As summer winds down, previews for the fall season are here and American Horror Story: Hotel is sharing the first good look at Lady Gaga as The Countess. This will mark the fifth season of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s horror anthology series, which has so far featured a range of time periods and locations, but usually maintains a few of the same actors across seasons.
American: Horror Story: Hotel will focus on the Hotel Cortez, which was built in 1930 by James March (Evan Peters). The building is designed in such a way as to facilitate the Countess’ murderous activities, with a labyrinthine structure and plenty of dead ends and secret rooms. This season the show will be moving through two different time periods: 1930, when the hotel was still new, and the present day, after The Countess has acquired the property. The Countess is a glamorous socialite, but she’s also a deadly woman who wears a sharp chainmail glove and has an insatiable thirst for blood and sex.
On the cover of Entertainment Weekly, Lady Gaga shows off a new bloody look that’s in tune with both the pop star’s image and the show’s running themes. Gaga spoke passionately about the role when interviewed by EW, saying, “I’ve just been weeping while I’m here because I have returned to something I’ve believed in so much, which is the art of darkness.”
In addition to the first look at Gaga as The Countess, EW also has 11 new photos that show the rest of American Horror Story: Hotel‘s cast. Newcomers to the show include Matt Bomer as Donovan, the lover of The Countess for 20 years, Cheyenne Jackson as Will Drake, a fashion designer, Naomi Campbell as Vogue editor Claudia, and Max Greenfield as Gabriel, a junkie. Fans of the show will be happy to see some familiar faces with Angela Bassett as Ramona Royale, a film star and an ex-lover of The Countess, and Kathy Bates as Iris, Donovan’s mother and employee of the Hotel Cortez. Sarah Paulson plays Hypodermic Sally, another junkie who resides at the hotel, Wes Bentley is LAPD Detective John Lowe, and Finn Wittrock returns to the show as Tristan, the new lover of The Countess.
Check out the new images below.
While Murphy would like to take the credit for adding Lady Gaga to the show, it was the pop star herself who asked to be on the show by calling the showrunner out of the blue. “I called him and I said, ‘Ryan, I wanna be on Horror Story,” Gaga recalled to EW. “And he goes, ‘Okay.’ And that was it.“
With the addition of a famous pop star and other prominent actors, it seems like Murphy and Falchuk are doing their best to replace Jessica Lange, the actress who was a fan favorite over the course of four seasons on the show. Lange won two Emmy awards for her performances in American Horror Story and left a big spot to fill following the announcement that she would not return for the fifth season. While Lange will be greatly missed, The Countess and her residents might be able to fill the void.
American Horror Story: Hotel premieres on FX in October 2015.