Matt Bomer Joins American Horror Story: Hotel as Jessica Lange Checks Out

Plus, other fun facts we learned at this year's PaleyFest

by | March 16, 2015 | Comments

A packed Dolby Theater in Hollywood welcomed the cast of American Horror Story: Freak Show to PaleyFest Sunday night. The audience was treated to a fan program which included a screening of “Edward Mondrake, Pt. 1” (the Halloween episode), followed by a panel with Executive Producer Tim Minear, Jessica Lange (Elsa), Evan Peters (Jimmy), Kathy Bates (Ethel), Michael Chiklis (Dell), Sarah Paulson (Bette/Dot), Denis O’Hare (Stanley), and Finn Wittrock (Dandy). Two new cast members for the upcoming fifth season, Hotel, were also announced, which was one of the many highlights of the night. Here are some of the fun facts we learned about AHS.


Matt Bomer and Cheyenne Jackson are joining the cast for season five

Casting news ramped up Sunday night, following the already-announced addition of Lady Gaga to season five. The evening’s moderator, Tim Stack of Entertainment Weekly, unveiled two of AHS‘s newest cast members, Matt Bomer (The Normal Heart) and Cheyenne Jackson (30 Rock). Bomer, who took the stage to deafening applause, appeared in season four as Andy, the male prostitute, murdered by Dandy in the episode “Pink Cupcakes.” Bomer had little to say about his upcoming Hotel character opposite Lady Gaga, but he did tease, “I can’t confirm or deny that there may be a romantic relationship.” Jackson, who told the audience that AHS is his absolute favorite show, worked with writer-producer Ryan Murphy on Glee when he played Dustin Goolsby, the coach of rival glee club Vocal Adrenaline.


Jessica Lange confirmed that Freak Show is her last season

This has happened before, but four-season alum Lange said that she will no longer be on AHS. “We’ve had a great run here,” Lange explained over cries from the audience. “I have absolutely loved doing these four characters that I’ve had the opportunity to play, and in all madness, I love the writers and the actors and Ryan [Murphy] and the whole insanity of it.” Lange started to say something about working with Murphy. “You know, Ryan and I are going to do…” when Paulson whispered, “Fire!” — which was apparently some kind of code the two had worked out before the panel started to make sure that Lange wouldn’t reveal too much about Murphy’s plans. We thought you weren’t supposed to say ‘Fire’ in a theater, Ms. Paulson!


Sarah Paulson studied the Hensel twins for Bette and Dot

When Paulson tweeted the first glimpse of her season four characters, Dot and Bette, people might have thought there was something familiar about them. That’s because the Tattler sisters share a common trait with the real-life Hensel sisters, featured in their own reality show in 2012 on TLC. “I watched a lot of Brittney and Abby Hensel, who are the only known dicephalic parapagus twins living today… Certainly, in the beginning, I watched it everyday before I’d go to work just to remind myself of the way that they walk. We actually built certain things to wear underneath my clothing to remind me that, when I wasn’t wearing the other head, I had something in another area on my body that I wasn’t used to having.” Not just a technical challenge for Paulson, the double character would confuse Lange, who would often forget which head she was addressing. Paulson would have to point to the correct side when Lange was speaking to her.


Michael Chiklis and Kathy Bates Played Opposite an Alligator

Freak Show was shot in Louisiana, where they have great food — so long as you’re not the main dish! In episode three of Freak Show, as Dale and Ethel’s characters shared an intensely emotional scene, there was a third player offscreen. Chiklis explained why he wasn’t looking at Bates the whole time. “There was something in the water and it was making its way toward us,” Chiklis said. “And we realized that it was not just an alligator, it was a really large alligator.” Bates added, “The bank was really gentle so it was like a runway for that thing, and then later on, the grip started feeding him hot dogs!” The alligator apparently got a taste for craft services and visited the area that afternoon, looking for some more nosh.


The show wanted to use songs by ‘freaks’

The anachronistic song choices this season were water-cooler fodder — especially Lange’s rendition of Lana del Rey’s “Gods and Monsters” (which Lange had been unfamiliar with up until that point). The connection between the music and the show ran a bit deeper than merely wanting to pick cool music; the artists who made those songs was a contributing factor as well. “Thematically, the choices of the songs were because those performers who made those songs famous were considered ‘freaks,'” Minear explained. All the music numbers, including from Kathy Bates cut from the show, will appear on the DVD and hopefully a soundtrack. Other songs included Nirvana’s “Come As You Are,” “Fiona Apple’s “Criminal,” and David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?”


Denis O’Hare had to sign a nudity rider

For one especially bizarre sex scene in Freak Show (and that’s saying a lot), O’Hare had to sign a nudity rider, which is an extra contract for an actor agreeing to do a sex or nudity scene. Playing opposite Michael Chiklis in “Tupperware Party Massacre,” O’Hare never actually shows anything, but the faces and noises he makes are enough. “We did one take,” he said. “With Ryan, you don’t negotiate. You open the page and say ‘I have to do this now.'” Lange interjected, “Or you can just refuse,” which led to an eruption of laughter from the audience.


Lange came up with the Freak Show Premise

Lange explained, at the risk of dating herself (she’s 65, by the way), that she had suggested the freak show theme to Murphy based on her own experiences going to the carnival as a kid. “I always loved the idea of a carnival and traveling troupe,” Lange said. “I remember going to dusty small-town carnivals as a child and seeing these exhibitions of freak shows. There were no live freaks, but weird things and I was always fascinated by it… it wasn’t exactly what I had suggested, but…” and then Paulson called ‘Fire’ so who knows what Lange would have said next?


American Horror Story: Freak Show is Certified Fresh at 87 percent. Read reviews here.


Tag Cloud

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