The anticipation and excitement for the upcoming season of American Horror Story, entitled Freak Show, is reaching a fever pitch. With the fourth season of the anthology series set to premiere in October, fans have been snatching up all of the information they possibly can. On Saturday, the show’s creator, Ryan Murphy, ended up giving them a huge part of the puzzle when he revealed the roles for the new season, which takes place during 1952 at one of America’s final freak shows.
Murphy shared the scoop on Saturday evening during the panel discussion for the show at Comic Con. Many of the show’s original cast will be returning, along with a few new faces. Actress Jessica Lange will be playing Elsa Mars. It was first teased back in January that the character would be of German ancestry. Another AHS vet, Sarah Paulson, will be portraying Siamese twins Bette and Dot.
A newcomer to the mythos of American Horror Story, actor Michael Chiklis, will be playing Evan del Toreado (certain other sites have his name listed as “Wendell del Tolito”), while Angela Bassett, who made her debut during Coven, the third season of the FX series, will be playing his ex-wife, Desiree Dupree.
Actor Evan Peters, coming fresh off his role in X-Men: Days of Future Past, will play Jimmy Darling, the son of Evan. Peters’ real life girlfriend, Emma Roberts, will also return to the show for a second season, this time as a character named Maggie. Kathy Bates, who also joined onto American Horror Story last year, will be playing Ethel Darling, the current wife of Evan (or “Wendell”) and Jimmy’s mother. By that connection, it seems as if Bates’ character and Bassett’s character will once again find reasons to go head-to-head, just as they did during last year’s Coven. Bates played the racist Delphine LaLaurie in that arc, while Bassett took on the role of Marie LeVeau, a Voodoo priestess who curses LaLaurie.
Also bringing hell to the life of Ethel Darling will be American Beauty star Wes Bentley. Set to play a character named Eddie, Bentley will be seen during the show’s annual two-part Halloween episode, tentatively set to air this year on October 21 and 28.
One of the core villains for Freak Show was also revealed during the panel discussion. Actor John Carroll Lynch, who is best known for his portrayal of serial killer Arthur Leigh Allen in 2007’s Zodiac, will be tackling another psychotic role for the new AHS season. It is unknown exactly whom Lynch will be playing, but if a supposed call sheet (which was leaked recently) holds any validity, he will be causing fear and mayhem as a killer clown.
Other former AHS players, such as Jamie Brewer, Frances Conroy and The Big C’s Gabourey Sidibe, will turn up in “unspecified roles.” Denis O’Hare, who has also been included in all three seasons of the show, will be playing “a collector of freaks.”
In a surprising omission, actress Lily Rabe, who has been included in all past incarnations of the American Horror Story franchise, was not brought up as being a part of Freak Show. Also left out was young actress Taissa Farmiga, who took part in the maiden voyage of the show, Murder House, as well as last season’s Coven.
By Jonathan Brown