Michael Chiklis Is A Strongman In American Horror Story: Freak Show, Because Duh

American Horror Story is easily one of my favorite TV series, as its batshit insanity will always outweigh the inane plot structure and storytelling in my mind. The addition of Michael Chiklis to American Horror Story: Freak Show has only gotten me more anxious about the upcoming season, and we now have a good idea of what kind of freak he’ll be playing. (Hint: he isn’t the bearded lady.)

According to TV Line, series creator Ryan Murphy recently dropped some major info about Chiklis’ as-yet-unnamed character after being granted the Louis XIII Genius Award at the Critics Choice Awards. He will play the “strongman” within Jessica Lange’s last great American freak show, gasping for its last breath in Jupiter, Florida in the 1950s. This is hardly a surprise, as the only other two major male actors that have been announced are Evan Peters and Denis O’Hare, neither of which are quite chiseled enough to match a strongman’s description. That said, I would LOVE to see O’Hare bulk up to around 220 lbs. of solid muscle mass.

What is perhaps more surprising is Chiklis, whom we already know to be the father of Peters’ character and the ex-husband of Kathy Bates’ character, will be married to Angela Bassett. We’ve already seen American Horror Story: Asylum awkwardly handle interracial marriage in the mid-20th century, so I’m guessing this couple is going to see quite a bit of racism thrown its way, on top of whatever insults people usually reserve for freak show performers.

Murphy goes a little deeper into the strongman role and the characters he’ll be up against.

”He has scenes with Angela and Jessica Lange and [onscreen ex] Kathy Bates. I love the part because it’s really written to be quite vulnerable, which is something I think Michael does so well – the strong man who’s vulnerable. I’m very excited to see [him] tussle with all those great ladies. And he’s really up for it, really excited about it.

Chiklis is best known for playing lawmen facing corruption in acclaimed series such as The Commish and The Shield. How amazing would it be if he was somehow playing Vic Mackey’s sunglasses-donning father in this role?


American Horror Story: Freak Show already has a full house of performers aside from those previously mentioned, including Gabourey Sidibe, Emma Roberts, Frances Conroy, Jamie Brewer and Sarah Paulson, who recently revealed that she would be playing a set of conjoined twins. Bates, meanwhile, told BuzzSugar that she knows what her character looks like, and has been through costume designs, but she still isn’t sure where she fits into the freak show.

Murphy & Co. will start production next month in New Orleans, so expect to discover even more show secrets before American Horror Story: Freak Show debuts later this year on FX.

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.