American Horror Story: Asylum continues its powerful run this Wednesday with The Coat Hanger, which finds Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) a victim of Briarcliff's controversial doctor-patient practices. So far in Season 2, American Horror Story has trotted through every conceivable horror genre trope imaginable, including demonic possession, serial killers, alien abduction, torture porn, mad scientists, evil Nazis, killer Santas, bad seed children, human abnormalities, psychological warfare, haunted houses, and mutant monsters. And the season still has five more episodes to go, so there is no telling what we may see next.
What does that leave for Season 3? Not much. All we know about next year's new run of episodes is that Jessica Lange has agreed to return. Who will she be playing and what will she be doing? That, she doesn't know yet. And its possible that series creators Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy don't have a clue either. If they do, they haven't shared their ideas with any of the cast.
We spoke with Jessica Lange earlier today via a conference call, and this is what she had to say about the continuation of American Horror Story in 2013.
"We haven't really talked about it too much. All of that stuff is under discussion. I think I will try it again, depending on what the story is, and who the character is. We will see what happens."
What sort of character will compel her to continue playing in the American Horror Story sandbox?
"I don't know yet. I haven't really thought it through. When we started talking about American Horror Story Season 2, I had very clear ideas about who I wanted to play. I'd never played an alcoholic before. I wanted to play a great drunk scene. I remember, I asked Ryan Murphy to include that. I wanted to play someone that was really down and out. Also, that whole area of madness. Those were things that I specifically had in mind when we talked about the character of Sister Jude. For next year, I really...I am just so exhausted from this whole experience and this season. It seems like it has gone on forever. I don't really have a thought about next season yet. There is a lot of stuff that will come up. As of now, I hate to say it, but I haven't given it any thought whatsoever."
is there any chance she actually won't be back next season?
"Not that I can imagine at this point. Ryan Murphy is very collaborative. I don't think, at this point, he would pull something out of his hat that I would say I absolutely don't want to do. Or that I don't want to be involved with the story. From episode to episode, I am like, "Oh, god! What are we doing? We shouldn't be doing this." What amazes me is that nothing we do in this show, really, is not founded in some reality somewhere. This whole thing with Bloodyface. I was reading about Ed Gein a while ago, about how he would wear his victim's skin. Whatever can be imagined in this show, there is nothing that hasn't happened somewhere in the world at some point. I don't think, unless we really sink the ship, that there would be something Ryan came up with that I wouldn't want to be involved with."
In next week's episode The Coat Hanger, Sister Jude is now a patient at Briarcliff. Jessica Lange talked about this plot twist, and also about the slow transformation throughout the season from villain to potential hero.
"This thing has a life of its own. It's like a river. It moves one direction, and then it continues that way, then it shifts direction. I think Ryan Murphy has these things roughly plotted out, where things are going to go...But I don't always know ahead of time. I kind of understood that we would be dealing with this descent into Hell. I did not know, really, that Jude would rise to the top of this, in a way. In a way, that is what makes it interesting to play. When you usually get the script, or a play, and all of the acts are there, you know what happens in the first, second, and third acts. You know where it starts and where it goes, and where it finishes. With this, it's a whole new experience. It's kind of like life. You don't know where it's going to go. You don't know what is going to happen next. It's an interesting way to work. It has made me work in a much more fluid...In a braver way...Just taking every chance that comes along. I don't plan things ahead of time. I don't map out the character. It's been a great, powerful exercise in working with the moment. It's made me a better actor in a way. Because of not being able to go into something predetermined.
[About The Coat Hanger], I don't know what I'm allowed to say. I am always a little timid about talking about plot lines. Everything gets put in motion [this week] in terms of Briarcliff, and the demise of that institution. Everyone's departure from it, except mine. She does try to right the wrongs that she has done. But she is totally trapped within her own making, in a way. Beyond that, I'm not sure I should say where this is going."