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Below director Ryan Murphy talks more about AHS: Freak Show! He does reveal a little more about Emma’s character, click ‘read more‘ to find out! Spoilers ahead!
By now, avid TV watchers know that each season of American Horror Story is an entirely new plot but with much of the same group of actors. Each installment also most importantly stems from the brilliant and imaginative minds of co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. For EW‘s Fall TV Preview, on stands now, Murphy offered up some details from the New Orleans set of AHS‘s latest installment, Freak Show—about the titular group of entertainers in 1952 in Jupiter, Florida—which premieres Oct. 8 at 10pm on FX.
EW: Where did this come from? I know it’s something you and Jessica talked about it right?
RYAN MURPHY: It’s something that Jessica she had always talked about it. Jessica’s a photographer so she had always been interested in that carny world. If you look at her photography, she’s always interested in the lost and the forgotten and the beautiful survivor of it all. We talked about it like every couple of weeks. She sent me a book actually. I once I started investigating it I really loved the idea of it because I felt it was such a ripe world. The carny world, the freak show really ended for the most part when television began. So one freak show replaced another so that was always the idea.
I always was very interested in Tod Browning’s Freaks. I loved that movie and Carnival of Lost Souls so there’s a lot of horror tropes to pull from and admire. It’s also our biggest year so I think it took a while and it took success for us to earn the money to do what we had to do. We had to build an entire city. We built an entire huge compound and then we had to build the interior of all those buildings on set. It’s all period. And it’s all based on [production designer] Mark Worthington’s immaculate research. Jessica went she first walked in said she was brought to tears. She kept saying, “It’s like a poem. It’s like a poem.” It’s a very romantic, sad place.
So what can you say about the gist of the plot for this season?
It sort of dovetails with a time in our culture where different people of all different kinds of life start to stand up for their civil rights. The performers have put up with centuries of abuse which is all true and are getting to the point where we’re not going to take it anymore. We’re not going to take it from the town, from the law. The carnies historically were always thought of as lower than thieves, lower than vermin. They were not allowed to sit in certain parts of diners. They were not allowed in movie theaters. They were really ostracized from society. They were thought of as the dregs. So that’s going on as Elsa is trying to keep the sideshow going and it’s not working until she stumbles across two girls, conjoined twins played by Sarah Paulson, who may or may not be responsible for heinous activities that have gone on in the town. Then suddenly become her new headliners and of course that begins to attract people far and wide to see this incredibly odd and special girls.
We’re doing conjoined twins in a very interesting way that I’ve never seen done before. What we’re doing with Sarah is one body, one actor, two heads. It’s really a technological and acting marvel for Ms. Paulson. I think people will really be blown away by. We kinda have created this technology to make it work so it’s something that’s never been done and I was really interested in the challenge of that.
Check out captures and behind the scenes from Palo Alto DVD, which was released on Sept. 9th(US)!
Emma will be playing con artist Maggie in American Horror Story: Freak Show! Check out a cool character poster! Click “read more” for link to gallery…
For months we’ve gotten little tidbits on the latest season of American Horror Story, like the character names and guest stars. Now, in EW’s Fall TV Preview, readers get to see behind the curtain of Freak Show.
This latest installment of AHS is about a titular group of misfit performers, led by former German cabaret star Elsa Mars (Emmy winner Jessica Lange), who arrive in the small town of Jupiter, Florida.”My character is very manipulative,” says Lange. “She understands what’s needed and she provides it. However the thing I want to be very clear that Elsa really loves these people. She truly cares for them in her own selfish narcissistic way. It’s not just exploitation.”
With her show’s popularity waning, Elsa hopes to pump up attendance by finding and recruiting conjoined twins Bette and Dot (Sarah Paulson), two very different personalities sharing one body. “It’s not as simple as nice and evil,” Paulson says. “It’s more complicated, in true Ryan Murphy style.”
Elsa’s troupe includes Jimmy (Evan Peters), who was born with lobster-like hands, and his mother, bearded lady Ethel (Kathy Bates). “Ethel is basically Elsa’s right hand woman,” says co-creator Ryan Murphy. “She helps run the camp, and she’s sort of the guardian of the law. She had a real tragedy in that she was a real circus star in the ‘20s and 30s and then she had her baby and she became a down-and-out drunk, and Elsa saved her.”
Gia Coppola makes her feature directorial debut with this drama adapted from a series of short stories by James Franco, who stars as a soccer coach in the titular California town where bored teens begin to stir up trouble. April (Emma Roberts) is a virtuous soccer star whose impressive athleticism masks a deep-rooted timidity. Admired from afar by sensitive artist Teddy (Jack Kilmer), April earns some extra cash babysitting for her single coach Mr. B. (Franco), whose affection for his star player leads the pair into a risky affair. Meanwhile, Teddy continues to perform community service as the result of a DUI he received while stirring up trouble with his unpredictable friend Fred (Nat Wolff), whose seduction of promiscuous outsider Emile (Zoe Levin) begins to turn volatile as April gradually starts to respond to the affections of her not-so-secret admirer. Val Kilmer, Claudia Levy, and Chris Messina co-star.
Features: Behind the scenes, Theatrical trailer, Closed Captioned