‘American Horror Story: Coven': Angela Bassett & Kathy Bates Talk Characters & Plot

Published 2 years ago by , Updated August 14th, 2013 at 5:42 am,

American Horror Story Coven Poster American Horror Story: Coven: Angela Bassett & Kathy Bates Talk Characters & Plot

It was a welcome surprise to find out out that season 2 of the hit FX series American Horror Story would feature an altogether new story rather than a continuation of season 1. Now, with season 3 – subtitled Coven – just a couple of months out, we’re learning more and more about the plot of the newest installment of the anthology series, thanks to teaser trailers, interviews, and more.

For example, we know that the story will take place in both 19th century and modern-day New Orleans and will center on a war between Salem witches and the local Voodoo practitioners. Much of the cast of the previous seasons will return – including Jessica Lange, Lily Rabe, Evan Peters, and Sarah Paulson – but there are newcomers as well, like Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates. Bassett and Bates recently talked about the plot of Coven, their characters, and what we can expect from the new season.

Courtesy of Collider, the actresses talked about the characters they’re playing:

Bassett:  “Well, I play Marie Laveau.  It’s been interesting, being in New Orleans, because there’s such a regard and respect for who she was.  She lived to about 80 years old, and she was a very influential person in the city.  My character is based loosely on her.”

Bates:  “My Southern accent has come roaring back.  Now that that cat is out of the bag, one of the things I enjoyed reading about Madame LaLaurie is that my great-great-grandfather came from Dublin to New Orleans in the 1830s, and he became personal physician to Andrew Jackson.  And I read in the book on LaLaurie that his plantation was next door to theirs.  So, I was very curious to know whether my grandfather ever met her because I think he would have been there just before she left.  I thought that was interesting.”

For those unaware, both Marie Laveau and Madame LaLaurie are based on actual historical figures (though, as Bassett says, probably very “loosely“). Laveau was a renowned practitioner of Voodoo in New Orleans during the 1800s.

LaLaurie, on the other hand, was more notorious than renowned – she was one of the few known female serial killers of her day. A Louisiana socialite, she tortured and mass murdered slaves and was eventually chased out of town by an outraged mob.

Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett Star in American Horror Story Coven American Horror Story: Coven: Angela Bassett & Kathy Bates Talk Characters & Plot

The actresses also talked about what enticed them to join Coven:

BATES:  “I went out for a drink with my friend, Jessica, after seeing the first season.  And I said, ‘You’ve got to get me on that show.’  I thought it would be maybe a couple of episodes.  So, I went in and sat down with Ryan [Murphy], and when he pitched this show to me, this little kid that lives inside all of us just started jumping up and down and running around.  I said, ‘I want to do it!’  It just got me so excited that it washed most of the crap away.  Clearly, there’s some residue.  But, it’s delightful to be among such a glorious group of actors and have such magnificent material to play.  I’m going on the record to say that we’re going to knock your socks off.”

BASSETT:  “I just got a call to come in and meet Ryan.  I watched every single episode, but to hear him talk about it, and knowing who would be joining the cast, and that it would be shot in New Orleans, which is one of my favorite cities – for the music, the food, the character and their love of death – and people from different strata live within 10 to 15 minutes of each other, it’s just very unique.  There is such a history of that town, with free people of color, slaves, whites and Haitians.  That I would be able to be in a city that I love, working with artists that I love, that obviously write for women, and to be able also to come home and not neglect my family for six months straight, it had everything going for it, as far as I was concerned.”

With Jessica Lange winning a Golden Globe, an Emmy, a Screen Actor’s Guild Award, and more for her performance on season 1 (a.k.a. Murder House), it’s not difficult to understand why great actresses like Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates would be raring to sign up. Ryan Murphy and company do some strange things on American Horror Storysome of which don’t always pay off – but it has to be a pretty attractive opportunity for actors looking for meaty, original roles.

American Horror Story Season 3 Details American Horror Story: Coven: Angela Bassett & Kathy Bates Talk Characters & Plot

Jessica Lange in ‘America Horror Story: Asylum’

Personally, I preferred the completely unpredictable season 2 (a.k.a. Asylum) to Murder House, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what Coven can bring to the table. It’s not often that you have almost NO idea as to what’s in store for the third season of a television series – and it’s kind of refreshing.

Will you be watching American Horror Story: Coven when it premieres, Screen Ranters? Are you looking forward to the witchcraft vs. voodoo storyline? Drop us a line in the comments.


American Horror Story: Coven premieres October 9th, 2013 @10pm on FX.

Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Source: Collider

Follow Ben Moore on Twitter @benandrewmoore
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  1. I’ll be watching for sure and I totally agree with you about Asylum being better than Murder House.

    I think it was because I bought into the hype, tuned in for Asylum, loved it then went back a few months ago to watch Murder House and found myself extremely bored by the time I reached episode 5 and struggling to force myself through the rest of it.

    I imagine it’s similar to someone listening to an album after a musician or band has had decades of experience to craft this slice of genius and then going back to listen to their first ever album and finding it crap in comparison because the ideas were there but the finished product just doesn’t match up to expectation created through the later work.

    • Wow, these trolls/shills/bots don’t even go to school these days by the looks of that spelling, punctuation and grammar.

      Sheesh…a true American horror story.

      • Haha

  2. I am so looking forward to this because I really want to see these two actresses go against each other and I would love to see AHS’s take on witches and voodoo. I just hope it isn’t hollywood witchcraft and voodoo and that they really researched it.

  3. Excited for this new season. I can do without another J. Lange “award” moment.

    In each season she’s gone off on this 10 minute monolog, I guess most consider great acting, but comes off as pandering to me.

    Other than that I think she’s great on the show.

  4. I actually think that murder house was better than asylum. Im really glad that taissa farmiga is coming back i missed her on asylum

    • I agree with you Bianca. I actually Murder House freaked me out so bad. Especially with the twist with Tiassa been dead that wholed time and did not know it. I’m still freaked out. I liked Asylum too but not as much.

  5. I agree with the writer of the article that season 2 (Asylum) was far better than season 1 (Murder House), & I HOPE that season 3 (Coven)continues the improvement trend rather than make the show a back & forth okay season/great season kind of deal. Jessica Lange is OUTSTANDING on the show & particularly in season 2 she showed exactly why she’s one of the greatest actresses of our time. One wonders what other screen greats like Bette Davis & Joan Crawford would have done with similar opportunities late in their careers. It’s a terrific chance to showcase seasoned talent & as a viewer I really appreciate the talent put into the show both in front of the camera as well as behind it. Looking forward to the latest season with GREAT anticipation.

  6. totally excited about this. I was one of the few people I know who got hooked into season 1 when it aired. Then I literally made it my mission to get everyone I knew into the show. The show is a hot topic now when we have family get togethers and when my lady and I are out with friends.

    BTW, IMO Season 1 > Season 2…. But Season 2 is still awesome.

  7. This season sounds like it will be amazing. Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett. Three of the toughest actresses of our time, all in one show, to be enemies. Good God, thats going to be one hell of a catfight. I can not wait. This season should have many award winning performances. Three excellent actress as witches, voodoo priestesses, and serial killers. A+ t.v. at its best.

  8. I’m looking forward to this. However, I disagree w/ the writer. Asylum was a train wreck. Myself and many of my friends stopped watching it b/c it was just so bad. I mean, season 1 was a tightly plotted, psychological ghost story. Asylum seemed like such a backwards step, just throwing every horror cliché in the book at the screen. Aliens, the devil, Nazis, evil Santa, cannibal mutants, serial killer, etc. I just began rolling my eyes at each new addition. I much prefer the season 1 structure: pick a baddie and tell a fantastic story around it. I’m hoping Coven revives this approach. Not to mention, it’s just well known that Murphy has a bad track record with making a good show past season 1. Season 1 of Glee was good, but went painfully downhill in s2 and hasn’t really recovered.

  9. I am a huge fan and loved both prior seasons in different ways. That’s the greatness of this show. It feels like a family but plays like entirely different films. I live and breath horror and there has never been a show like this. I think Murder house was my favorite, because I’m a sucker for young love and ghosts. Tate came from the time period when I was a teen, so he reminded me of people I knew (at first, lol). However, Asylum was crazy in a wonderful way! This show is full of amazing talents and, because of the format, this show could go on forever. And I hope it does. Can’t wait for Coven!

  10. I think itll be very interesting to see where they can go with this especially because they will be visiting modern day as well. I wish they could go back further and also explore the witch trials. or possibly somehow represent them into the show somehow. how theyre really gonna do voodoo versus witches im not sure. there are so many different types of witches. will they also bring in a warlock as well?? i think that would make for a fun twist. ugh now im so excited! this series is they best most out there series ever and it hooks me every time!

  11. Kathy Bates is a great actress but I haven’t seen enough of Angela Bassett to call her a “great” actress. She did a good job palying Tina Turner but other than that, I wouldn’t put her in the same category as Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates who are excellent character actresses. Hopefully Bassett will prove me wrong. Can’t wait to see the show.

  12. Agreed, Kim. For the past 20 something years I’ve only seen Angela Bassett perform 3 facial expressions for every single character she’s ever played on film and watching her on AHS Coven has confirmed to me that she really does get by on her looks. You know who SHOULD have been cast as Marie? Viola Davis. Now THAT is a an actor who lives truthfully on screen. I’ve never seen her fake a moment. Angela has so many bad habits as an actor, it’s no wonder she doesn’t get the juicy roles.

    If it wasn’t for Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates & Jamie Brewer ‘American Horror Story Coven’ would be UNBEARABLE to watch. I get to the point where I go to turn this vapid, badly acted s*** off than boom, Jessica says a line and it’s so PERFECT in every conceivable manner I stay tuned in. Absurdly talented actor, just gorgeous to watch. Kathy Bates is always fantastic, she has both dramatic and comedic skills but than she IS the original Frankie so I expect nothing less. And Jamie is just so present and evidently having a great time I can’t help but get sucked in by her.