The summer TCA press tour has allowed us quite a few TV tidbits to obsess over. The most tease-ridden series, however, is without a doubt FX's American Horror Story.
Thus far, we've only learned tiny fragments at a time of what will make the show great; first, the theme of the impending season, Hotel. Second, Jessica Lange cut off all involvement with the show in a quasi-retirement. Third, Lady Gaga was introduced as a character.
Which is why this newest set of revelations is especially exciting.
For the first time, we've learned the majority of the main characters' role and personality descriptions, and we've heard them straight from the AHS actors themselves.
But perhaps most revealing was what AHS creator Ryan Murphy had to say about his inspiration for this season.
In reality, that hotel is the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, which has now been rebranded as Stay on Main. However, the video Murphy references above is still circulating online.
Elisa Lam, a guest at the hotel was filmed investigating her surroundings as she dealt with the fact that the elevator seemed to be defunct. Eventually, she can be seen interacting with an unseen entity, and finally exhibiting some very bizarre behavior. Following these documented events, she disappears.
The 21-year-old Canadian student was found inside of the hotel's water tank about five days later.
While you mull that over, read further.
Lady Gaga's character owns the hotel.
Murphy spoke for Gaga when he revealed, "her character’s name is Elizabeth." He went on to say that she was indeed the owner of the hotel and that she is a "wealthy social doyenne who is consumed with art and fashion and people."
But then, what makes her evil?
"She has a nefarious plan that is revealed in the first episode and plays out over the course of the season," Murphy said.
Iris, Kathy Bates's character, runs the hotel as a manager.
Bates was quick to express the hatred that her character, Iris, has for Paulson's character, Sally.
"...I can’t stand [Sally], I hate you."
She mentioned that she wasn't sure if she'll work much with Angela Bassett's character, but other than that her description was a bit unsubstantial. This, of course, leads us to believe Iris is chock-full of nefariousness.
Sarah Paulson's character, Sally, is a drug-addict.
A long-term tenant of the hotel, Paulson said that her character is dark and troubled.
“I think she’s sexy...I don’t think it’s like anything I’ve done on this show."
Paulson also mentioned that Sally hates Iris "in a rather ancient way for reasons that are revealed quickly." Her drug of choice was also kept under locks, however the more realistic demons these characters seem to be battling this season might explain the fact that Murphy has endowed it the darkest yet.
Matt Bomer's character is quite the playboy.
Bomer focused on the relationships his character, Donovan, has with...well, pretty much all the people, more so than Donovan himself.
“[Donovan] is closely associated with Ms. Gaga and Ms. Bates, and Mr. Wittrock, amongst others. He has very interesting relationships with the lady folk in his life.”
Wes Bentley plays the detective who will try to unravel the "grisly murders" committed at the Hotel.
Detective John Lowell and his wife Alex (Chloe Sevigny) experience a "great loss" in the midst of his investigations.
Chloe Sevigny (Alex) is a wife, mother and doctor.
This role sounds like a very different one for Sevigny.
She also mentioned the "great loss" she and husband John will experience, as well as the other demons her character will be attempting to come to terms with.
Angela Bassett is an actress, but she doesn't live at the Hotel.
Bassett will fill the shoes of Ramona Royale, a "sexy [character], yet not in a drug-addicty kind of way," like Paulson's Sally.
Bassett said Ramona had a substantial relationship with Lady Gaga's Elizabeth, but didn't go into detail as to what that relationship might entail.