The first details about FX’s American Horror Story: Coven, the bewitching third chapter of Ryan Murphy’s anthology series (bowing in October), trickled out Friday at the Television Critics Assoc. summer press tour, including the identities of several key characters and fresh intel on the female-driven plot.
“There’s a feminist theme throughout Coven,” teased exec producer Tim Minear, who was joined on the panel by returning Horror vets Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson, as well as newbies Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett. “There are also themes of race and oppression and family — especially mothers and daughters — along with laughs and scares and a few tears.”
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Lange confirmed that she will indeed “play a witch,” adding, “I’ve shot two days so far, so I don’t know who the character is yet. It comes in little dribs and drabs.”
Paulson will portray Lange’s daughter, named Cordelia (think King Lear, not Buffy/Angel), while Bassett will play Marie Laveau, a character loosely based on “a woman in the 1800s who was very influential in the city,” the actress explained. Lastly, Bates will channel infamous 1830s New Orleans socialite and serial killer Madame LaLaurie.
“I would say that the fun quotient is higher this year,” noted Minear. “[It’s still] a drama, but there is a lot of humor, and we are embracing a velocity and fun with the series this year. It might be a little bit more welcoming to an audience.”