Now, this might be the worst thing on American Horror Story ever to occur, so get ready. In AHS, Sarah Paulson will not be starring in AHS: 1984. But hear us out before you start to book yourself in an “Asylum” or join a “Cult” devoted to all Paulson stuff.
While Variety reported that in the new season, which returns September 18, the Emmy-winning actor will not claim a key position, a cameo appearance is still certainly possible. Sources told the trade publication that a brief role is “possible,” even though for the ninth installment she won’t be taking a significant lead. Twentieth century Fox TV and Paulson’s reps refused to comment on the outlet.
News of Paulson’s restricted, if any, screen time in AHS: 1984 is surprising given that she is the only major actor of the show to appear in all eight previous seasons. She has performed a significant part in most, including Lana Winters in Asylum and conjoined twins Dot and Bette in Freak Show. But fans may remember the actor, who has so far picked up five Emmy nominations for her work on the anthology, only appeared in three episodes in AHS’s Season 1 Murder House. So it wouldn’t be totally unprecedented to have a smaller role.
These days, Paulson’s dance card looks fairly complete. Her upcoming projects include two series: FX’s Mrs. America, which follows the Equal Rights Amendment enactment, and Netflix’s Ratched, the titular nurse’s original tale from the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. American Horror Story mastermind Ryan Murphy is also a creator on the latter series, and Paulson’s résumé is full of projects from the super producer. Previously, the performer won an Emmy for playing Marcia Clark on Murphy’s American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson and assumed the role of Geraldine Page on Feud: Bette and Joan. So, it makes sense that Paulson might need to take a step back from AHS for now, even as she makes it clear her collaboration with Murphy has no end in sight.
As for American Horror Story: 1984, not much is known about the next season. In April, Murphy released a teaser on his Instagram, which announced the vague title. The preview alluded to an ’80s slasher theme. He confirmed shortly after that Emma Roberts, who has also co-starred on various seasons, would be joining the cast. However, fellow regular Evan Peters won’t be on AHS Season 9, despite having also been on every season. Although his need to “sit a season out,” indicates a return is probably in the cards.
In terms of plot, all involved are keeping tight-lipped. We do know that Roberts and Olympian Gus Kenworthy will play boyfriend and girlfriend during the season, a relationship that could go awry if previous seasons of the anthology have taught us anything.