Creator Ryan Murphy has shared some freaky details about the next season of “American Horror Story’s” plot and characters.
Season 4, dubbed “Freak Show,” will take place in 1952 Jupiter, Florida and star Jessica Lange as a German woman managing a freak show that she has run since the 1930s and is of the last ones still open in the United States, Entertainment Weekly reports.
"It’s something that Jessica she had always talked about it," Murphy said of the theme. "Jessica’s a photographer so she had always been interested in that carny world. If you look at her photography, she’s always interested in the lost and the forgotten and the beautiful survivor of it all. … I really loved the idea of it because I felt it was such a ripe world. The carny world, the freak show really ended for the most part when television began. So one freak show replaced another, so that was always the idea."
The season will take place during a time where performers are sick of abuse from the law and their town and being considered “lower than vermin,” according to Murphy.
"So that’s going on as Elsa [Lange’s character] is trying to keep the sideshow going and it’s not working until she stumbles across two girls, conjoined twins played by Sarah Paulson, who may or may not be responsible for heinous activities that have gone on in the town," Murphy said. "Then [they] suddenly become her new headliners, and of course that begins to attract people far and wide to see this incredibly odd and special girls."
Lange’s character came to the country after World War II and is an ex-pat.
"What she’s done for 20 years is she goes around to hospitals and jails and rescues these ‘freak’ circus performers who are going to be shipped away to asylums, and she signs the waivers and she becomes their guardians," Murphy explained. "… She’s sort of like the mama of all of them. She’s trying to do anything to do this freak show going because where are these people going to go? In her way, she relates to them and feels like she’s one of them as well. "
Murphy also teased that Emma Roberts’ character, a fortune teller and con-artist named Maggie, will get romantic with Evan Peters’ character Jimmy Darling, the group’s leader who is threatened by the character of Michael Chiklis, the strong man.
John Carroll Lynch will play the villain, Twisty the clown.
"Twisty the clown is a murderous clown, and he’s furious that the freaks have shown up in a town where he, the most evil clown of all time, has retired and he’s out to make their lives a living hell," Murphy shared. "… we tried to make him the most terrifying clown of all time."
Murphy also discussed the difference between “Freak Show” and Season 3, “American Horror Story: Coven.”
"This season, once you die, you’re dead," he explained. "There’s no supernatural thing to bring you back like last year. It’s just completely new. It feels completely new. I’m shooting it in a different style. It sounds different."
"American Horror Story: Freak Show" begins on FX on Oct. 8 at 10 p.m.