At a special screening of the season 2 finale of American Horror Story: Asylum on the Twentieth Century Fox lot in Los Angeles, creator Ryan Murphy spoke to the media about the series so far and gave us a few hints at what we can expect from season 3.
*NO SEASON 2 FINALE SPOILERS*
Setting the Tone for Season 3
Ryan Murphy: I start working on season 3 on Monday. I already know what the season is. The thing I really wanted to do next season, because I love this season and I thought it was successful, I want to do something next season that’s funnier. I really miss that Jessica Lange as Constance. I know she missed it too. The only thing I’ll say about that is that it’s a mixture of several cities and it’s really about female power and I got Jessica to do it because I did everything she asked, which was the location and I told her she will have complete hair and makeup and have the best designer gowns ever. She said “Please don’t put me in a wimple again”. So she is going to play a really glamor-cat sort of lady in season 3. But I’m just meeting up with a lot of actors, so I don’t want to say too much, but actors Jessica wants to work with. So she’s sort of become the non-credited producer of season 3 because she loves doing the show. I think she loves the 13 episode nature so she can do films. This was a very hard thing for her. She’s never played a character like this. You know she is the most sensual actress around, so to put her in a tight black thing with her hair and no makeup. She loved this episode… But you will see a very different [Jessica Lange] next season. It’s a modern day story with her next season.
It’s more historical in nature. I’m also interested in getting into a horror romance. That’s something that will certainly be in the water for season 3. I think season 2 was really cool and I think it was really about something cultural and social. But it was very dark and it was very unrelenting and it was by design. And I think you’ll see a very different tone in season 3, but the joy of the show. I think as a person right now, I do feel lighter and wanting to embrace something a little bit more fun. But we do have a great [horror] icon for season 3 and it’s a woman.
There will be different time periods and different cities. This season we did not do as much as we did in season 1, but we’ll return to [jumping between time periods] in season 3.
There will be a definite return to a youth element, which I certainly like from season one. I like the star-crossed lovers from different tracks thing. This season had a couple strong romances, but the romances were sort of like friendships. I think the strongest romance in the piece was Kit and Lana. But it wasn’t a sexual romance. I love that friendship.
Selecting the Cast
Ryan: A lot of people also like to do this show because they like to jump in the waters and it’s a form of commitment that’s not 9 months. Some people are doing movies and some people have committed to doing plays. So we want to have some new people come in. And some people will come back. So I don’t feel comfortable saying until we hear from them and what they want to do.
I always start off with the story. I always start off with things that I’ve always been obsessed with. And the season we’re just about to do is another thing like the Asylum thing that I was always really interested in as a kid. So I come up with a story and it’s obviously always 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 what her 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’s always wanted to work with. And other that, we will have actors from season 1 who will return. I like that idea. I know that those actors are interested in that. And then we’ll meet for a while. I know who Sarah Paulson’s playing. But she does not.
At the end of last season, Evans said to me, “I cannot sob anymore. I can’t do it. Please don’t make me do it. I want to play someone more buttoned down and less emotional.” So that was in the back of my head when we were coming up with Kit Walker, which was a very different character for him. But next year he’ll probably go back to being a sobbing psychopath. But I like, and the actors like, playing the opposite of what they’ve done. I think it’s fun for them.
A Change to the Mini-Series Model?
Ryan: It was pitched as a mini-series, as if this is going to work, this is what it’s going to be. And I like that idea because like Paulson said, I like that it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It’s very novelistic.
I hope this show goes for 10 years because I have so many different kinds of horror I would like to write about. I love that you can jump periods. You can play with different actors. I know the actors love playing different characters. So it’s something we’ll always stay with.