Over the past four seasons of American Horror Story he has played some of the more psychologically scarring characters. The kind of characters whose calculated actions send shivers down your spine and a feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach. Whether front and centre, like con artist Stanley in Freak Show, or the silent bystander like mute butler Spalding in Coven, he has an energy that makes you pay attention and constantly be on your guard.
As well as those two horrifying characters, Denis O’Hare also starred as Larry Harvey, a previous owner and victim of season one’s Murder House, and now he is coming back for more, checking into season five’s Hotel.
In his recent interview with Deadline, series creator Ryan Murphy confirmed that O’Hare would be back with the anthology series.
“We’re just finalizing Denis O’Hare’s deal, he’s going to come back.”
Not unsurprising, Murphy didn’t reveal any details about O’Hare’s role or how big a part he would play in the season. However, he was a lot more open about other aspects of Hotel.
First, don’t go expecting any more major casting announcements. Already on board are AHS alums Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Kathy Bates, Wes Bentley, Finn Wittrock, Chloë Sevigny, and Angela Bassett. Joining the cast this season are former AHS guest star Matt Bomer, Lady Gaga, Cheyenne Jackson, and Max Greenfield. In the interview, Murphy reveals, “everyone else is pretty much done. We start shooting in three weeks.”
We’ve also got some indication of the set: “we’re building this incredible set which is one of our best sets ever I think — which is saying a lot because our production designer Mark Worthington I thought really outdid himself in Freak Show — but we’re building this incredible six-story Art Deco hotel on the Fox lot.”
Is this some hint at what time period the season will be set in? Art Deco was in vogue in the 1920s-1940s, declining in popularity following World War II. Can we expect a similar time frame, or will it be a more modern era with the setting, the crumbling remains of a former luxurious hotel? Both could work for a thrilling setting.
And lastly, we have some character information. Murphy let slip that though Paulson and Peters have traditionally played the hero-type characters in previous seasons, this year “they’re playing absolute evil villains.” Now this is something I have long been wanting to see from the two, so I am very excited to see how this plays out. We also have been told that Gaga’s part is “bananas good” – whatever that means Ryan Murphy, but okay.
Hotel marks the first season without leading lady Jessica Lange and it’s made for a number of tonal changes, particularly in terms of the storytelling. Murphy reflected that Lange’s character was really the driving force behind the previous seasons, but that is not the case with this season. There’s been no one character to step up and fill the vacancy so to speak.
“This year, it’s a true ensemble and I think we have more male parts and more male stories. The Wes Bentley part is really big, the Matt Bomer part is really big; Evan Peters and Finn Wittrock are really big. That’s not to say that the women aren’t either; I mean Kathy Bates and Gaga and Paulson’s part and Angela Bassett’s part are great. But I guess it’s a different tone this year than we’ve had.”
This news is very welcome as I am particularly looking forward to seeing Bomer and Peters work this season.
American Horror Story: Hotel premieres in October on FX.