In the upcoming season of 'American Horror Story: Coven,' creator Ryan Murphy is poised to relocate his chilling series once again, this time from the asylum to 19th century New Orleans. Stars Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates dished to Collider about their characters and what viewers can expect to see in the anthology series' upcoming season.
The third season of the FX series will mine American history for inspiration, splitting time between modern day and historical New Orleans and centering on the war between Salem witches and Voodoo practitioners. The story will utilize several characters loosely based on actual historical figures from New Orleans' past: Bassett revealed that she will portray Marie Laveau, a noted voodoo practitioner held in high regard in the city's rich past. "It's been interesting, being in New Orleans, because there's such a regard and respect for who she was," Bassett noted. "She lived to about 80 years old, and she was a very influential person in the city."
Meanwhile, Bates is set to play Madame LaLaurie, Louisiana socialite and one of the few known female serial killers of that time period. The real-life LaLaurie was notorious for her torture and mass murder of slaves which worked for her family, and was eventually driven from town by an angry mob. Bates revealed that what was most intriguing to her was her own family's potential ties to the historical figure. "[One] of the things I enjoyed reading about Madame LaLaurie is that my great-great-grandfather came from Dublin to New Orleans in the 1830s, and he became personal physician to Andrew Jackson," Bates stated. "And I read in the book on LaLaurie that his plantation was next door to theirs. So, I was very curious to know whether my grandfather ever met her because I think he would have been there just before she left. I thought that was interesting."
Bassett stated that, in addition to being a big fan of the series first two installments, the rich past of the city from which the third season mines was what drew her to the project. "There is such a history of that town, with free people of color, slaves, whites and Haitians. That I would be able to be in a city that I love, working with artists that I love, that obviously write for women, and to be able also to come home and not neglect my family for six months straight, it had everything going for it, as far as I was concerned."
Bates echoed her co-stars sentiments regarding the ensemble cast for the series, which also includes returning players Jessica Lange, Lily Rabe, and Evan Peters. She said, "It's delightful to be among such a glorious group of actors and have such magnificent material to play. I'm going on the record to say that we’re going to knock your socks off."
Will you be tuning in for Murphy's next horrific installment?