‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ creator Ryan Murphy shares some details about the upcoming season including Lady Gaga’s role, a change of character for two show favorites and much more….
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
October seems painfully far away, but that’s when ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ will debut on FX for the brand new season and the first without Jessican Lange leading the cast.
Lange decided that ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ would be her last season of the show (for now) and so the ship sails on without her although there’s a massive cast of characters joining the series this year including pop star extraordinaire Lady Gaga.
She was actually the first cast member confirmed for the new season, but despite Gaga’s musical background she will just be another member of the ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ cast and singing will not be part of her job.
Show creator Ryan Murphy revealed that Lady Gaga will have a very interesting part in the new season of the show, but there will be no musical numbers unlike past seasons where Jessica Lange took the stage or even Stevie Nicks in season 3.
“There will be no numbers,” Murphy said. “The interesting thing is we cast a lot of singers this season but I like that singers, for the most part, are always great actors because they know how to sell a story through song, through a scene. I’m excited about that and I think that’s why Gaga was excited about it; it’s not something that she’s ever done before.
“It’s a pure acting part. I think people expect that she’s going to be sitting in a bar in a white silk gown sort of singing songs — she is not. The Gaga part is bananas good.”
EVAN PETERS AND SARAH PAULSON: NO MORE MR. NICE GUY
Throughout the first four season of ‘American Horror Story’, Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson have been two constants in every version of the show and for the most part they’ve portrayed ‘good guys’. Obviously Peters’ part as Tate in the first ‘American Horror Story’ would probably not be called ‘good’ but both have largely been protagonists in the big picture for the series.
Well that’s not the case with ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’.
Murphy says the plan this year is to flip things around and both Peters and Paulson will be playing villains — really vile villains at that!
“Everybody in the show is very excited about this season, Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters particularly because in every season thus far they’ve always been sort of the heroes, the good guy or the good lady so to speak, and this season they’re playing absolute evil villains so they’re very excited about that,” Murphy said.
SIMILAR TO SEASON ONE’S MURDER HOUSE
The setting of ‘American Horror Story’ has been one of the biggest parts of the show through the first four seasons as the series jumped from a haunted house to an insane asylum to a house holding a coven of witches to a carnival freak show.
This year, ‘American Horror Story’ lands in a hotel and Murphy says the inspiration for the show was taken from classic horror films with hotels in them as well. Obviously, ‘The Shining’ comes to mind right away, but there have been dozens of horror movies set inside a hotel at one point or another and Murphy wanted to draw from that for the new season of the show.
Murphy and the writers also visited several Hollywood hotel haunts to get some inspiration for the show this year and it seems to work out pretty well according to him.
“It’s based in the hotel in horror movies and horror tropes. We’ve researched several real-live hotels in downtown LA where absolutely horrifying things happened,” Murphy said. “Murder House I thought was a very primal season because everybody’s great fear is about the bogeyman under the bed in their house, and this feels similar to me in that when you check into a hotel, there are certain things beyond your control.
“Other people have the keys to your room; they can come in there. You’re not exactly safe, it’s a very unsettling idea.”
A MORE MALE CENTRIC SEASON
Murphy also said that because Jessica Lange was not in this season of the show, the writers compensated by taking the focus away from a central lead character and instead made ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ a series that is spread out to a much more diverse cast this year.
While Lange was definitely beloved on the show, ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ will see some of the lead star power go towards the men this season with a lot more equal time doled out to many cast members joining the show.
“We’ve always been very driven by the Jessica Lange character. She was always the lead character. This year, it’s a true ensemble and I think we have more male parts and more male stories,” Murphy said.
“The Wes Bentley part is really big, the Matt Bomer part is really big; Evan Peters and Finn Wittrock are really big. That’s not to say that the women aren’t either; I mean Kathy Bates and Gaga and Paulson’s part and Angela Bassett’s part are great. But I guess it’s a different tone this year than we’ve had.”
THE BLOODIEST SEASON YET
For true fans of horror, the upcoming season of ‘Hotel’ should serve up plenty of thrills, chills and screams but also a lot of blood.
Murphy says the idea to do a season like this has been in his head for a while and now he’s finally producing a very horrific version of the show with more blood than any past season of ‘American Horror Story’.
“The upcoming season that we’re doing is much more horror-based; it’s much more dark,” Murphy said. “It’s about a theme and an idea that’s very close to my heart that I’ve always wanted to do that’s a little bloodier and grislier I think than anything that we’ve done before; it’s straight horror this year.”
Murphy said shooting for ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ will begin shooting in Los Angeles in about three weeks with a six-story art Deco hotel being built specifically for the show. Look for ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ to debut on FX this October.