American Horror Story Scoop: Is Jessica Lange Back? Will Gaga Stay? And Who Will Make You Say "Holy S--t"?

Exclusive: Ryan Murphy dishes on next year and whether Gaga and Jessica Lange will take part

By Kristin Dos Santos Sep 29, 2015 1:00 PMTags
Lady Gaga, American Horror StoryFX

Rest up, TV fans! 'Cause in one week, sleep may no longer be an option.

"She'll give you nightmares," creator Ryan Murphy teases of Lady Gaga on American Horror Story: Hotel, set to premiere Oct. 7 on FX. "When you see her you will say 'Holy s—t.'"

Hotel of course marks the dynamic music icon's acting debut, and from the looks of it, fans will NOT be disappointed. Playing The Countess, a deviant and dark character who owns the hotel and apparently has some connection to uber-creepy children, Gaga also will have some jaw-dropping sexual scenes with multiple co-stars, both male and female.

"She will terrify you and you will also be in love with her at the same," executive producer Brad Falchuk promises. "She's Gaga."

Watch: How Lady Gaga Met Barbra Streisand

Sophisticated, dark and eye-popping, Hotel's teasers thus far have fans panting for more—and we fans will get the very first scene tonight during Fox's airing of Murphy's equally addictive horror-comedy series Scream Queens.

And as Hotel is just beginning, Murphy already has hammered out what the 2016 season of Horror Story will be. So will Gaga take part? And what's the status of queen of everything, Jessica Lange? Read on:

Have you started working on Gaga to convince her to stick around for next year?
Yeah, of course. I always want to work with her on everything. I do know what the next season is, and I've started to talk to people. I always have to know by October 1 what the next season is to make it work. It's a very labor intensive thing.

Mark Davis/Getty Images

Will Jessica Lange come back?
I would love for her to come back in any way. We talked about her coming back this season for Hotel. She's getting ready to do that play that I got for her. I'm going to see her this weekend and whisper little, devious things. I love her. But I think that I'll always work with her, so I don't ever worry about that.

What has surprised you most about working with Gaga? Or just Gaga herself?
I've met and worked with a lot of great people, legends, on and on and on. She was somebody I was very intimidated by and I thought, 'Oh, Lady Gaga. The mystery, the mystique.' I really thought there was a [Greta] Garbo element to her of elusiveness and mystery. What I have found is she is just the best, most fun, most joyful person. Like, you would be stunned. She is so funny and she is down to Earth, and she comes into the set and the crew adores her. The other actors love her. She's funny and she's super professional. If she has a scene to shoot, she's up at the crack of dawn not just working on the look of it, but the acting of it. She's so committed, and yet she's so funny. She's the biggest perfectionist, which I have loved. She's just such a treat and such a joy and she laughs all day long and the people she works with are all so great. She's a true star.


How do you think the fans will react to her onscreen? It's her first acting role...
When you see that first episode when she comes on the screen, you're like, 'Holy s--t.' She has this incredible, magnetic thing that you can't create. You either have it or you don't. And she has it.

Have you become close?
Yes. What I loved about her is she's just a lovely girl who happens to be one of the most talented people on the planet. I've just become great friends with her. We text all day long. She's very funny and wonderful with my children. She's like the coolest person ever. I can't say enough great things about her. I hope I keep working with her for a long time, because I just believe in her. I think when people see her in Horror Story they are going to be so blown away by her acting and by her presence and what she brings to it and how beautiful she looks. She's everything that you'd want. That's the thing about Lady Gaga that I have found is that she's never disappointed on any level even one time, and that's work. You don't just roll out of bed and be that. She delivers. Her work ethic is incredible and I've been so blown away by how prepared she is, and how much she loves the casts. She wants it to be a family of performers who are coming together to make something incredible and that's been a very wonderful, reinvigorating thing for our show and this season.

Suzanne Tenner/FX

Speaking of bringing the actors together, tell me everything about her impromptu pool party.
Well, that was crazy. Most people have you over for cocktail weenies and maybe a Blue Ribbon. She did all that in one day so we all showed up. It was one of her first weeks of filming and she said, 'Hey, why don't you guys come over to our house?' That was Friday at noon. So Saturday we show up and she has banquets and a rose wall, and it was Angela Basset's birthday weekend and she had a special cake with the Countess killing her character in the cake. The pool was red, it was just so much fun. That's what I mean when I talk about it. She's just a larger than life person and she does everything with so much love and she's in it to win it. She's an extraordinary person. I do think she's one of the world's most talented people. There's always great care and thought into anything and the fact that she could whip that up in two days is a testament to her magical, witchy powers. She's just so fun.


And you had dinner with Gaga, Travolta and Barbra Streisand…How did that happen?
One day John Travolta said 'I want to meet Lady Gaga,' and I said OK. So I bring him over to her. And she's naked covered in blood. Doing a sex scene. And it was like, 'Oh, maybe it's not the right day for this.' And he was standing behind the monitor like cheering her on, and she was like, so thrilled the first time meeting John Travolta. So I ushered them off into a room. Where I was very proud they got to meet each other. And I said you know Gaga, Barbra Streisand is such a huge fan of yours, because she thinks you're so fearless and that brought tears to her eyes. And he knew about my ongoing obsession with Barbra Streisand so he said we should all get together. So the next day the phone rang and it was John's people saying how's dinner this Saturday at Barbra's house. So Gaga and I said you've got to be kidding me. So we both instantly said yes, and we showed up and it was like like a five-hour fever dream of what you would want at Barbara Streisand's house. We got the tour of the underground mall, and we got to see the costumes and...What I loved about it was their admiration for her and her admiration for them, and I was just watching. I was proud of her. And Gaga dressed up for the dinner. She was wearing a see through crocheted dress for dinner, I believe. Gaga made an entrance at Barbra Streisand's house that was pretty astounding.

This is your real life now, Ryan.
Growing up when I was in Indiana, I would have been like WOW, if I ever saw that I grew up to be that guy. But you know what it was? What I loved about it was I got to bring all these people who are fans of each other into a room and say I love you, keep doing what you're doing. 'Cause I love John so much. And Gaga so much and obviously Barbra. It was hilarious and a once in a lifetime event.

Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

How did Darren Criss coming on AHS come about? Will you cast anyone else from Glee?
I don't know. I'm close to a number of them. The thing with Darren is he left Glee and went off to Hedwig, and it was such a sensation and he was so great. Darren and I had been talking about a number of things, and the thing about Darren is that I think he wants to do adult, different roles as I think anybody who's played a teenager for more than four years would want to. He's such a talented guy. Without telling me anything specific, he was just telling me about 'the path that I'm on. This is what I want.' We were writing this bat s--t crazy role on American Horror Story and I felt Darren would be good at this, because it's completely different than anything you've seen him do before. He's incredibly sexualized and violent in all his scenes for the most part with Kathy Bates. I thought, 'Well, he'll love that.' We started filming and he didn't disappoint. He's just so talented. There's nothing he can't do. I feel the same way about Lea [Michele]. I feel the same way about many of them. You never say never—there's room for it. If you're in there, you're in there. It really is a family feeling and a repertoire of people that come in and out. And that's been great.