SciFi Mafia was at the Fox lot for a special screening of the finale of American Horror Story Asylum yesterday – more about that next week – after which showrunner Ryan Murphy answered a number of questions about the finale, about the show in general, and about Season 3, and no, we won’t make you wait another second for that.
Yes, he already knows what the season’s story is. In fact, he starts working with the writers on Monday to flesh it out, then he’ll pitch the whole season to the network executives, “and after we pitch it we start writing it.” We already knew that Jessica Lange is returning, but Murphy confirmed last night that Sarah Paulson (“Lana” in Asylum) and Evan Peters (“Kit” in Asylum) will also be returning.
It’s going to be lighter, or at least less unrelentingly dark. “I love this season and I think it was successful, but I want to do something next season that’s funnier. I really miss that kind of Jessica-Lange-as-Constance stuff, and I know she missed it too… I think as a person right now” – he’s a new dad – “I do feel lighter and maybe wanting to embrace something a little more fun.”
The show that is known for its season icons – Rubber Man in Season 1, Bloody Face in Season 2 – does already have an icon for Season 3. “We do have a great icon, and it’s a woman.” The season is “really about female power…” but he went no further with that.
“I’m also interested in getting into a horror romance, that’s certainly something that’s going to be in the water for season 3.” He was asked if that meant there would be younger people in the next season, like there were in Season 1. He pointed out that Norma Shearer played Romeo and Juliet in her 40s, but “there’s going to be a definite return to a youth element which I certainly liked in season 1. But I like the star crossed lovers from different tracks thing.”
Which comes first, the story or the actor?
I always start out with the story, with things that I have always been obsessed with. The season that we are just about to do is another thing, like the asylum thing, that I was always interested in as a kid. So I come up with a story, and obviously it’s always now crafted around Jessica for the most part. So before I talk to anybody I go to her and I tell her what the story is and I tell her what the character is and she has input, like this year she said “I would like to work with x, y, z, would you please meet with these people.” People she has always wanted to work with, so I’m doing that.
“I will say that for season 3 we’re going to have some actors from season 1 who will return,” he went on. “I like that idea and I know that those actors are interested in returning… I know who Sarah Paulson is playing.” Does she? “She does not,” he said, laughing.
Season 1 was on the west coast, Season 2 on the east coast, but Season 3’s location is “a mixture of several cities,” at Ms. Lange’s request. It will be set in modern day, although we’ll once again be seeing the time jumps that he loves. Fortunately the brilliant production designer and costumers will also be back for next season.
“I got Jessica to do it because I did everything she asked, which was the location, and I also told her that she will have complete hair, makeup, and the best designer gowns ever,” he said, laughing. “She said ‘please don’t put me in a wimple again.’ She’s going to play a really ‘glamour cat’ sort of lady in Season 3.”
WE CANNOT WAIT.
The American Horror Story: Asylum finale, starring Jessica Lange, Zachary Quinto, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Joseph Fiennes, Adam Levine, Jenna Dewan, and Dylan McDermott, airs Wednesday, January 23 at 10/9c on FX.
American Horror Story Season 3, starring Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, and Evan Peters, is expected to premiere Fall 2013 on FX.