‘American Horror Story: Hotel’, the fifth installment of the FX anthology series is slated to kick off on October 7th and like all prior seasons, it will be a brand new start with all new characters.  Producer Ryan Murphy has now unveiled more details about the new chapter, in particular the names and roles of the new characters, many of whom will be played by ‘AHS’ vets.

Murphy also revealed that every season of ‘AHS’ is connected in some way– something that was already established last season with the characters Pepper and Sister Mary Eunice from Season Two ‘Asylum’ popping up on ‘Freak Show.’  But things will start to coalesce even more this season, which is expected to have something of a rotating cast checking into and out of a haunted Los Angeles inn which has been revealed to be named the Hotel Cortez.

Murphy revealed the inspiration for the season, hinting, “We were really inspired by the ideal of this hotel surveillance video that showed a girl getting into an elevator in haunted hotel and who was never seen again.”  Creepy!  And just who are the colorful characters that will be occupying this inn?

Kathy Bates plays Iris, who runs the hotel.  The actress explained, “I have relationships with Matt Bomer and Wes [Bentley] and I can’t stand [Sarah] Paulson [her character]… Liz Taylor* and I have a very close relationship.” (*It’s not what you think.  Read on.)

Lady Gaga is a virgin.  Well, when it comes to ‘AHS’, at least.  She will play Elizabeth, the title hotel’s owner.  Murphy described her, saying “She is a very wealthy social doyenne who is consumed with art, fashion and people and she has a nefarious plan that is revealed in the first episode that plays out over the season.”

On ‘Hotel’, last season’s Big Bad, Finn Wittrock plays Tristan Duffy, a model who is always looking for a new high and “finds the biggest high in Lady Gaga, and they have a lot to do together.”

Matt Bomer made a brief appearance last season and returns as Donovan, who apparently lives in the Hotel Cortez and will have an “interesting” relationship with Iris and as has been reported, will be in something of a love triangle with Elizabeth and Tristan.  Bomer teased, “He has very interesting relationships with the lady folk in his life.”

Angela Bassett is Ramona Royal, an actress who visits the hotel often, despite having a “real nasty relationship” with Elizabeth and Tristan.

Sarah Paulson plays a character nicknamed “Hypodermic Sally” who also lives at the hotel and “hates Iris in a rather ancient way for reasons that will be revealed quickly.”  She also has a “dark relationship” with Detective John Lowe, played by Wes Bentley.

Chloe Sevigny returns to ‘AHS’ as Alex Lowe, the wife of John Lowe.  She is described as a mother and doctor and she and Bentley are said to have  “had a great loss” in their family and are recovering from that.

As stated, Wes Bentley plays Detective John Lowe, who is investigating “grisly murders” the trail of which leads him to the Hotel Cortez.

Like Matt Bomer, Cheyenne Jackson previously worked with Murphy on ‘Glee’ but this will be his ‘AHS’ debut.  Jackson plays Will Drake who is described as a “fashion icon.”  (Presumably, this means he will be a designer, as Wittrock’s character was specifically referred to as a “model.”)  Will is described as a father who moves from New York to LA because he is “trying to creatively re-establish himself.”  He is also a “little desperate.”

Denis O’Hare plays… Elizabeth Taylor.  (See Kathy Bates’ character.)  Elizabeth (not to be confused with Lady Gaga’s character… even though that IS confusing) is the bartender at the hotel bar and, obviously, harbors an obsession with the film icon, from which he derives his name.  O’Hare explained, “I’m not actually playing the person but someone inspired by her awesomeness… I shaved my head — and other body parts — for the part.”  Specifically, it was hinted that (the real) Taylor’s ‘Cleopatra’ cat-like eye makeup would find its way onto O’Hare’s mug.

No detailed descriptions were given for additional actors/characters.  Vet Evan Peters plays “Mr. March.”  Naomi Campbell plays an unnamed role, but it is known that she will be connected to the fashion world and will have an antagonistic relationship with Gaga’s Elizabeth.  Also part of the cast are Richard T. Jones, Lily Rabe, Max Greenfield, Darren Criss and Madchen Amick.

About the season, Murphy summed things up saying:

“This season harkens back to the first season and is much more rooted in the honest, primal fears that the first season was… While I feel like the first season trapped you in that house, the second season was very oppressive in the asylum; [here] the horror is sneaking out of the hotel.  When you go home, where ever your bed is, it’s the least safe space in the entire world.”

The new season sneaks up on you on October 7th and the thirteen episode season is slated to run through January.  Are you ready to check in?

Source: The Hollywood Reporter