‘American Horror Story': Sarah Paulson Reveals Her ‘Freak Show’ Role

Published 11 months ago by

Taissa Farmiga and Sarah Paulson in American Horror Story Coven Episode 13 American Horror Story: Sarah Paulson Reveals Her Freak Show Role

Exploding onto the scene in 2011, Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story is one of the most popular shows on cable, with each new season setting ratings records. The most recent season – entitled American Horror Story: Covendivided both fans and critics, with some believing it to be the most entertaining batch of episodes yet, and others considering it the worst season to date. Either way, the ratings were through the roof, and there’s no reason to believe that will change for this fall’s American Horror Story: Freak Show.

Information about the 1950s era, carnival-set Freak Show has been steadily making its way to the web over the last few months. Oscar and Emmy-winner Jessica Lange will once again return to star, Coven favorites Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett will return, and new additions like Michael Chiklis will be thrown into American Horror Story’s unpredictable world. In addition to that, the core cast of seasons 2 and 3 will be back as well, including Sarah Paulson (12 Years a Slave).

Paulson had a limited role during AHS’ inaugural season, but many would argue that she stole the show in both the Asylum and Coven seasons. Her work as repeatedly victimized reporter Lana Winters during Asylum received high marks from critics, and even Coven’s detractors have had few bad things to say about Paulson’s turn as conflicted but kind witch Cordelia Foxx.

Recently, Paulson took to Twitter to announce what character she’ll be playing in Freak Show –  or, rather, which characters:

That’s right, Paulson will be acting for two this year, and not in the sense that she’s going to get pregnant by a serial killer again. Although really, this is American Horror Story, so that might very well happen too. It’s impossible to predict what will emerge from that writers’ room.

The included photo featuring Paulson with two heads definitely raises some questions. Will Bette and Dot be two different people, or might they be two split personalities living in the same body? Then again, this is set at an old-time carnival freak show, so maybe the picture is meant to be taken literally, and Bette and Dot will be conjoined twins? The possibilities abound.

american horror story freak show logo American Horror Story: Sarah Paulson Reveals Her Freak Show Role

Freak Show seems to be shaping up well so far, and the suggestions of a killer clown being included will certainly tickle the dark hearts of the horror inclined. The setting is likely to be ripe with intriguing side characters and environments, but the real thing that will make or break this newest season of American Horror Story is the writing.

Many fans felt that Coven’s plots were all over the place, and made little sense, which is saying something when you consider that neither Murder House or Asylum were exactly known for extensive continuity. Some also felt Murphy used the show to express his political viewpoints too often, but to be fair, Murphy has always been upfront about his politics.

Will Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and the rest of the creative staff take the many criticisms of Coven to heart, or will Freak Show continue to divide the AHS fanbase? We’ll all find out in a few short months.


American Horror Story: Freak Show is expected to debut this fall, but has no current premiere date.

Source: Sarah Paulson

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  1. Coven was a turgid pile of bilge. I had to stop watching about 8 episodes in. I just couldn’t stand the adolescent melodrama and faux-independent-women-go-us angle.
    It was painful to watch.

    I’m glad this is Lange’s last season, she is starting to become really stale on this show.
    Murder House and Asylum were fun and freaky, but Coven was laughably tame and camp. Not ‘horror’ at all.

    The addition of Chiklis is a good move, I’m looking forward to seeing him unleash his sinister Vic Mackey after being somewhat scaled back on shows like No Ordinary Family and Vegas.

    • I stuck with it purely to see how it could possibly end (and it ended pretty horribly, everyone could see it coming) but honestly, I thought Murder House was as boring and terrible as Coven was while Asylum was pretty entertaining.

      I won’t be watching any more and feel it’s a shame that Michael Chiklis is in this show instead of viewers being given another season of both No Ordinary Family and Vegas (both of which I highly enjoyed).

    • Wtf

  2. I felt the show was interesting in its first year, bad the second year, and just as bad, if not worse, the third year, with the exception of Jessica Lange, who is always mesmerizing in her performance. After watching a few episodes of Penny Dreadful, I have come to realize just how terrible the show has gotten. I’ll probably tune in again this year, but it will be my last year, since Lange will be leaving. In the end, I have no doubt this show will soon be forgotten. I am hoping Penny Dreadful does not similarly decline in quality and lose its way.

  3. I guess I’m going to join the chorus by agreeing that last season was pretty bad.

    As I’ve said before American Horror Story is a lot of things.
    Crazy and over the top. Fun and sometimes scary. Ridiculous and even funny.
    It can even be all of those things mashed together at any given time and still be entertaining.
    But what it can NEVER be and what it was last year was boring. Then when you throw in some terrible acting from the younger cast and commercial breaks we end up with an almost unwatchable season for me.

    So I hope that last season was just one bad apple in the bunch and with Freak Show we see a return to what made the show so popular in the first place.
    Having Sarah Paulson playing conjoined twins is a good start IMO. :)