For the longest time, it seemed like the American Horror Story cast and crew was joyfully tantalizing us with small details about the upcoming season, Freak Show. Then, within the past few weeks, they’ve been dropping big AHS details left and right!
Today’s big revelations came straight from the actors, who spoke with Entertainment Weekly about what was happening behind the scenes of the Florida sideshow in the 1950s. As per usual, Jessica Lange plays a character at the center of the drama.
“My character is very manipulative,” Jessica said of former German cabaret star Elsa Mars. “She understands what’s needed and she provides it. However, the thing I want to be very clear [is] that Elsa really loves these people. She truly cares for them in her own selfish narcissistic way. It’s not just exploitation.”
Among those in the group are lobster-boy Jimmy Darling (Evan Peters) and his mom/bearded, lady Ethel (Kathy Bates), described by co-creator Ryan Murphy as Elsa’s “right hand woman.”
“She helps run the camp, and she’s sort of the guardian of the law,” Ryan said. “She had a real tragedy in that she was a real circus star in the ‘20s and 30s and then she had her baby and she became a down-and-out drunk, and Elsa saved her.”
Ethel’s life again gets more complicated when ex-husband/Jimmy’s dad/strongman Dell Toledo joins the show while trying to evade the law.
“Jimmy is the big man on campus and is the male leader of the group until Dell comes and they begin to battle for power under Elsa,” Ryan explained, adding tribreasted Desiree Dupree (Angela Bassett) is married to Dell. (Is another Kathy Bates v. Angela Bassett battle brewing?)
Also in the mix are freak show newcomers Bette and Dot Tattler (Sarah Paulson), who said the conjoined twins share parts of their body — but not personalities.
“It’s not as simple as nice and evil,” she said. “It’s more complicated, in true Ryan Murphy style.”
Then there are con artists played by Emma Roberts and Denis O’Hare, Frances Conroy’s wealthy character whose son (Finn Whitrock) wants to join and a socialite, played by Gabourey Sidibe, who is trying to find her missing mom, played by Patti LaBelle.
Although those characters have their own types of drama, the real conflict is with Twisty the Clown (John Carroll Lynch) who moonlighted as a murderer before settling in Jupiter.
“He’s out to make their lives a living hell,” Ryan said. “He’s wearing a mask on the lower part of his face and there comes a point in the season where takes the mask off and when you see what’s under you will faint in terror.”
American Horror Story: Freak Show premieres on FX on Wed., Oct. 8. Before then, check out the extended trailer in HD!