Jessica Lange May Not Be Done With American Horror Story After All

For a while there, it looked like the last time we would see the Emmy-winning Jessica Lange in Ryan Murphy’s television universe was in the season finale of American Horror Story: Freak Show this past January, as the actress publicly stated that she would be opting out of future seasons of the hit FX series. But wait! Now, it looks like the actress has had some second thoughts about those assertions, but don’t get your hopes up for her taking on a leading role.

Lange recently spoke with TheWrap for their upcoming Emmy magazine issue, and she seems to have softened her stance on a possible return to the weird and wild world of American Horror Story. Here’s how she put it.

If Ryan came to me and said, ‘Would you want to do a small character for a couple episodes?’ I would absolutely say yes if I liked it. This was a great collaborations, so I would love to keep working with him.

As weird as it would be to watch a seasonal installment of American Horror Story without Jessica Lange in it, it would almost be as strange to watch it with her just in a bit part for a few episodes. Murphy utilizes a large cadre of actors for AHS, and Lange has largely been the lynch pin holding it all together, and her characters have been a centerpiece for each season’s complication-filled story. She was the all-knowing neighbor in Murder House, the diabolical Sister Jude in Asylum, the vindictively bewitching head of house in Coven and the sideshow captain in Freak Show. I don’t know if I could take her just popping through this next season for a short and largely meaningless late-season arc, as this show is wont to produce.

We don’t really know too much plot-wise about American Horror Story: Hotel, beyond the fact that it’ll take place inside a hotel run by Kathy Bates. Such temporary housing establishments offer plenty of chances for come-and-go characters, so it’s not hard to imagine Lange as a guest that either causes some havoc or has havoc brought to her. Or, as would most likely be the case, a solid mixture of the two.

While much of the casting for American Horror Story: Hotel has been done, it’s not out of the question that Lange will be a late addition. As for as who’s already there, we have lots of series-familiar faces like Sarah Paulson, Denis O’Hare, Evan Peters, Angela Bassett, Finn Wittrock, Wes Bentley, Matt Bomer and Chloë Sevigny. There will also be a bunch of newbies in the cast, including Cheyenne Jackson, Max Greenfield and Lady Gaga.

Now we’re just waiting to see how well Lange and American Horror Story do when this year’s Emmys come around. Fans will also be able to see a live collaboration between Lange and Murphy when the Broadway version of Long Day’s Journey Into Night kicks off in March 2016.

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.