In traditional fashion, the last night of PaleyFest closed with FX’s American Horror Story. And as far as Season 6’s theme goes, creator Ryan Murphy said tonight, “The interesting thing about the next season is that we’ve been working on two ideas at once, which we’ve never done.” As such, the AHS creator wasn’t ready to reveal his angle to the throngs of fans who filled Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre.
Murphy did tease that the creative team has always been influenced by “the opera.” He also said, especially after Hotel dealt with moppet vampires, that horror “often deals with the innocence of children, and their wide-eyed way into it. Both (Season 6) ideas we’re working with have elements of children.” In recent months there was buzz that AHS Season 6 would focus on The Slender Man — a tall, lanky, faceless boogeyman. However, those rumors were squashed.
One thing Murphy did make certain tonight was the eight AHS: Hotel castmembers on stage with him — Kathy Bates, Denis O’Hare, Angela Bassett, Sarah Paulson, Finn Wittrock, Wes Bentley, Cheyenne Jackson and Matt Bomer — will return next season.
Murphy has often used the PaleyFest to reveal details, characters and key actors for the next season of AHS. Season 6, similar to last, will be shot in Los Angeles. Two years ago, he trotted Michael Chiklis on stage, revealing that he’d play the muscle-man on Season 4’s Freak Show. Last year at PaleyFest, AHS icon Jessica Lange declared that “she was done,” while Bomer was announced as an addition to Hotel. O’Hare told Deadline tonight that “Lange always brought a leadership role on and off set, and in her absence that leadership role shifted to a number of people” during AHS: Hotel.
In regards to working with Lady Gaga, who played vampire diva The Countess, Paulson said, “She reminded me of Jessica (Lange) because she’s other-worldly. She’s right there. If you’re feeling something, she’s feeling the exact same thing.”
While most of the cast was gobsmacked to work opposite the global pop phenomenon, that image never got in the way on the set of Hotel. Said Murphy on working with Lady Gaga, who won a Golden Globe for her performance on the show, “I found her to be incredibly moving as a person. Though she’s a worldwide icon, the thing that she wanted from the show was — she hunkered for community, which was missing in her life. On the first day, Kathy Bates said to her ‘great job’ and she left the set and cried. She always wanted to be an actor.” Murphy also mentioned that Lady Gaga would routinely ask for the dailies he didn’t use, so that she could go back and study what didn’t work. “She was a student through the whole process,” said Murphy.
Also on stage tonight with Murphy were creator Brad Falchuk and EP Tim Minear.
Heading into tonight, here’s what we knew about Season 6:
At TCA in January, FX CEO John Landgraf said that “it’s set in two time periods — in the present with echoes of the past — but principally in the present.”
Lady Gaga announced on Z100 radio station in NYC that she’s coming back. Bassett revealed in previous interviews that she was also returning for and that Paulson’s character was potentially “the boss” of her. Emma Roberts has said in interviews during PaleyFest that she’s open to returning.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.