Why Jessica Lange Might Not Leave The American Horror Story Franchise

If you’ve been really tuned in to American Horror Story, you may already know that Jessica Lange has been planning for Freak Show to be her last appearance in the popular FX series. Lange’s such an integral part of the American Horror Story franchise, it’s tough to imagine the series without her, and luckily for fans, Ryan Murphy is not willing to let go of his leading lady without a fight. Maybe Lange will be back for another dose of horror, after all.

On Tuesday, Murphy spoke out to reporters about American Horror Story, with TV Line noting that he has a plan to try to convince Lange to return next year.

“It always starts with a character for Jessica, so I think I’d have to present her with something she was very interested in. Before, I was met with a really quick ‘No.’ Now, I’m hearing, ‘Well, let’s keep talking.’ So I thought that was a very good sign. … I think if I presented her with the right character, and it could work with her schedule, she might be interested. … That’s my hope.”

Apparently, Lange has gone from a firm "no" to a "maybe", which is not quite a “yes” but still seems pretty hopeful. Murphy also went on to explain that American Horror Story: Freak Show has been the most fun Lange has had shooting so far, which could go a long way to change her mind about future seasons.

“This is her favorite season, without question. I really want her to keep her hand in. Does that mean 13 episodes? Does that mean six? Does that mean one? She and I are probably going to have a dinner date when the holidays come.”

Murphy and Lange clearly enjoy working together, and even if Lange does want to devote less time in the future to the weirdness that is American Horror Story, I could see her signing on for a smaller role in any upcoming seasons FX decides to air. The great thing about the American Horror Story franchise is that it requires a true ensemble cast, and there are a slew of small, medium and large roles available for talent. The variety in characters is one of the reasons Murphy has been able to attract so many big names thus far, which has translated into plenty of Emmy and Golden Globes nods and awards.

American Horror Story: Freak Show will begin airing on FX tonight at 9 p.m. ET. Jessica Lange is set to play Elsa Mars, the head of a freak show in Jupiter, Florida in the 1950s. She’ll be surrounded by an all-star cast that includes Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Michael Chiklis, Frances Conroy, Emma Roberts, Denis O’Hare, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, John Carroll Lynch, Wes Bentley and many, many more.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.