Jessica Lange Q&A: ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’
After four years starring on "American Horror Story" — and playing characters ranging from a murderous neighbor to a supreme witch — it's time for Jessica Lange to say goodbye to the popular FX franchise that won her two Emmys and introduced her to an entirely new generation of fans. So, what will this iconic star miss most about her TV gig?
"I will miss the camaraderie that you naturally have working in a repertoire company," Lange tells Gold Derby in our exclusive new Emmys chat. "You're working with the same actors for four years, knowing their rhythms, knowing they know yours. There's something wonderful about that."
Tom O'Neil and I also ask Lange what it was like to take down frontrunner Cicely Tyson ("The Trip to Bountiful") at the Emmys last year, and she schools us on some crazy awards knowledge. See, Tyson was playing the same role of Mrs. Watts that won Geraldine Page an Oscar in 1985, and Lange recalls, "I was against Geraldine that year [for 'Sweet Dreams']. And I knew she was going to win because who wouldn't win for that? But yes, I remember that vividly."
Lange's co-star Sarah Paulson could very well earn her first Emmy this year for playing two-headed Bette and Dot Tattler on "American Horror Story: Freak Show." Since Lange is a multiple Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe winner, we wondered if she has any advice for Paulson on how to make a great acceptance speech. "I think you should keep it short, you should keep it simple. I never invoke God or my mother. I never thank my team. I always feel like when I hear actors say that, I always think they're going to be talking about the 49ers or the New York Giants or something."
Years ago, Lange told O'Neil that her acting legacy would most likely be "Tootsie," the 1982 film that won her the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Now we ask her: could "AHS" perhaps change her legacy? "With a certain generation, yes. I'm amazed at the people who come up to me now on the streets and who approach me and who are obviously rabid fans. They're teenagers and people in their young 20s. It's kind of startling for me. In another sense, it's the power of television."