New ‘AHS: Freak Show’ Character/Plot Details Revealed + First Extended Teaser
After teasing us with several short clips, character names and guest stars, the creators of American Horror Story are finally giving us full view of who is playing who in this Fall’s Freak Show!
With Angela Bassett as a three-breasted wonder, Sarah Paulson as conjoined twins, and Kathy Bates as the bearded lady, the group of misfit performers in the small town of Jupiter, Florida is led by former German cabaret star Elsa Mars who is played by Jessica Lange.
“My character is very manipulative,” Jessica says. “She understands what’s needed and she provides it. However the thing I want to be very clear that Elsa really loves these people. She truly cares for them in her own selfish narcissistic way. It’s not just exploitation.”
See more about the characters we’ll get to know better this season and watch the first extended trailer for Freak Show below.
Bette and Dot
Portrayed by: Sarah Paulson
Bette and Dot are conjoined twins recruited to revive Elsa’s failing show. But they are apparently two very different personalities sharing one body.
“It’s not as simple as nice and evil,” Paulson says. “It’s more complicated, in true Ryan Murphy style.”
Portrayed by: Evan Peters
Jimmy was born with lobster-like hands. His mother, bearded lady Ethel Darling, is played by Kathy Bates.
“Ethel is basically Elsa’s right hand woman,” says co-creator Ryan Murphy. “She helps run the camp, and she’s sort of the guardian of the law. She had a real tragedy in that she was a real circus star in the ‘20s and 30s and then she had her baby and she became a down-and-out drunk, and Elsa saved her.”
Wendell del Toledo
Portrayed by: Michael Chiklis
Wendell del Toledo is Ethel’s ex-husband and Jimmy’s father. He’s a strongman who is on the run from the law.
“Jimmy is the big man on campus and is the male leader of the group until Dell comes and they begin to battle for power under Elsa,” says Murphy.
Portrayed by: Angela Bassett
Desiree Dupree is Dell’s new wife and a three-breasted performer. “Angela likes to flash them,” Paulson jokes about Angela and the prosthetic that covers her entire chest for the role. “She’s like, ‘Look at my 3 boobs!’”
There’s also Twisty the Clown played by John Carroll Lynch, who is this season’s main villain.
The evil murderer has retired in Jupiter and is not thrilled by the arrival of the freak show.
“He’s out to make their lives a living hell,” explains Murphy. “He’s wearing a mask on the lower part of his face and there comes a point in the season where takes the mask off and when you see what’s under you will faint in terror.”
Additionally, Freak Show will also see Emma Roberts and Denis O’Hare as a pair of con artists, Frances Conroy as a wealthy woman whose son (Finn Whitrock) wants to join the freak show, and Gabourey Sidibe as a socialite who returns home to Jupiter when her mother (Patti LaBelle) goes MIA.
The season will include flashbacks to Elsa’s cabaret days in 1930s Germany as well as a peek at young Ethel and a two-part Halloween episode featuring Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games) as a character named Edward Mordrake.
“He is a very famous horror myth,” explains Murphy. “It was a man with two faces. A normal face and then a face on the back of his head that would whisper evil things and force the forward-facing entity to commit horrible crimes.”
Tune in for the American Horror Story: Freak Show premiere on October 8th at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.