American Horror Story: Who's Who -- and What Are They Up To? -- in the Asylum

The first season of American Horror Story was crazy scary. But the horrors of Season 2? Criminally insane.

And that’s fitting, because the FX drama’s setting has moved from the Harmons’ freaky, present-day California abode to Briarcliff Manor, a circa-1960s Catholic Church-run home for the evil and nuts. (We’ll first set foot inside the haunted facility when American Horror Story: Asylum opens its doors tonight at 10/9c.)

VIDEO | Watch the First 5 Minutes of American Horror Story: Asylum

Just in case you’ve been locked away somewhere for the past seven months, a quick note: Many of AHS‘ original players are back for its sophomore run, but as completely different characters – both in name and substance. Jessica Lange, for example, won Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards for her Season 1 portrayal of morally slippery Southern belle Constance; now, she embodies severe Briarcliff overseer/nun Sister Jude.

“It’s hard to compare the two,” she says of her past and present roles. “It’s different times, a different place, different women coming from different backgrounds and different times historically for women, different histories, different demons.” (Personal demons, we assume she meant…?)

RELATED | Modern Family‘s Eric Stonestreet Scares Up Horror Story Encore

Similarly, Sarah Paulson’s character this go-around is Lana Winters, a lesbian journalist in a relationship with Clea Duvall’s Wendy – a far cry from psychic Billie Dean Howard.

“Oh my God, she’s the polar opposite,” Paulson tells TVLine. “Last year, I was sort of this brash, self-involved psychic medium [who] took herself very seriously. This year, I play a woman of great intellect and integrity.”

The returning cast – which also includes Zachary Quinto, Frances Conroy, Evan Peters and Lily Rabe – will be joined by newcomers such as Chloe Sevigny (Big Love), Joseph Fiennes (FlashForward), Oscar nominee James Cromwell and Adam Levine (The Voice).

RELATED | Horror Story Taps Deadwood‘s Ian McShane to ‘Tussle’ With Jessica Lange

Click through the gallery below to get to know the collection of crazies inhabiting the Ryan Murphy drama’s second season.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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13 Comments
  1. harry says:

    I’m really excited for the premiere! I really enjoyed the first season.

  2. Jenna says:

    Excited about this season!

  3. Megan says:

    I wonder if Constance’s boy toy will be back this year too. Could use the eye candy!!

  4. Alexander says:

    I’m so excited. AHS is my favorite show at the moment; nothing can compare to the mind-f#ck that was last season. It can be a little contrived and campy at times, but I think that just adds to it’s charm- a serious horror story that dosen’t that itself that seriously.

  5. Lola The Show Bear says:

    I love Joseph Fiennes, I’ve never seen a more attractive face on a man.

  6. Mikael says:

    Adam Levine and Jenna Dewan don’t seem to be dressed like they’re in the 60s. Are their characters in the present day?

    • Sarah says:

      I believe they are. I think I read that they go to the hospital when its abandoned.

    • Courtney S says:

      The commercial I saw last night showed him as part of a couple on a “haunted honeymoon tour”. I’m anxious to watch this season since I missed last season & am now playing “catch-up”.

  7. aleksa says:

    Can’t wait.

  8. Martina Vassallo says:

    When is season 2 commencing in Australia

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