Series creator Ryan Murphy joined cast members Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters and Matt Bomer for a SDCC panel for the latest installment of his anthology series ‘American Horror Story,’ subtitled ‘Hotel.’  (The panel, which you can watch below, shared the spotlight with Murphy’s freshman series ‘Scream Queens.’)

Murphy and the cast were in good spirits, but refused to spill too much about the upcoming season, which will be the fifth.  As viewers know, each season is self-contained, telling a brand new story that is largely disconnected from those prior, despite employing many of the same actors in new roles.  Last season, however, we got a clue that these tales were more connected than previously acknowledged with the inclusion of Pepper the Pinhead, a character played by Naomi Grossman who’d previously appeared in ‘American Horror Story: Asylum,’ the second incarnation.  It was even shown how Pepper began as a freak in ‘Freak Show’ to a patient in ‘Asylum.’

It turns out, it’s all connected.  Murphy did admit “It’s part of a very connected universe with a very cool thesis statement at the end of the run.” To that end, expect to see characters from past ‘AHS’ seasons check in… but will they check out?  That’s the big question, and could be one of the most amusing parts!

As for the rest of the panel, the actors that were present announced their ‘Hotel’ character names: Bates is playing Iris; Bassett is Ramona; Peters is Mr. March; Bomer is Donovan; and Paulson is playing Hypodermic Sally.  Most of the names are mundane, but Peter’s Mr. March is a bit mysterious… is he a pinup boy?  And one can only imagine how Hypodermic Sally got her name.

So who are the good guys and who are the bad guys?  “Actually,” Murphy revealed, “everybody on this side of the table are bad boys and girls this year.  The fun thing about the show is I always want to write the opposite of the season before.”

These characters aren’t the only baddies.

Not in attendance was lead actress Lady Gaga (maybe she wasn’t in the mood for the applause, applause, applause…), but Murphy had plenty to say about working with the pop star.  “She said, ‘I want to be evil.’ And I said, ‘OK, you came to the right place.”

Murphy added, “She’s been very collaborate and incredibly fun. When you work with somebody like her, you sign up for something that I think is larger than life.”

As for her role on the show, Murphy would only tease, stating “Part of her role involves fashion. You want Lady Gaga to look a certain way so the designers have been coming out of the woodwork.”

But unlike Jessica Lange in the past, don’t expect the “Born This Way” belter to burst into song.  “Never say never,” said Murphy. “I felt I got that out of my system. I loved doing it and I thought it was a weird thing that we did. But no, I feel like the fun of it is doing something different. So I feel like we did that.”

Hopefully audiences will be singing their praise when ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ opens for business in October of this year.  Have you made your reservations?

(Video courtesy of We Live Film)

Source: The Hollywood Reporter