Ryan Murphy Drops Hints for American Horror Story Season 3

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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.


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.

Check back here next Wednesday, January 23rd, when we’ll have more from the conversation with Ryan Murphy and his thoughts on the season 2 finale of American Horror Story: Asylum, which airs that night at 10pm on FX.

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