There’s been a little bit of misinformation previously reported about the highly-anticipated new season of ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’, but ‘Entertainment Weekly’ seems to have gotten the real scoop on who plays who in the upcoming installment of the popular anthology series.

Once again, the show centers on Jessica Lange, in her last season on the show, playing German expat Elsa Mars, a former cabaret girl– expect flashbacks– who purchases one of the last Freak Shows in the U.S. in Jupiter Florida.

Lange discussed her character and she sounds like a true grand dame, in her usual style:

”My character 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.”

It sounds like Elsa will be assisted closest by Kathy Bates character Ethel Darling the bearded lady of the show.  Bates came aboard the series last year, playing Madame Delphine LaLaurie, a formerly heartless witch/slave owner who later repents her evil ways.  As for her role as Ethel, series creator Ryan Murphy describes her as:

“Ethel is basically Elsa’s right hand woman.  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.”

Perhaps adding some tension to the series, is that also part of the show is newcomer Michael Chiklis, playing Ethel’s ex-husband Wendell “Dell” Toledo, the resident strongman, now on the run from the law, who is re-married to Angela Bassett’s character Deisree Dupree, playing a three-breasted woman.  Bassett, like Bates joined the cast last season, as Marie Laveau, the sworn enemy of Madame LaLaurie.  With those same sparks fly this season?

Regarding Bassett’s prosthetic mammaries, Sarah Pauson laughs, “Angela likes to flash them.  She’s like, ‘Look at my 3 boobs!’”

Rounding out this family affair is Evan Peters, another vet since the start of the series, playing Ethel and Dell’s son Jimmy, who has lobster hands.  Murphy described Jimmy this way:

“Jimmy is the big man on campus and is the male leader of the group until Dell comes and they begin to battle for power under Elsa.”

Regarding Paulson’s two-headed lady/conjoined twins Dot and Bette Tatter, the two sisters that do NOT get along.  She explains, “It’s not as simple as nice and evil.  It’s more complicated, in true Ryan Murphy style.”

Newcomer John Carroll Lynch plays the scary villain Twisty the Clown, who has retired to Jupiter and who is unhappy at the arrival of the Freak Show and sets out to drive them off.  Murphy teased:

“He’s wearing a mask on the lower part of his face and there comes a point in the season where takes the mask off and when you see what’s under you will faint in terror.”

Because clowns aren’t scary enough already!

‘Coven’ alums Emma Roberts (Zoe Benson) and Denis O’Hare (Spaulding) return as a pair of con artists, Violet Harmon and Larry Harvey respectively.  Joining them is Frances Conroy whose role is only described as “a wealthy woman whose son (Finn Wittrock) wants to join the freak show.”  (Whitrock is listed as only appearing in one episode.)

Murphy also described the character Edward Mordrake, played by Wes Bently.  Bently previously described his character as “a dark tormentor from Kathy Bates’ past who is hell-bent on revenge.” Murphy embellished this by saying:

“He is a very famous horror myth.  It was 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.”

No mention was made of Matt Bomer‘s character, but Murphy previously described him as “very…warped.”

Another newcomer, R&B legend Patti LaBelle is signed on for four episodes as a local who investigates the Twisty mystery, only to disappear, bringing Gabourey Sidibe (another ‘Coven’ alum) back to town.  She had previously been living elsewhere living the socialite life.

Whew!  You can’t have a circus without a huge cast, I guess!  Are you looking forward to visiting the “Freak Show”?

Source:  Entertainment Weekly