'American Horror Story' at PaleyFest 2012: Cast/Producers on Constance, Season 2 and Returning Cast
'American Horror Story' at PaleyFest 2012: Cast/Producers on Constance, Season 2 and Returning Cast
PaleyFest 2012 is upon us! Some of you may be thinking, "What on earth is a PaleyFest?" Well, thankfully I'm here to shed a little light on things. PaleyFest is a coming together of actors, creative teams and fans of the most talked about television shows of the season. The 29th annual William S. Paley Television Festival has announced their 2012 lineup and the season's "sexiest, scariest, strangest show," as dubbed by TV Guide, has been invited.

FX's hot new award-winning show American Horror Story, that brought us the chilling story of the Harmon family, will undoubtedly give fans much to talk about in the upcoming months awaiting the show's return for the second season. Thanks to Livestream, I have the opportunity to witness the opening panel live at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills from the comfort of my home.

The Panelists:
Ryan Murphy, Creator/Executive Producer
Brad Falchuk, Creator/Executive Producer
Dante Di Loreto, Executive Producer
Connie Britton, 'Vivien Harmon'
Dylan McDermott, 'Ben Harmon'
Jessica Lange, 'Constance Langdon'
Alexandra Breckenridge, 'Young Moira'
Sarah Paulson, 'Billie Dean Howard'
Frances Conroy, 'Moira'
Moderator: Tim Stack, Entertainment Weekly

The audience has just finished watching the season 1 penultimate episode, "Birth," where viewers are introduced to the Harmon twins, one born human and the other of an evil spirit. Tim Stack begins by asking, why choose "Birth" to show the audience?

Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk believe that "Birth" was definitely an episode that summed up a lot of the season as a whole as well as struck personal cords for each. "It was the most of a throwback to the stuff that I loved as a kid," says Murphy. Although, there is the infamous scene of Vivien Harmon giving birth to her twins that strikes everyone as memorable. Connie Britton comments, "Then there was poor Matt Ross who spent hours and hours and hours and hours ... at my crotch!"

The topics only grow more interesting from this point on. American Horror Story was meant to follow in the footsteps of predecessors in its genre, becoming what Murphy calls "the stepchild of Dark Shadows." How could it be that certain aspects of the show are so unconventional in accordance to normalcies seen on other series? Stack asks, "It's a pretty ballsy move to kill off all the protagonists in a series. Why do that?"

The idea, from the beginning, was to keep it a sort of "novella" experience. Horror is more difficult to show over numerous seasons, according to Falchuk. After doing Glee, the plan was to do something completely opposite of "happy." Well, obviously that was more than achieved, wouldn't you think?

It comes as no surprise that when it comes to casting, this particular team plays no games, whether it is the ensemble from Nip/Tuck, Glee or now American Horror Story. Yet one particular cast member steals the show. Jessica Lange's previous work helped to shape her character into the Golden Globe Award winning portrayal we know today.

Stack inquires about Constance's hunger for a child when she is obviously not the Mother of the Year. Jessica jokes that she basically uses a different tactic than what modern day mothers are so obsessed over, instilling "self-esteem." "If you're not pretty, I'm going to tell you you're not pretty. If you're retarded, I'm going to tell you you're retarded. If you're a mass murderer, then I still love you," she says. How can you not love this woman? On a more serious note, though, Constance is simply searching for that "perfect" child.

And now for what we have all been waiting for -- details on AHS season 2!

Ryan Murphy gives insight to Tim Stack and the audience that because of the late shooting of season 1, there was a serious time crunch all in the name of airing during Halloween. Season 2 will be a new song and dance. Writing has begun as early as February, while shooting will not start until July 2012. This means the official start date of season 2 should pop up somewhere mid to late October.

Returning Cast Members:
Jessica Lange
Zachary Quinto
Sarah Paulson
Evan Peters
Lily Rabe

Before you get too excited or distraught, there is a disclaimer. Murphy tells us that "anybody can pop up at any time, first of all." Secondly, each of these actors will be playing different roles that what we have seen of them in season 1. Not quite sure what this means? Yeah, me either, but it should definitely keep us all highly interested. A new season warrants for a new setting, story and cast, of course. We do know for sure that there will be "no werewolves and no vampires." Thank goodness!

Jilliane Johnson
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of FX)

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