American Horror Story star Jessica Lange has revealed how Ryan Murphy convinced her to make a comeback last season, despite stepping away from the anthology series in early 2015.
During the show's first four seasons – Murder House, Asylum, Coven and Freak Show – Lange played some of AHS's most iconic characters, including interfering next-door neighbour Constance Langdon, the stern Sister Jude and Supreme witch Fiona Goode.
Hotel, Roanoke and Cult all passed without so much as a cameo, as fellow MVPs Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters moved into major roles. So fans were delighted when last year's Coven/Murder House crossover Apocalypse saw her reprise her role as Langdon.
According to Lange, it was the promise of a "deliriously fun" death scene by showrunner Murphy that made her want to take part.
"It was like all conversations with Ryan," she told The Wrap's Emmy magazine. "He is extremely... Can I use the word seductive? He knows exactly what to say to whom. I think he knows me so well by now that he hits all the key phrases right off the bat.
"So, for instance, he's talking about the relationship with the children and a 10-page monologue, the drunkenness and the death. He hits all the scenes that would make it interesting for me to come back to play this character."
Following on from a tease at the end of AHS's first season, Langdon's grandson Michael Langdon – who also happens to be the Antichrist, no biggie – is Apocalypse's main antagonist. In a flashback, it's explained that Michael's wickedness was too much for her to bear and she essentially took her own life.
"To play a part like that, to play a scene like that, I find deliriously fun because it's total abandon," Lange said. "There's no reason, there's no logic. It's just about the physical and emotional.
"So the idea that she is basically OD-ing and having these – are they visions, her children come to see her? It was my favourite scene to shoot."
We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
It wasn't just the subject matter that convinced Lange to join in this time round, though. Turns out, Murphy has a knack for timing his calls perfectly...
"He usually catches me when I'm sitting out here in the middle of nowhere, doing nothing and I think, 'Oh, yeah, maybe I should work. Maybe I shouldn't quit quite yet,'" she concluded. "That's how it happens. He knows what I like to do and what appeals to me as an actor to play."
American Horror Story: 1984 premieres in the US on Wednesday, September 18 at 10pm ET, and on FOX and NOW TV in the UK. Catch up on seasons 1-6 on Netflix, with season 7 available to buy on Amazon Prime Video.
You Might Also Like