American Horror Story: Coven: 10 Highlights from PaleyFest 2014

by | March 31, 2014 | Comments

American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy mentioned during the PaleyFest panel on Friday, Mar. 28, that executives had tried to temper his expectations when it came to the ratings of their third mini-series Coven. He implied that they were expecting lower numbers for this series that was mostly “more niche.” Thankfully, that wasn’t the case, as the finale was the season’s most watched episode, and Coven itself the most watched of the American Horror Story series. It’s no surprise that Friday’s panel was packed to the brim with people who love the show — and the only people having more fun than the fans were the cast and crew on stage.

1. Kathy Bates’ head was the guest of honor.
Angela Bassett gracefully brought Kathy Bates’ severed head on a platter out to join her on stage. Just when the audience thought that they had seen all they would of Bates, she came on stage in the flesh. Bates gave her head a kiss, and then showered her cast mates and crew with kudos. Not that Coven is an easy show to be a part of — Bates mentioned that when she had the pleasure of meeting President Barack Obama, she thought “Dear God, I hope he hasn’t seen our show.”

2. The cast is back for next season.
Most importantly, the big news about next season is that all of the cast of Coven will return for Freak Show in some capacity. Joining the cast for the first time is The Shield‘s Michael Chiklis as Kathy Bates’ ex husband and Evan Peters’ father. The next mini-series takes place in 1950s Florida, where, as Murphy quipped, “all great things happen.” Chiklis said he “can’t think of a better way to come home to [the network] FX” and that “we’re going to scare you.” The cast at the event warned Chiklis that he’s in for a crazy ride, telling him to “strap in.” He admitted he was terrified and excited to do it.

3. AHS takes the less-obvious route.
When asked “why witches?” Brad Falchuk explained that they enjoy telling the less-obvious story behind the genre. Since witches implied a female-centric storyline, Falchuk said that the story became less about magic, and more about mothers and daughters. With Freak Show, we should expect the same type of storytelling.

4. Frances Conroy is fearless in a unitard.
To film the scene right after she is burned at the stake, Conroy said she was very cold in her burn-patterned unitard. The dogs that appeared to be gnawing on her remains were actually eating kibble that was scattered right next to Conroy’s body. One dog was too enthusiastic and refused to leave despite the dog whistle, and they had to re-shoot the scene several times so the dog would exit properly.

5. Coven was meant to be a huge departure from Asylum.
Since Asylum was so dank and nasty, Coven was purposely made elegant and decadent, with gorgeous art direction and camera work. Murphy called it “refreshing” to be able to reboot the season each year aesthetically.

6. It’s good to be a man on the set of a mostly-female show.
Denis O’Hare and Evan Peters both agreed that not having lines means that you’re always ready to go while other cast members are frantically going over scripts. And of course, as an actor, it allowed O’Hare and Peters to really act instead of worry about saying something verbally.

7. Filming in New Orleans is pretty much the greatest.
Angela Bassett cast a vote for Halloween being the best holiday, and locals made sure she knew “not to mess up” her role as Marie Leaveau. Kathy Bates took lots of photos of Southern Decadence and Sarah Paulson playfully admitted the cast was “drunk a lot,” which she quickly recanted. Which leads to?

8. If you’re going to mess with somebody, it shouldn’t be Sarah Paulson.
Gabourey Sidibe captured the entire audience’s attention when she reenacted the night she found herself alone with Sarah Paulson and a girl dressed as “a nebula” on Halloween. The Nebula made a poor choice to glitter-bomb Paulson, who, according to Sidibe, stuck a pointed finger in her face and yelled “Oh no.” Apparently, what was described as a “bar fight” ensued, although without Sidibe’s reenactment skills, the rest remains unknown.

9. Speaking of which, Paulson has a future as a stand-up comedian.
The night began with Paulson teasing that she was “on a cleanse” and just went from there, with her fondly remembering her shark spine cane from Coven, and talking about how her milky-eye contacts were impossible to see out of, making her to bump into walls. Paulson also said that all she really wants next season is a black tooth, a peg leg and maybe a hunchback. Once the laughter quieted, Paulson explained that it’s the fearlessness of AHS that keeps her coming back. For instance, Lana Winters of Asylum is Paulson’s favorite character because it was so challenging to go to the emotional place necessary to play Leah.

10. If you wish hard enough, there might be a spin-off.
Kathy Bates said that having her head as the focal point of part of the season gave them all the giggles. So much so, in fact, that she and Gabourey Sidibe decided they would be game to do a spin-off called “Gabi and the Head,” which Bates corrected to “Queenie and the Head.” Sidibe explained that The Head was an online teacher and that they lived in Seattle. Most importantly, they could have a Mary Tyler Moore moment when Queenie throws The Head in the air like the famous beret.

And sadly, even with much prodding from moderator Tim Stack, Angela Bassett would not share her skin care regimen. Maybe next year?

See photos from PaleyFest 2014 for American Horror Story: Coven and other shows here.

Tag Cloud

Mary Poppins Returns Quiz 2018 Tokyo Olympics genre comic book movies Anna Paquin Freeform MSNBC cults crime thriller USA Lucasfilm social media DC Comics Alien A&E Box Office child's play cops zombie First Look Spring TV 90s New York Comic Con cancelled TV shows Paramount Plus HBO Go popular archives all-time GLAAD Television Critics Association political drama biography YouTube Premiere Dates sports italian Film Festival unscripted BBC marvel cinematic universe ABC Family miniseries leaderboard psychological thriller NBC casting Winter TV TV renewals scene in color USA Network Sneak Peek Comedy Central children's TV comedies asian-american spider-man Spike scary movies fresh dceu Disney streaming service FOX medical drama elevated horror comic Film Stephen King 2015 satire worst jurassic park feel good Election ABC Signature criterion cinemax Universal teaser scorecard Black History Month See It Skip It Song of Ice and Fire new york Christmas Superheroe BAFTA Mary Tyler Moore TV One A24 Tomatazos The Witch stop motion Discovery Channel Pirates classics debate Tumblr RT21 Summer Podcast Cannes science fiction royal family TCM San Diego Comic-Con supernatural rt labs critics edition YouTube Red Emmy Nominations rotten Nominations Ovation BBC America Dark Horse Comics Reality aliens screen actors guild dark Vudu Fantasy Sony Pictures mission: impossible basketball comiccon DGA docudrama Sundance TV movie Broadway godzilla E3 Instagram Live Avengers YA DirecTV deadpool Arrowverse Showtime mutant binge zombies kaiju TCA Winter 2020 Extras adventure docuseries police drama doctor who Hallmark Christmas movies Marvel Studios Trailer animated Comic-Con@Home 2021 Comic Book joker Funimation Toys TV movies crime 24 frames VH1 know your critic ESPN LGBT versus blaxploitation rt labs festivals ghosts YouTube Premium cooking MTV new star wars movies werewolf harry potter television sitcom The Walt Disney Company Turner mockumentary award winner composers adenture WarnerMedia space romance Hear Us Out Sci-Fi DC streaming service Academy Awards high school kids Netflix History dreamworks SXSW AMC films superhero australia CMT french based on movie Apple Character Guide scary LGBTQ 71st Emmy Awards Universal Pictures Starz hispanic heritage month PlayStation streaming Drama TV Land Adult Swim jamie lee curtis thriller natural history Emmys canceled witnail what to watch OneApp saw south america Calendar Sundance Animation 45 zero dark thirty Rocketman politics crossover APB Heroines Lifetime Mudbound Bravo slasher movies razzies Binge Guide Disney Channel twilight Biopics psycho Mary poppins telelvision dc critic resources talk show rom-coms marvel comics reboot Year in Review 73rd Emmy Awards olympics tv talk pirates of the caribbean E! Spectrum Originals Paramount SundanceTV Musicals 2019 anime hidden camera Best and Worst green book women cancelled boxoffice king kong President Action Superheroes stand-up comedy lord of the rings Food Network Oscars canceled TV shows free movies vs. kong superman singing competition spanish Comics on TV Pacific Islander CNN Cosplay RT History TruTV facebook aapi disaster HBO japan BET FXX Marvel Television 2016 Masterpiece 4/20 toronto Women's History Month PaleyFest Countdown Valentine's Day Crunchyroll japanese art house Elton John 20th Century Fox 2017 Video Games Brie Larson Tags: Comedy Horror parents crime drama Nat Geo Tarantino Holiday TIFF TCA Awards Esquire Hulu Winners venice Peacock rotten movies we love Country Apple TV Plus Pop Awards golden globe awards Kids & Family Captain marvel 93rd Oscars rt archives legend action-comedy documentary TBS Hallmark Crackle Prime Video revenge Columbia Pictures technology hist 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards FX on Hulu remakes wonder woman documentaries foreign Amazon Prime Video king arthur cats 21st Century Fox Logo 79th Golden Globes Awards trailers vampires Trophy Talk Lionsgate worst movies blockbuster Creative Arts Emmys Television Academy 2020 Syfy ABC The Academy screenings hispanic Paramount Network El Rey boxing Photos Amazon Studios Amazon BET Awards MCU spanish language suspense live action VOD series gangster Trivia Turner Classic Movies comic books game show TCA WGN streaming movies transformers BBC One Disney black comedy Endgame spinoff Polls and Games true crime war cancelled television TLC chucky franchise spy thriller historical drama Baby Yoda breaking bad latino Travel Channel Rocky fast and furious Star Wars Interview heist movie Acorn TV Fall TV spider-verse robots Infographic CW Seed emmy awards Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Chernobyl Musical comics blockbusters period drama Marvel book adaptation directors Sundance Now Fargo Ellie Kemper Lifetime Christmas movies IFC Films Britbox Music Cartoon Network sequels new zealand concert GoT obituary NBA Pet Sematary justice league batman ratings Pride Month Rom-Com Neflix slashers Wes Anderson stoner sopranos critics Apple TV+ Comedy finale game of thrones AMC Plus cancelled TV series biopic OWN Grammys monster movies cartoon Nickelodeon Amazon Prime Classic Film dogs Fox News 007 Writers Guild of America nature Mystery ITV Black Mirror die hard halloween romantic comedy video halloween tv Martial Arts target black Walt Disney Pictures The CW Western HFPA universal monsters Reality Competition Red Carpet Netflix Christmas movies indie prank name the review Legendary richard e. Grant GIFs Marathons Watching Series TV Hollywood Foreign Press Association Fox Searchlight sag awards travel DC Universe Disney+ Disney Plus book VICE Shondaland james bond CBS Schedule Family sequel festival Shudder PBS Super Bowl theme song comic book movie dramedy young adult Pop TV Disney Plus Awards Tour golden globes Teen IMDb TV NYCC Holidays a nightmare on elm street IFC dexter Epix international Certified Fresh The Arrangement Star Trek Thanksgiving best National Geographic Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt TNT laika renewed TV shows cars mcc live event nfl video on demand Set visit SDCC trophy adaptation Rock mob Warner Bros. 72 Emmy Awards indiana jones discovery anthology reviews toy story spain posters FX quibi TCA 2017 X-Men football serial killer The Purge 99% ID christmas movies CBS All Access 2021 Exclusive Video American Society of Cinematographers hollywood nbcuniversal strong female leads Opinion ViacomCBS Tubi independent First Reviews 1990s Image Comics The Walking Dead Ghostbusters Mindy Kaling dragons HBO Max news Pixar diversity