

You had said previously this would be your last AHS. Has this made you want to sign up for another season?
I haven’t reconsidered. I’m just trying to get through this year, and I think this year, without a doubt, will be my favorite. In a way, it was an idea that I had wanted to explore for a while. I think just the richness of it and the time and the place and the characters. I just think it’s going to be unique. And I think, to my mind, what I’ve seen already and what we’ve done, it will far surpass anything we’ve done before.

Ryan Murphy on 'AHS: Freak Show': 'This season, once you die, you're dead'

By now, avid TV watchers know that each season of American Horror Story is an entirely new plot but with much of the same group of actors. Each installment also most importantly stems from the brilliant and imaginative minds of co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. For EW‘s Fall TV Preview, on stands now, Murphy offered up some details from the New Orleans set of AHS‘s latest installment, Freak Show—about the titular group of entertainers in 1952 in Jupiter, Florida—which premieres Oct. 8 at 10pm on FX.

EW: Where did this come from? I know it’s something you and Jessica talked about it right?
RYAN MURPHY: It’s something that Jessica she had always talked about it. Jessica’s a photographer so she had always been interested in that carny world. If you look at her photography, she’s always interested in the lost and the forgotten and the beautiful survivor of it all. We talked about it like every couple of weeks. She sent me a book actually. I once I started investigating it I really loved the idea of it because I felt it was such a ripe world. The carny world, the freak show really ended for the most part when television began. So one freak show replaced another so that was always the idea.

I always was very interested in Tod Browning’s Freaks. I loved that movie and Carnival of Lost Souls so there’s a lot of horror tropes to pull from and admire. It’s also our biggest year so I think it took a while and it took success for us to earn the money to do what we had to do. We had to build an entire city. We built an entire huge compound and then we had to build the interior of all those buildings on set. It’s all period. And it’s all based on [production designer] Mark Worthington’s immaculate research. Jessica went she first walked in said she was brought to tears. She kept saying, “It’s like a poem. It’s like a poem.” It’s a very romantic, sad place. READ FULL STORY

Yes, fan favorite Pepper will return to 'American Horror Story'

This season of American Horror Story: Freak Show is shaping up to be one of the most memorable so far, in part due to one majorly terrifying clown, conjoined twins, and a gal with three boobs. But now EW can exclusively confirm a rumor that fans have been buzzing about for months: AHS: Asylum fan favorite Pepper, a Briarcliff patient played by Naomi Grossman, will indeed appear on Freak Show. READ FULL STORY

New 'AHS: Freak Show' details: Who plays who? What's the plot?

For months we’ve gotten little tidbits on the latest season of American Horror Story, like the character names and guest stars. Now, in EW’s Fall TV Preview, readers get to see behind the curtain of Freak Show.

This latest installment of AHS is about a titular group of misfit performers, led by former German cabaret star Elsa Mars (Emmy winner Jessica Lange), who arrive in the small town of Jupiter, Florida.”My character is very manipulative,” says Lange. “She understands what’s needed and she provides it. However the thing I want to be very clear that Elsa really loves these people. She truly cares for them in her own selfish narcissistic way. It’s not just exploitation.” READ FULL STORY

Full 'AHS: Freak Show' teaser: 3 boobs, 2 heads, 1 hairy Kathy Bates

For the last couple of weeks, American Horror Story: Freak Show has been releasing vague teasers. But now, the show has released its first footage of the cast in their various carny roles, including Angela Bassett as a three-breasted wonder, Sarah Paulson as conjoined twins, and Kathy Bates as the bearded lady.

American Horror Story: Freak Show premieres Oct. 8 on FX and features Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Michael Chiklis, Evan Peters, Emma Roberts, Frances Conroy, and Denis O’Hare.

Scary clown alert: See 3 new 'American Horror Story' teasers

Well, we all knew it was coming. American Horror Story: Freak Show co-creator Ryan Murphy had warned EW back in May that the next iteration of his horror anthology would include “the most terrifying clown ever!” Now, FX has released three new teasers for the series and there’s at least one scary clown—maybe even two. Best to watch these with the lights on.

American Horror Story: Freak Show premieres Oct. 8 on FX and features Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Michael Chiklis, Evan Peters, Emma Roberts, Frances Conroy, and Denis O’Hare.

'American Horror Story: Freak Show' exclusive: Watch the most twisted teaser yet!

It’s safe to assume that the characters of American Horror Story: Freak Show are…um…quirky. In this latest exclusive teaser, we meet a contortionist (Is it the same one seen in the trapeze teaser?) who’s not only quite flexible but also boasts an extra leg. Yep, a three-legged contortionist. Only in the weird world of AHS. Watch below.

American Horror Story: Freak Show premieres Oct. 8 on FX and features Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Michael Chiklis, Evan Peters, Emma Roberts, Frances Conroy, and Denis O’Hare.

'American Horror Story: Freak Show' teaser: What is in that cage?!?

Yesterday, EW delivered one of the first teasers for this fall’s American Horror Story: Freak Show. Now, here’s a glimpse of possibly one of the attractions of the titular freak show in this latest exclusive new teaser. What in the hell is in that cage? Who is the other man keeping the thing in the cage? What’s up with his scary hands? Why can’t this show premiere now? READ FULL STORY

'American Horror Story: Freak Show' exclusive: New teaser takes viewers under the big top

Ready for a look at American Horror Story‘s latest incarnation, Freak Show?

We already knew that this season, set at a 1950s Florida freak show, will feature a bearded lady and a scary clown. Over the past few weeks, more details have emerged: Sarah Paulson’s character has two heads. The smallest woman alive has been cast. The handsomest man alive has been cast. Now EW can exclusively reveal the latest teaser for the series, which takes viewers under Freak Show‘s big top. Needless to say, this ain’t the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Watch below. READ FULL STORY

Women Who Kick Ass do so at Comic-Con panel: The highlights

EW‘s popular Women Who Kick Ass panel returned to Hall H on Saturday with moderator Nicole Sperling welcoming Sons of Anarchy‘s Katey Sagal, American Horror Story‘s Sarah Paulson, Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany, Sleepy Hollow‘s Nicole Beharie, and Game of Thrones‘ Maisie Williams and Natalie Dormer. Topics ranged from their most kickass moments, to what pisses them off about Hollywood, to what superhero they’d choose to be.  READ FULL STORY

'American Horror Story: Freak Show' casts 'All My Children' actor

The Freak Show just added another performer. FX’s American Horror Story: Freak Show has cast All My Children alum Finn Wittrock. Co-creator Ryan Murphy announced the hire on Twitter Thursday: READ FULL STORY

Neil Patrick Harris wants to be on 'American Horror Story: Freak Show' (Updated)

Neil Patrick Harris is a man of many talents and many more projects. But after rumors spread that Harris could potentially take over David Letterman’s The Late Showwhich Harris shot down—he revealed another project he’d be more interested in.

Harris stopped by EW Radio (SiriusXM 105) and talked to Mario Correa about his love of variety shows, freak shows, and therefore, the upcoming American Horror Story: Freak Show. In the clip, Harris confesses that he actually wrote co-creator Ryan Murphy a letter asking to be on the new show, because that’s how much he loves the series (and freaks). Sadly, Murphy hasn’t responded.

UPDATE: Ryan Murphy responded to Harris on Twitter, claiming that there is a role available if Harris wants it.

Zachary Quinto to guest on 'Girls'

Will Zachary Quinto live long in Prospect Park? The Star Trek actor is guest-starring in at least one upcoming episode of Girls, HBO has confirmed. Quinto was photographed yesterday in Brooklyn shooting a scene with Girls creator/executive producer/star Lena Dunham. The network wouldn’t release any details about his character, including how many installments he will appear in.

Quinto’s TV resume includes American Horror Story, Heroes, and 24. READ FULL STORY

Advertisement

Latest Videos in TV

From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP