Everything You Need To Know About "American Horror Story: Hotel"
Lily Rabe is playing Aileen Wuornos, the serial killer previously played by Charlize Theron in her Oscar winning Monster role.
Since it was announced in February that Lady Gaga would be starring in the fifth season of American Horror Story, subtitled Hotel, we've learned bits and pieces about what to expect — mostly castings.
But at the American Horror Story and Scream Queens Comic-Con panel in July and American Horror Story: Hotel panel at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in August, creator Ryan Murphy, exeucutive producer Brad Falchuk, and many of the show's stars were more revealing than ever.
So here's what we know about AHS: Hotel so far...
1. Lady Gaga won't be playing nice.
While Ryan Murphy is clearly a fan of Lady Gaga, it was actually the singer's idea to join the fifth season — and it was also her idea to play an evil character. "You came to the right place," Murphy told Gaga after accepting her offer.
Her character, Elizabeth, the owner of the eponymous hotel, "has a nefarious plan" that's revealed in the first episode, Murphy said at TCA. She's "a social doyenne consumed with art and fashion and people" and she has relationships with Matt Bomer's, Angela Bassett's, and Cheyenne Jackson's characters.
2. And she won't be singing either...nor will anyone else.
After years on Glee and injecting musical numbers into AHS: Freak Show, Murphy stressed that Hotel would be 100% performance-free.
"I've never played a bad guy. I'm very [excited]," Emmy nominee Paulson said of her fifth AHS character. "I think what I'm going to do is try to bring Jessica Lange to the show without her being here by just borrowing all her moves."
Sally lives in the hotel, has a "budding something" with Wes Bentley's character, and she and Bates' character "hate each other in an ancient way," Paulson said at TCA.
4. And unlike every other season, Murphy made it sound like Paulson's character won't actually live to see the finale this year...
5. Matt Bomer will be unlike you've ever seen him before!
After being murdered in his underwear in Freak Show — "quite the initiation," he said — Bomer will play Donovan, the male lead of Hotel. It's an opportunity that he has a myriad of emotions about given he's been a fan of the show since Season 1.
"I'm really excited and scared," he said. "These are all bucket list actors I've wanted to work with for so long. Gotta bring your game, baby. Gotta come correct."
And at TCA, Bomer said Donovan has "very interesting relationships with the ladyfolk in his life."
6. In addition to Gaga, Cheyenne Jackson and Max Greenfield are joining Hotel as two more newcomers to AHS.
Jackson — who previously worked with Murphy on Glee — said in March that AHS is his "absolute favorite show. It's the best acting on television. It's the most exciting television." We don't know who he'll be playing yet, but we do know that New Girl's Greenfield will be checking in — "but not checking out" — of Hotel as well.
7. And Jackson will be playing a fashion icon.
His character Will Drake moves from New York to Los Angeles. "He's trying to creatively reestablish himself," Jackson said at TCA. "He's a father and a little desperate."
8. Chloë Sevigny and Wes Bentley play Alex and John Lowell.
9. Denis O'Hare is playing Liz Taylor, a role for which he shaved his head and other places.
Not the actual icon, but one inspired by "Butterfield" and "Cleopatra." "I shaved my head for the part — and other body parts," O'Hare said at TCA. "I work in the hotel and the lounge called Blue Parrot Lounge."
10. Evan Peters will play Mr. March.
11. Kathy Bates will play Iris.
Iris runs the hotel where all the action takes place and does crossword puzzles in her spare time.
12. Angela Bassett is playing Ramona Royale.
13. Finn Wittrock also has a lot to do with Gaga.
"I'm playing a male model named Tristan Duffy always looking for the next high, and he finds the biggest high in Lady Gaga," Wittrock said at TCA. "We have a lot to do together."
14. Lily Rabe will play a serial killer.
15. And Twin Peaks' Madchen Amick is also heading to Hotel.
16. And they're not the only familiar faces AHS fans will see this season!
"You will see people from various seasons check into the hotel," Murphy said at TCA, teasing that those returns will begin in Episode 6. "People that you have known from other seasons." Falchuk added, "There are some big ones" returning.
As fans saw during Freak Show, which brought back Pepper (Naomi Grossman) and Sister Mary Eunice (Rabe), all the seasons are connected in some way. "We have a long-term plan with this show," Murphy said at Comic-Con, adding that everything will make sense by the end of the series.