Just before American Horror Story: Asylum's season finale on FX, series creator Ryan Murphy sat down with a select group of press (LA TV Insider Examiner included) to preview what was to come in the next installment of the mini-series. But it has been a few months since he talked about the "female power"-- and female serial killer-- aspect and returning cast members like Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Frances Conroy, Taissa Farmiga, and Lily Rabe. At the Paley Center for Media's annual PaleyFest event honoring Murphy and AHS (for the second year in a row), Murphy took the opportunity to address the 1500 fans (and again, select press) in attendance and give even more information.
The title of the next year is American Horror Story: Coven, Murphy revealed tonight in Los Angeles. The idea of playing with witches is something Murphy has toyed with for awhile, in "a couple of different incarnations of the idea," but for the first time, he is playing with multiple shooting locations in addition to multiple on-screen settings. One of which is definitely New Orleans.
"This is the first year we've ever done that. It's always been such a sound stagey show. We built that asylum, and we built the Harmon house and Jessica's house, but this year we're going to do a few cities and fun locations," Murphy said.
"What are the really haunted places in America? Because you know the institution is always a main character in the show."
Murphy is a big fan of never saying never when it comes to ideas from the horror genre he wouldn't touch. Witches was one he wasn't sure of how he would touch for a while, but he is confident he has it down now. He plans to have three of his characters portray real people, and being someone who directed a local production of The Crucible, I am hoping for Goodie Proctor to slip her way in there...
Vampires is another one that he has claimed to be leaving alone, though he wouldn't rule out some time down the line perhaps using them as part of a companion piece to American Horror Story. Per Murphy, he and FX President John Landgraf are in discussions to potentially do a side piece, as well.
But for now the focus is on season three, and details are coming together nicely.
“I want to do something next season that’s funnier. I really miss that kind of Jessica Lange as Constance, and I know she missed it, too…She’s going to play a really glamour cat sort of lady,” Murphy previously said.
Tonight he stayed mum on whether or not that was still the case, but Lange piped up with "I don't know what a glamour cat is, but I am excited!"
“I always start off with the story. I always start off with things that I have been obsessed with, and the season we’re about to do is another sort of thing, like the asylum, that I was always obsessed with as a kid," Murphy said.
"Season three is more historical in nature. I'm also interested in getting into a horror romance. That's certainly something that's going to be in the water for season three. You're going to see a very different tone in season three, but that's the joy of the show. I think, as a person right now, I do feel lighter and [am] wanting to embrace something a little bit more fun."
Oscar winner Kathy Bates, who did not bring her Oscar with her tonight, was also brought out as a special guest to introduce her new role for AHS: Coven.
"You know I love a good Oscar winner!" Murphy said. "I have loved Kathy Bates since the first time I saw her on stage, and I've loved all of her movies. Jessica and I are always talking about actor she loves, and she and Kathy are friends and have done a few movies together...That idea never went out of my head. So I called her up and said 'Would you meet me? I want to talk to you about this part that we shall not name.' She came in and liked the show, and I pitched her this cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs character...My phone rang an hour later: 'I'm in'!"
Bates hasn't started shooting yet, so she couldn't say much about the character, or even how she would compare to her role in Misery ("I have to see how it is to walk around in her shoes first"), but she was excited to work with Lange, as well as Murphy. She claimed to be addicted to the previous seasons, running into her trailer every Thursday morning to talk about what she had seen the night before with her then-co-stars and colleagues.
"I'm grateful!" Bates said.
Could Bates be the female serial killer icon Murphy previous teased? All he would say was that he "wanted to see a lot of scenes of Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates going at it, so that's what you're going to see!"
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