We're now less than a month away from the October 8 premiere of American Horror Story's fourth season, about which I've been collecting the most important purposely and not purposely leaked details over the last few months, for the sake of die-hard fans of this brilliant show. Today, Entertainment Weekly dumps a bunch of previously unreleased details on us, two days after the release of the creepy/awesome full-length teaser where we first got to glimpse Kathy Bates as the Bearded Lady, and Angela Bassett as a three-breasted woman.
- Kathy Bates's bearded lady character is named Ethel, who plays "right-hand woman" to Jessica Lange's Elsa. Per 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."
- Lange says of her character, "[She] is very manipulative. 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."
- AHS regular Evan Peters will play Ethel's son Jimmy, a boy "born with lobster-like hands."
- Ethel's strong man ex-husband Dell Toledo (Michael Chiklis) is now married to Desiree Dupree (Angela Bassett), the three-breasted woman.
- Series regulars Emma Roberts and Denis O’Hare are playing "a pair of con artists," and we already knew that O'Hare was playing some kind of nemesis to Elsa.
- Sarah Paulson's "two-headed" conjoined twins character, Bette and Dot, is central to Elsa's effort to revive flagging interest in her carnival of "unusuals."
- John Carroll Lynch is indeed playing a horrific, deformed, scary clown named Twisty who lives in the town the freak show arrives in and sets out to "make their lives a living hell."
- Frances Conroy is playing "a wealthy woman whose son (Finn Whitrock) wants to join the freak show."
- Gabourey Sidibe plays "a socialite who returns home to Jupiter when her mother (Patti LaBelle, who Murphy called personally to appear on the show) goes MIA."
- As previously rumored, Wes Bentley will be playing Edward Mordrake in a two-part Halloween episode. Murphy calls Mordrake "a famous horror myth," and describes his version as "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."
- It sounds as though Matt Bomer, Neil Patrick Harris (if indeed he was cast), and Grace Gummer may only be guest stars.
- Update: Also, Pepper's role on the show is confirmed, and Murphy explains, "What Elsa has done for 20 years is she goes around to hospitals and jails and rescues these ‘freak’ circus performers who are going to be shipped away to asylums and she signs the waivers and she becomes their guardians... [so this] is sort of like what happened to Pepper before she went to the asylum."
Below, the complete official teaser, with more to follow I'm sure. (The song playing is "Carousel" by Melanie Martinez.)