American Horror Story show-runners/creators Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy frequently reuse the same actors for different seasons of the anthology horror series – the most famous example being Jessica Lange, of course. However, casting for the show’s upcoming fifth season (subtitled Hotel) has thus far included none of the usual American Horror Story suspects. Well, until the past week, anyway.
Chloë Sevigny and Wes Bentley – who’ve both appeared on previous American Horror Story seasons – are now officially set as series regulars for Hotel (which begins airing this Fall). The pair are joining an ensemble that so far includes pop music star Lady Gaga, Matt Bomer (White Collar), and Cheyenne Jackson (30 Rock); as was indicated before, though, Lange will not be appearing on this season of the popular (if also polarizing) FX series.
Sevigny previously appeared on American Horror Story season two (a.k.a. Asylum) as Shelley, the Briarcliff inmate committed for nymphomania by her jealous, duplicitous husband. Bentley, as it were, was featured on the show’s fourth season (Freak Show) as Edward Mordrake: a (literal) two-faced specter who collects the souls of tormented carnival performers.
Murphy confirmed Sevigny for Hotel on Twitter today (see below), after having announced the news about Bentley a week ago.
Falchuk and Murphy are, per usual for them, holding off on dropping concrete plot/character details about the next season of American Horror Story this early. The series traditionally focuses on the plight of outcasts and the socially-repressed – including, those who’ve turned to insanity and violence, in response to how the world has treated them. A hotel in the American Horror Story universe is certainly a place where such troubled people (seeking to escape their dark pasts) might cross paths, after all.
The American Horror Story formula could arguably use freshening up at this point, after four seasons of stories that’ve each been strikingly different on the surface – yet, always seem to cover the same themes/ideas, in the same (messy) fashion. It’s for those reasons that the healthy blend of new and returning cast members for Hotelis encouraging, as are comments from people like the FX Networks CEO – who has described Hotel as an “unusually large reinvention” of the show between seasons.
On the other hand, though, there’s no overlooking the fact that Hotel will be written and produced by most of the same people who’ve worked on American Horror Story in the past. The task of creatively rejuvenating a TV show more than a few seasons into its run is not an easy one (especially when the same team’s involved), but it has been done in recent times (see: Homeland‘s “soft reboot” in season four). Maybe American Horror Story will prove able to surprise, in that respect.
American Horror Story: Hotel begins airing on FX in October 2015.