By now, American Horror Story has a pretty established roster of actors to draw from when it comes to casting a new season. Series standouts like Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates are just a few of the names that have become returning players in the Ryan Murphy universe, even crossing over to the other branches of his anthology empire, American Crime Story and Feud.
But Murphy has made a point to introduce fresh faces, too. Last season’s Roanoke saw the induction of André Holland (The Knick) and Cuba Gooding Jr., following his starring turn in American Crime Story as O.J. Simpson. Often times, these additions veer left of center. Lady Gaga nabbed a lead part as the vampiric Countess in season 5’s Hotel, which also included an arc for the similarly out-of-the-box Max Greenfield, then known primarily for his comedy credits. As Murphy continues to map out AHS‘ next chapter, it seems he’s once again going the unconventional route.
Deadline reports Billy Eichner has now been cast for AHS forthcoming seventh season. Details surrounding his character are vague, but the outlet’s sources say Eichner will be playing a close confidant of Paulson’s character and “mostly will be wearing mysterious tank tops.” He’ll be featured in a heavily recurring role, appearing in roughly six or seven of the season’s 11 episodes. Filming is set to begin in May.
Per usual, not much is known about what exactly AHS season 7 will entail. Paulson and Peters were confirmed to return in January, and Murphy revealed it would focus on the 2016 presidential election last month. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won’t be characters, so it’s assumedly a satirized take similar in tone to Roanoke‘s reality show parody, rather than a more literal retelling.
It will be interesting to see how Eichner navigates a more dramatic role. The actor-comedian first gained prominence for his man-on-the street series Billy on the Street, and his since stuck largely to humor with a leading part in Hulu’s Julie Klausner-created Difficult People, plus stints in New Girl, Parks and Recreation, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Angry Birds Movie, and Bob’s Burgers. That leaves little to go on in terms of what to expect from his performance, but if he does well, it could mark a turning point for Eichner’s career, helping to paint him as more than just a token funnyman.
American Horror Story season 7 airs on FX later this year.