With the American Horror Story: Asylum finale scheduled for January 23rd, FX invited some reporters over to 20th Century Fox to screen the episode and do a Q&A with show creator Ryan Murphy. While we will post the portion of the interview about his thoughts on Season 2 of the ongoing mini-series that has different characters and settings with each season while many of the same actors rotate in and out, we did want to share what he had to say about where he’s looking to take the show in Season 3.
During the interview, he said that he plans on doing something a bit funnier next season, that it’s a mixture of several cities that will take place in different time periods, Jessica Lange will be playing a very glamourous woman, that she’s requested a handful of actors that she’s always wanted to work with, that both Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters will be returning, that he’ll be bringing back actors from Season 1, and he wants to have a star-crossed lovers romance. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Question: What can you reveal about Season 3?
RYAN MURPHY: The thing that I really wanted to do next season was something that’s funnier. I love this season and I think it was successful, but I really miss that Jessica Lange as Constance stuff, and I know she missed it, too. The only thing I’ll say about [Season 3] is that it’s a mixture of several cities, and it’s really about female power. I got Jessica to do it because I did everything she asked, which was the location, and I also told her that she would have complete hair and make-up and the best designer gowns, ever. She said, “Please don’t put me in a wimple again, ever!” So, she’s going to play a real glamour cat lady, in Season 3.
But, I’m just now meeting with a lot of actors, so I don’t want to say too much. They’re actors that Jessica wants to work with. She’s become a non-credited producer on Season 3. She loves doing this show and she loves the 13 episode nature of this, so she can go do films, theater or whatever. This was a very hard thing for her. She’s never played a character like this. I think she is the most sensual actress around, so to put her in a black thing with no make-up was [difficult]. But, she loved it, by the end of it. She loved [the finale]. But, you will see a very different [character next time]. It’s a modern-day story, next season, with her. I’m sorry, I can’t say more.
When you sit down to plan out a season, what do you start with, the story or the characters?
MURPHY: Well, I always start off with the story, and I always start off with things that I have always been obsessed with. The season that we’re just about to do is another thing, like the asylum, that I was always really interested in, as a kid. So, I come up with the story and, obviously, it’s always now crafted around Jessica, for the most part. Before I talk to anybody, I go to her and tell her what the story is and what the character is, and then she has input. This year, she said, “I would like to work with X, Y and Z. Will you please meet with these people?” So, I’m doing that. I will say that, for Season 3, we’re going to have some actors from Season 1, who will return. I like that idea, and I know those actors are interested in that. That’s pretty much how we do it. And then, we’ll meet for awhile. I know who Sarah Paulson is playing.
MURPHY: She does not. But, the actors like playing the opposite of what they’ve done. I think it’s fun for them.
Have you given any thought to averting expectations, in future seasons, now that viewers expect you to kill off almost everyone, by the end of the season?
MURPHY: Yes. What Season 3 is about is more historical in nature. I always feel like it’s What’s My Line? when I can’t say what it is. I’m also interested in getting into a horror romance. I think that’s really interesting. That’s certainly something that’s going to be in the water for Season 3. I think you’ll see a very different tone, in Season 3, but that’s the joy of the show. As a person, right now, I do feel lighter and maybe want to embrace something a little bit more fun.
Will you have another icon at the center of the story, for Season 3?
MURPHY: We have a great icon, and it’s a woman.
Even though you’re setting next season’s story in modern day, will you still have different time periods?
MURPHY: There will be time periods, and there will also be different cities. I love that. The great heroes of this show are our brilliant production designer, our brilliant costumer, and our DP, who are all coming back. They’re just great, and I know they really enjoy the research of the [different time periods]. This season, we did not do as much as we did in Season 1, but we will return to that in Season 3.
So, Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters will definitely be back for Season 3?
Anyone else you want to announce?
MURPHY: No. I’m talking to a lot of people. A lot of people like to do this show because they like to jump in the waters. It’s a four-month commitment. It’s not nine months. Some people are doing movies. Some people have committed to doing plays. So, we’re going to have some new people come in, and some old people will come back. I don’t feel comfortable saying anything until we’ve talked to them about what they want to do.
What are you going to do with the romance aspect? Does that mean you’ll have a younger focus, next season?
MURPHY: It could go either way. It could be Jessica Lange. There is going to be a definite return to a youth element, which I certainly liked from Season 1, but I like the star-crossed lovers from different tracks thing. This season had a couple of strong romances, but the romances were more like friendships.