American Horror Story: Freak Show Offers A Heads Up On Sarah Paulson's Character

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Sometimes Twitter can feel like a curse, and other times it allows for an actress to say 16 of the most exciting words that an American Horror Story fanatic could possibly hear. Ryan Murphy’s latest macabre-embracing story will be set within the dying world of freak shows, with only one successful venture still operating. Franchise actress Sarah Paulson has revealed her dual roles of Bette and Dot, a set of conjoined twins exploited through the titular exhibit. What's more, she even offered up a bit of concept art to give you a case of double vision.

I’ll be honest, I was going into American Horror Story: Freak Show with the assumption that nothing could possibly top Gabourey Sidibe masturbating in front of a killer minotaur in terms of campy ludicrousness. But that was only because I had no idea if conjoined twins would be a part of Jessica Lange’s camp of half-feared performers. This is wonderful news, and it should give Paulson a little more meat to chew on than her Coven role granted her. The eye thing was great, mind you, but Cordelia was such a doormat of a character that it felt wasted even in Paulson’s (eye)hands. I don’t see Bette and/or Dot being any more prevalent than her role in Asylum, though I don’t doubt this series has the bravado to base an entire season around the goings-on of a disgruntled pair of twins, with repeated uses of “Siamese” racial slurs.


“Two heads are better than one,” is such a good Twitter tease, though it just makes me wonder what kind of personalities the sisters will have. Considering no characters in American Horror Story lead joyous, problem-free lives, I’m betting Bette and Dot have a sordid family history and don’t get along as well as other siblings might. There are endless avenues of dark humor for Murphy and the other writers to split viewers’ wigs with. I’m really hoping one is an atheist prostitute while the other is a God-fearing virgin. We’ll leave it up to the imagination how that would be possible.

Perhaps the most famous set of conjoined twins ever known were Daisy and Violet Hilton themselves members of the vaudeville circuit. They also starred as themselves in Tod Browning’s classic horror film Freaks, cementing their recognizability over 80 years later.


Other than Paulson and Lange, American Horror Story: Freak Show also stars Michael Chiklis and Kathy Bates as the divorced parents of Evan Peters, while Denis O’Hare will play a freak collector. In unknown roles are Angela Bassett, Frances Conroy, Emma Roberts, Jamie Brewer and Sidibe. And someone is going to play what is reportedly the scariest clown ever, which sounds almost impossible. We’ll all find out this fall when American Horror Story: Freak Show debuts rears its wicked heads.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.