American Horror Story alum, Emma Roberts, is returning to the show in season 7, and her character has just been revealed. Though she will only appear in a single episode of Cult, her appearance promises to be an interesting one - if not ill-fated.
The repertory theater-style production of American Horror Story is following its long-running trend of recycling its actors into different roles for each season, and this will be the third time that Roberts has appeared on the series. In Coven, she played the superficial witch Madison Montgomery, and in Freak Show, she played Maggie Esmerelda, a con artist who ultimately changes her ways. By the sound of it, her Cult role will be an amalgamation of her previous characters, combining unashamed heartlessness with brash ambition.
Roberts will be playing a Michigan newscaster named Serina Belinda in American Horror Story: Cult. According to Ryan Murphy, the show's co-creator, Serina doesn't put much weight into basic human decency. A colleague of hers (played by Adina Porter) is essentially left in the dust on account of Serina's opportunistic ambition. Murphy considers her to be superficial and "willing to do what it takes to survive."
Aside from AHS, Roberts also worked with Murphy on his horror/comedy series Scream Queens. So, when it came to climbing aboard Cult, Roberts did it despite her busy schedule, as she revealed during an AHS Q&A with Murphy in Los Angeles (via Digital Spy):
"She did it as a favor. She carved it out in her movie schedule. But it's really fun to work with people that way. And we really encourage all of the people on our show, like, once you're in that world, like, okay, if you want to go off and do something else, that's great, but come back."
Her reveal also showcases a change of pace in the show's marketing. Whereas last year's Roanoke was shrouded in mystery, Murphy is amping up the pre-release press with Cult, revealing new information and characters at an almost breakneck speed in comparison. Roberts' character reveal is just the latest in a string of public unveilings.
During the Q&A, Murphy also mentioned fan-favorite Jessica Lange, who left the show after its fourth season. Though there hasn't been any official mention of her return, Murphy seems confident in a comeback, stating, "I'm sure she'll be back one day."
AHS: Cult takes place on the night of the U.S. Presidential Election, using Donald Trump's win as a jumping off point for madness, murder, fear, obsession, and, of course, cults. And while it's safe to say that this season may be the most divisive of all, that may have very well been Murphy's goal all along.
American Horror Story: Cult premieres September 5th on FX.
Source: Digital Spy