Ryan Murphy, co-creator of American Horror Story, has been releasing bits and pieces of information about the fifth season of the popular FX anthology series over the past few months, including news of new and returning cast members. And now, it’s all coming together as we find out not only the exhaustive cast list for season five, entitled American Horror Story: Hotel, but also what roles each actor will play.
New cast members include Lady Gaga, Matt Bomer, and Cheyenne Jackson. As reported by International Business Times, Gaga will utilizing her musical talents to play a lounge singer named Elisa Starr, who’s constantly competing with returning cast member Angela Basset’s character, a jazz singer named Lolita Jones. Meanwhile, both Bomer and Jackson will play bellboys: the former as Terry Castro, who’s often on the lookout to spot trouble, and the latter as the suspicious, gossip-hungry Thimas Seabras.
It was recently confirmed that Evan Peters would be returning, and now we know that he will play The Prowler, a creepy young man who hangs around the hotel and dark alleys. Nothing good can come of that. Sara Paulson will also return, playing the role of a character by the name of Janis Joplin. No word on whether she will play the Janis Joplin, but we know she’s a rock star (so there’s a pretty good indicator) who checks in to the hotel and encounters some “terrifying events.” Kathy Bates will also return this season, this time as Claudia DeVeau, Joplin’s agent and pseudo publicist, aiming to keep the rock star’s name out of the bad books.
Other roles will be filled by a pretty impressive mix of returning and new cast, with some fairly big names in Hollywood among them.
Michelle Pfeiffer, for instance, will play Martina McBride – not the country singer, but the previous owner of the Hotel. Lily Rabe is Annabelle Evergreen, the current owner of the hotel who is literally being driven crazy by the supernatural events she’s encountering there, and Alexander Skarsgard will portray Joshua Evergreen, her husband. Donald Sutherland is Father Abner Gates, a priest who visits the hotel to try to cleanse it of the evil spirits. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t go well. Chloe Sevigny is Lois Deon, a happy homemaker with a secretly dark past; and Michael Chiklis will play Dr. Nelson Brackett, an out-of-work scientist. Whew! Quite a star-studded list, and we’re not even finished.
Other hotel workers include: Denis O’Hare as Leo Maxwelll, a hotel bartender and friend of Lolita’s; Tammy Blanchard as Theresa Faulkner, the bitter head maid of the hotel and unofficial peeping Tom on guests; and Grace Gummer as Emma Lam, a hotel maid with an affinity for strange behaviors. Frequent hotel visitors include Frances Conroy as Maude Madelyn, a Marilyn Monroe imitator who loves her men young and, oh yeah, murder; Steven Weber as Ray Ottoman, a hotel inspector who’s visits are never welcomed; and Christine Estabrook as Abigail White, realtor of the hotel who likely has a pretty difficult job that has helped her perfect the art of the “spin” pitch.
Additionally, this season will see Finn Wittrock as a perhaps unlucky engaged man named Newton who decides to spend the night at the hotel for some unknown reason (bet he’s wishing for a refund); and Wes Bentley as Father Dominic Deon, the leader of a religious group.
Notably missing from the cast list is Jessica Lange, who has previously confirmed her departure from the series. She had appeared in all four previous seasons of the show.
American Horror Story: Hotel is set to debut on FX this October – likely just in time for Halloween.