The hottest panel following Marvel’s one-two punch of Ant-Man and The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, American Horror Story finally made its Comic-Con debut, except way across from Hall H in Room 6DE, one of the smaller rooms at the San Diego Convention Center. AHS exeuctive producer Tim Minear described the fourth season of the series, Freak Show, as “(director) Douglas Sirk meets the movie Zodiac.”
One by one, each of the actors revealed their new identities: Emma Roberts is Maggie, Sarah Paulson will play Siamese twins Bette and Dot, Michael Chiklis is Evan del Toreado, Angela Bassett is his wife Desiree Dupre, and Evan Peters will play del Toreado’s son Jimmy Darling. Minear said that there will be “a villain who will rival the rubber man and the minotaur from previous seasons. John Carroll Lynch will play him, and he will scare the shit out of you.”
Related: TCA: FX’s John Landgraf Talks ‘AHS: Freak Show’ and More
Missing from the panel was Jessica Lange, who is over in Spain shooting the Weinstein Company comedy Wild Oats. Also missing: any teaser or glimpse of Freak Show. Boo! Nonetheless, the fanboy crowd didn’t mind as they stormed the cast for autographs after the panel.
Paulson, who tweeted out a photo recently of Bette and Dot, said that her twin heads aren’t “a prosthetic. There’s a mystery around what we’re doing, and I want to keep it that way. Right now, a week in, Bette is my favorite character. It’s like Sybil. I should call Sally Field and get some tips.” Freak Show will take place during the 1950s in Jupiter, FL.
While most of these fan panels are full of actors’ guarded, sugary praise of each other, the cast of American Horror Story let loose — real loose and got candid about working with AHS creator Ryan Murphy. Said Evan Peters about Murphy, “He’s a visionary. He thinks of all these things, and we have to figure out what he wants.” Said co-star Kathy Bates with a laugh: “That’s the damn truth! It unnerves me a bit. The man behind the curtain has come out in front of the curtain. It’s so lame. I must be nervous. After my first scene one week, I got home and couldn’t go to sleep, and then I slept for 30 hours — and that was without drugs! I swear to God, I think he scares the shit out of me!”
Off the Oscar-winning actress’ candid comment, Paulson said, “I say there’s nothing better than Kathy Bates!”
Said new AHS cast member Chiklis”I always wanted to work with him.”
“That’s bullshit,” said Bates, “You said you worked with him last night!” To which the actress mimicked a rimshot, “Badum-chick!”
When the actors were asked if there was an acerbic scene they would ever opt of, Bates said: “I wouldn’t want to do any bad scene with children. If there was something abusive with children that was too horrific, that would be it for me.” The actress later described she wasn’t a fan of AHS: Asylum — at which point, Paulson hysterically took the mike away from Bates.
During PaleyFest last spring, the American Horror Story panel filled the Dolby Theatre to the brim, so it’s odd that the show has been sidelined to one of the smaller rooms here at the convention center. Most of the cast members — including Roberts, Paulson and Bates — were new to the fanboy confab. Chiklis is a four-time vet.