Deadline just spoke with “American Horror Story” creator Ryan Murphy about the show’s multiple Emmy nominations, and out of their chat came some casting news for “Coven” and more, including the possibility of a season about the Manson case. Check it out!
Murphy told the site, “We do fun, really cool casting every day. Yesterday I cast Christine Ebersole, who’s a great Tony Award winning actress. She’s going to play this [recurring] Glenda the Good Witch-type of gal. I’m getting ready to cast the big male lead who comes in on Episode 6 as Jessica Lange’s love interest. I’ve been meeting with actors for that. I don’t have any idea who that’s going to be. [Lange] plays a real femme fatale. Last year she was always in nun’s outfits, and this year she’s almost always exclusively in head-to-toe Yves St Laurent. [Laughs.] I think people will love Jessica Lange playing that powerful, dark, sexy character.”
You also might remember Ebersole from her stint on “Saturday Night Live” during the 1981–1982 season. Most recently she appeared in “Retired at 35” and “Sullivan & Son,” but her greatest success has been on Broadway in such plays as 42nd Street, Steel Magnolias, and Grey Gardens, among many others.
As for more scoops from Murphy, he said of Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett, “They were fans of the show. They were fans of Jessica’s, and they loved what we were able to do with her. They’re all having a ball. Many times we’ll give them two-, three-, four-page scenes where they’re sitting in a room just really going at each other. For example, we’re writing an episode now that’s completely about mothers and daughters. It’s really fun to give these amazing actresses material that’s worthy and meaty. This is a very female-heavy year, the most female-heavy project I think I’ve ever done. It really does feel like a George Cukor movie. [Laughs.] It’s The Women by design. The fun thing about ‘Horror Story’ is every year it’s a different tone, it’s a different world, it’s a different story. Will next year be as female-heavy? Probably not. It’s also really fun for Kathy and Angela because they’re playing real people, they’re playing historical characters that we’ve put our ‘Horror Story’ bent on. They can research these roles. They both have collected a large resource library that they refer to all the time, and I think that’s also a lot of fun for them.”
Related Story: More Details on American Horror Story: Coven Characters
As for his process of putting a season together, “It’s a really wonderful situation. Usually what happens is, we start shooting every year in July to go on in October because it’s always a very Halloween show. We shoot from July through January. This year I think we’re shooting until the end of July, so it’s a long shoot in terms of a limited miniseries. Every year around September I’ve been thinking all summer long about what’s the idea for next year. By September I will have usually finished the script of Episode 10, and then I will go in to Dana Walden and Gary Newman [from 20th Century Fox Television] and say, ‘OK, here is the idea for next season.’ They’ll hear it, and in every case before they’ve been wildly enthusiastic. Then I’ll spend September through January with the writers, researching it, pulling historical material because we have a lot of real-life characters in the series. We’ll also start designing it in January. The sets we start designing really early. Then from January through July, we write and create the costumes and the sets. So it really is a year-round process. But it changes. There was a point last year in August where I was like, ‘I want to do an entire season about the [Charles] Manson case.’ But then we decided that wasn’t respectful to the victims, and it’s really hard to get life rights. So I went to the other idea, which was New Orleans witches that I’ve always been obsessed with. We might go back to the Manson thing in some regard one day. We spend a lot of time specifically trying to get the look and the tone of it right. Every year has a different tone.”
There’s more good stuff in the interview so be sure to hit the link at the bottom of the page.
Look for the series premiere on October 9th.
The full cast includes Frances Conroy, Taissa Farmiga, Jessica Lange, Alexandra Breckenridge, Kathy Bates, Lily Rabe, Sarah Paulson, Jamie Brewer, Evan Peters, Gabourey Sidibe, Angela Bassett, Patti Lupone, and Denis O’Hare.
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