American Horror Story will get even crazier in Season 2 as it heads back in time to tackle big questions.
We’ve known for a while now that Season 2 of American Horror Story will be set in an institution for the criminally insane run by Jessica Lange, who will have several new enemies to play with — but other story details have been kept behind closed doors. Until now. AHS co-creator Ryan Murphy revealed to Vulture that the new season will take place in the 1960s and will, aptly, explore the notion of sanity:
It’s set in an institution for the criminally insane that Jessica Lange’s character runs, which is a really, really, really fun thing to do because you can write all these people locked up in it. And I guess if the first season was about infidelity, the second season is about sanity. What makes someone sane or insane? Sometimes the people you think are insane are actually the most sane of all. It’s fun to write about people who society throws away.
I haven’t said this publicly, but the new season is set in the sixties and Chloë Sevigny, for example, plays a character who was put in an asylum because she was a woman who likes sex, so her husband sends her away. At the time, you were able to put people away for that. Another character is institutionalized for being a lesbian. To me, there’s nothing more scary than somebody coming to you and saying they’re going to take you away and put you in a mad house and you have no legal rights and there you shall stay till the end of your days. That is a real horror. Everybody has felt people thinking, “You’re f-cking crazy.” Even somebody saying that to you is scary.
Of course, Season 2 will have its own, mostly separate storyline, with the returning cast members playing new roles. Murphy doesn’t think viewers will struggle to find their bearings, and reveals that Evan Peters, one of Season 1’s antagonists, will play the hero in Season 2:
I think they will [be able to adjust]. I think that people will love seeing Evan Peters, who was last season’s ultimate badass bad boy and this year is the hero of the show. It’s not like the actors are playing similar parts. They’re going to look different, they’re going to sound different, they’re going to have different accents. It’s a different time period. The actors are so excited to do that and hopefully their enthusiasm will translate. I mean, I would pay to watch Jessica Lange read the phonebook. And she’s so the opposite of Constance this year. Like, if she was the wilting Blanche DuBois character, there’s not a shred of that now.
Should the show make a third season then it seems like Murphy has a plan:
I knew the first season was about a very contemporary haunted house, and I knew the second season was gonna be — if we were lucky enough to be picked up — about an insane asylum done in a very different way. I pitched it in the very beginning, and FX said, “Good. We hope the first season works ‘cause we love the second season.” I even know what the third season would be. There are very, very many different kinds of haunted houses in our culture. And there are a lot of different social topics that you can weave through that sort of prism.
AHS Season 2 haunts this fall on FX.