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

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