Horror Story Bosses Talk Season 2's New Scares, More Returning Faves and... Glee Crossover?

Golden Globe and SAG Award winner Jessica Lange and Zachary Quinto are far from the only Season 1 cast members returning for American Horror Story‘s sophomore run. And yet despite the influx of familiar faces, the FX hit’s creators promise very different characters and all-new scares.

American Horror Story: Zachary Quinto Will Return in Season 2 – as a Series Regular!

On the heels of announcing that Lange and Quinto — who played Constance and ill-fated homeowner Chad — will be back as series regulars but in new roles, show bosses Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk revealed at PaleyFest12 on Friday that Evan Peters (Tate), Sarah Paulson (psychic Billie Dean) and Lily Rabe (doctor’s wife Nora) are also set to return — also as different characters.

“Anybody could pop up at any time” and “Everybody will be playing the opposite of what they played,” Murphy said of his game-changing game plan.

Murphy previously said that Season 2 will revolve around Lange’s new character, while Quinto will play one of the two male leads.

American Horror Story Boss Promises ‘The Jessica Lange Show’ in Season 2

Murphy and Falchuk also teased that Season 2, which is to be set on the East Coast and involve an institution, will boast an “equally terrifying but very different vibe” from the first storyline involving the Harmon clan — and ghosts won’t necessarily be on hand.

“A supernatural element will always be a part of the show,” Murphy allowed. “But we’re trying to do something more historically accurate.”

As for what might be on the table, Murphy ruled almost nothing out, save for this: “Our only rule is no werewolves, and no vampires.”

Other topics covered during the PaleyFest12 panel discussion:

* It was noted that AHS‘ chilling title sequence was inspired by that for the David Fincher film Se7en, and was even created by the same people.

* Though Lange will not be playing Constance in Season 2, Murphy hopes to one day address a loose end regarding that off-kilter character: “We have not lost sight of the fourth child” once alluded to by the Harmons’ neighbor. “We want to answer that.”

* When asked if there might ever be any “cross-pollination” between Horror Story and Murphy and Falchuk’s Glee, after many laughs by them and the audience on hand, Falchuk said it’d be like hanging out with both your wife and your mistress: “I would not be interested.”

(With reporting by Vlada Gelman)

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40 Comments
  1. lolo says:

    Jessica and Evan!! No Glee crossover though.

  2. Julia says:

    Evan Peters and Zachary Quinto…AWESOME. I guess I’ll be watching S2!

  3. Captain says:

    I was expecting Evan Peters but I’m quite disappointed that Kate Mara and Alexandra Breckenridge won’t be back.

  4. aleksa says:

    It’s a good group. I look forward to seeing where they go with this.

  5. Shannon says:

    Sounds exciting but boo to no Taissa Farmiga.

  6. Jon says:

    Originally I was hesitant but now all I can say is that I’m super excited for this. Just so long as it’s not about aliens or cryptids of any kinds.

  7. jhansi says:

    Aw man I was hoping he would add Jessalyn Gilsig to this cast.

    • Captain says:

      I wouldn’t rule it out in the future. Ryan has a tendency to find work for actresses he likes. He’s cast her in both Nip/Tuck and Glee so I wouldn’t be surprised if he found a role for her on AHS.

      • khs says:

        I agree. Kate Mara was in Nip/tuck and AHS season 1, so I could see him bringing back Jessalyn. For the right role, ofcourse.

  8. Spencer says:

    I truly hope Murphy keeps the good work from Season 1 going! So far, I can definetly say I am intrigued, and excited about Jessica, Zachary and Lily Rabe!! I personally loved Nora last season and I hope/bet Lily can do awesome with any part she is given.

  9. mirai says:

    no Taissa? ;___________;

  10. Morgan Roae says:

    This is the first time that a show has really creeped me out the way AHS did with the first episode did. I loved it. I will definitely be waiting for season 2 to start

  11. Darci says:

    I am soooo beyond thrilled that Jessica and Evan will be back! They were hands down the best actors in season one (in my personal opinion!)

    I am a little scared that they will be the complete opposite of who they played in season one (I hope Evan is still a little lovable and a tad scary). Jessica will kill any plot she is given, because she is an amazing actress!

    Sad about Taissa, but they pretty much let us know right off the bat that none of the Harmon’s would be back.

    Again…. EVAN PETERS will be BACK!!!! <3 Life is good!

  12. Eric says:

    No Frances Conroy???

  13. Mitholas says:

    Apart from Frances Conroy, pretty much all my favorite actor from the show are returning. Neat!

    I particularly like Lily Rabe, though I can’t really put my finger on why.

    • Spencer says:

      “I particularly like Lily Rabe, though I can’t really put my finger on why” Preach it! I really liked Nora last season, but I didn’t really understand why!

  14. Dwigt says:

    “It was noted that AHS‘ chilling title sequence was inspired by that for the David Fincher film Se7en, and was even created by the same people.”

    And it should be noted that David Fincher wanted the title sequence of Seven to be a tribute to the experimental films of Stan Brakhage. That sums up the limits of Ryan Murphy quite well: the guy is the king of references and lifts, but he doesn’t always know what the reference means beyond the very obvious.

  15. Sam says:

    I’m very thrilled about this, especially that Lange, Paulson and Rabe are back as well as Quinto. I think it might be risky to have Lange and Peters back (although I was never a big fan of Tate, although Peters is very good, and could’ve done without him for season 2) given how popular their characters were in season 1 and it might take sometime for some fans to see them as new characters but I’m sure they can pull it off! Rabe, Paulson and Quinto I think have the ability to morph into any role with more easy as their roles weren’t as iconic and important in season 1. Incredibly excited for season 2, bring on more casting news!

  16. Jones says:

    This sounds so awesome! I really didn’t think Jessica would be back, but I am so glad to know she will be. And Evan Peters and Lily Rabe too. I really loved those characters. My only disappointment is there was no mention of Frances Conroy. I really liked her in the first season. Well, who knows? Maybe she’ll pop up. You never can tell with Ryan Murphy. Oh, and Sarah Paulson too. I didn’t like the Billie character, but I always liked the actress. Can’t wait for Season 2! And please no crossover with Glee, unless it’s Brad the silent piano player. I seem to remember Murphy hinting that maybe Brad had some kind of wacko personal back-story and despite his easygoing manner, really hated all the Glee kids.

  17. DN says:

    This is so stupid. Viewers will naturally see thee returning actors as the characters they played in season one. The whole point of a TV series, is to becoming emotionally invested in the characters. And the actors will return… in different roles??

    The fact that the producers related what they are doing to the Orson Welle’s Mercury theatre cast, who played different characters for different plays, just shows how clueless these show runners are. There is a world of difference between actors performing in plays on a stage and actors playing roles in a TV series.

    • Hiccup says:

      To each his own, I say. What you call stupid, to another may be genius. To early to tell, for sure, but if nothing else, you have to respect them for taking a chance by doing something different. Also, give the audience some credit. While this approach definitely gives us a hurdle (forgetting the actors’ previous characters) to jump, let’s face it. AHS’s audience is not the same as that of brainless shows like Idol, 2.5 men, etc. We like a little thought, even confusion and WTF? moments in our tv shows. We can handle it. And if we can’t, they’ll know soon enough. Have some faith, my cynical friend. Let’s see what happens.

    • Simon Jester says:

      “Viewers will naturally see thee returning actors as the characters they played in season one.”

      This will only be a problem for viewers with limited imaginations.

    • khs says:

      Have you seen the new television shows that aired this year? It is clear that TV in general needs a makeover and new, innovative ideas. AHS is doing just that. I am extremely excited to see the second season and I have extreme faith in the returning actors. I mean, Jessican Lange, for crying out loud!

      Sarah Paulson and Zachary Quinto are quite impressive character actors as well–I bet they will be fascinating. I haven’t seen the work of Evan Peters or Lily Rabe, save for AHS, but I don’t think the creators would bring them back if they didn’t believe in them 100%.

      And you call the show runners “clueless”? They created the most innovative television show to air since Mad Men. They somehow convinced Oscar winner Jessica Lange and Coach Taylor’s wife, Connie Britton, to star in a cable television show. I don’t think “clueless” is word I would use to describe them.

      Sign me up–I am anticipating this second season even more than I was the first.

    • MichelleR says:

      There is nothing wrong with having a troupe of actors and reusing them.

    • Alice says:

      M*A*S*H did it several times. Didn’t seem to hurt Colonel Potter any. We see actors on new series from year to year all the time, some seem eternally doomed to one-season wonders- but that doesn’t mean people get confused that these are separate characters. And since each season will effectively be a different show, I think for most of America, this isn’t going to be too difficult.

  18. Kyle says:

    Im taking the day off work when this comes back, it’s going to be an official holiday for me! Favorite TV show!

  19. wil says:

    Thank goodness no crossover. How disappointing that would be. Wish we had closure to Popular though.

  20. wil says:

    Not a fan of Christopher Guest movies huh? I love them

  21. ALFFAN says:

    I give Murphy and Falchuck credit. The show was great in Season 1 but it had a beginning, middle, and end. After watching Awake the other night, I see why many of these shows fail. You can only go along with mythology for so long. Anthology series like the Twilight Zone were brilliant and really fit the genre well. Frankly, these are great stories and I can’t way to see how they deal with this one.

  22. ALFFAN says:

    I give Murphy and Falchuck credit. The show was great in Season 1 but it had a beginning, middle, and end. After watching Awake the other night, I see why many of these shows fail. You can only go along with mythology for so long. Anthology series like the Twilight Zone were brilliant and really fit the genre well. Frankly, these are great stories and I can’t way to see how they deal with this one.

  23. erika says:

    I’m confused and intrigued at the same time. Same actors, but different characters? I’ll check it out.

  24. DB says:

    obviously, in the “cross-pollination” situation, Glee is the wife and AHS is the mistress.
    I’m a bit surprised that Alexandra Breckenridge isn’t coming back full time though.

  25. Larissa says:

    soooo happy about Evan Peters coming back! he was probably my favorite character. and if i can’t get Taissa Farmiga back, I’m glad he’ll be there :) i’m extremely excited for the second season!

  26. florence says:

    Evan Peters! but I still feel iffy about the whole “they’ll be playing different characters” thing… I mean, Jessica’s and Evan’s characters were awesome, so if they’ll be playing the exact opposite of that I hope it doesn’t mean the show will start sucking from now on.

    • Mary says:

      Really? I’m all for a show where the protagonist is not an unrepentant rapist/serial killer. Everyone on AHS was screwed up, but one could usually find a redeeming value. Never liked Tate- but the actor played him very well. I think it will be nice if he plays a character that I can root for.

  27. Lizzy says:

    Very dissapointed in the fact that the same actors will be back but not playing their original roles… that kind of stuff is reserved for daytime soap operas… never the less i was so sucked into the first season that i will have to watch the second…

  28. Ashley says:

    I am excited to see Jessica Lange and Evan Peters returning… But I am upset that they are not continuing on with the Harmons…

  29. steve says:

    Needs Kate Mara!

  30. Joe says:

    did i miss KATHY BATES somewhere?Ilike her,I also would like to be locked up with Jessica and Lilly with lots of Holy Water of course.

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