That includes cast members Finn Wittrock, Cheyenne Jackson, Wes Bentley, Matt Bomer, Angela Bassett, Denis O’Hare, Kathy Bates and Sarah Paulson, who all attended the Paleyfest event. Executive producer Tim Minear and creators Brad Falchuk and Murphy joined the cast onstage.
“I will tell you that every darling person up here that wants to come back can come back,” said Murphy.
While Murphy did not announce the title and/or theme of the new season, he did say they have been working on two ideas.
“I think the show has always felt to me like an opera,” said Murphy. “So, I think both of the things we’re writing right now will have a certain feel. But, I think I know what the winner is.”
The event opened with a screening of an episode from “Hotel” before the show’s cast and creators took the stage to discuss the development of season five and the creation of the first four seasons.
A shared standout moment of the panel was the interconnectedness of the “American Horror Story” series. Paulson played Sally, a heroine-addicted spirit trapped in the Hotel Cortez, and later in the season Billie Dean Howard, a psychic she played in season one.
“The deeper we go into the series we will see that it is a definite universe and all of the worlds are connected,” said Murphy. “I think it’s interesting that we had an episode where Sarah played two of her characters in one.”
Murphy said this season has been the most fun so far — partly due to the ensemble cast and the addition of Lady Gaga, who has previously announced that she’ll return next season.
Gaga, who played the Countess of the Hotel Cortez, while not in attendance, had a lasting impact on the cast.
“She reminded me of Jessica (Lange),” said Paulson. “She was one of the most emotionally available actresses I’ve worked with.”
“I think she is incredibly courageous,” added Bomer.
The actors said they put forth a lot of work in developing their characters for this season. “I spent an hour a day shaving,” said O’ Hare, who played the transgender Liz Taylor. “I shaved my head, face and, depending on what I was wearing, my arms and legs.”
The romantic scenes between O’Hare and Wittrock influenced how the actor prepared for the role as well.
“When I found I had a scene with Finn I said I have to Nair everything,” said O’Hare, who noted the love scene between the two was his most memorable moment of the season.
Bassett said in preparation for Ramona, she watched films from the ’70s and took inspiration from Diana Ross and others; Bentley said he drew inspiration from his personal experiences to play John Lowe; and Wittrock said he listened to a lot of rock music and researched the Sex Pistols to portray Tristan.
Murphy didn’t take credit for the success of the show, but instead credited his network for trusting the show to be a success. He also said having children has changed how he creates content and inspired the anthology series.
“It’s a form of storytelling that I really love,” Murphy said. “I don’t have time to devote to a seven-season show.”