Long before Jessica Lange became synonymous with the Ryan Murphy Television Universe, she was a two time Academy Award winner (and six time nominee) who worked with everyone from Bob Fosse to Martin Scorsese. Then, her Emmy winning role in HBO’s Grey Gardens paved the way for her second act as one of the prestige TV era’s grande dames. Her work, mostly with Murphy, chiefly on his American Horror Story, has re-introduced her to a new generation of young fans and afforded her the opportunity to do things her older fans could have never imagined (playing coke-snorting witches, singing Lana Del Rey songs). Her most recent efforts on The Politician sees her as a scheming grandmother, but after swearing of anymore roles in AHS, Lange is starting to think she may just be done with television all together.
Indeed, Lange tells The Hollywood Reporter that she only took the role in the first place because it wasn’t much of a commitment to begin with. “It was a very easy schedule for me compared to the way I usually work,” she said. Apparently she didn’t even mind that the part meant she was wearing TJ Maxx finds while the rest of the cast was running around in Gucci. Now, however, she’s not sure if she even wants to commit to that much.
“It would take something very, very different and special to jump back into [series television]. Because at this point, I’m not sure I’m not finished,” she told the trade. “I might have come to the end of it.” (The Reporter clarifies that she amended as “maybe” to that).
Though, that doesn’t necessarily means we’ve seen the last of Lange, nor the last of her work with Murphy on Netflix.
“Jessica Lange and I are working on a piece about Marlene Dietrich in Vegas in the early ’60s,” Murphy said in his Time cover story earlier this month. Though, that project, which may or may not be a film, is far from guaranteed. “But I’m so booked. When am I going to do it? I don’t know.”
The 70-year-old actress’s IMDb page is otherwise devoid of upcoming projects, but as her “maybe” indicates, she’s not heading for a hard retirement anytime soon. Besides, maybe stepping away from series television could free up Lange’s time for more films. We may have seen her just do just about anything and everything in the Murphy-verse, but the one thing she can’t do on his television shows is set herself from a seventh Academy Award nomination. We certainly wouldn’t mind that. Besides, amongst all those new fans she’s made through her Horror Story work must certainly include a few interesting, young directors.
American Horror Story‘s Most Shocking Onscreen Transformations
Sarah Paulson, the show’s most frequent star, has rocked just about every hairstyle under the sun throughout her run (even getting to model two at one time for her conjoined twin role in Freak Show). While she usually plays more sympathetic characters, her red-headed transformation into a stern Wilhemina Venable for Apocalypse certainly stands out. Seriously, the eyebrows alone… Photos courtesy of Getty Images and IMDB.
Poor Billy Eichner spent a good part of Apocalypse running around as a tattered survivor of the nuclear fallout. Photos courtesy of Getty Images and IMDB.
We don’t even know the names of most of the 1984 characters yet, but we do know most of the cast had to endure some serious hairspray, with Billie Lourd getting a particularly severe spritz. Photos courtesy of Getty Images and @mrrpmurphy.
Naomi Grossman’s transformation into recurring character Pepper is one of the series’ most notable. Photos courtesy of Getty Images and IMDB.
Evan Peters mostly fills the role of “confused young man” in the series, but he got to stretch his skills in Cult for a segment in which he played Warhol. Photos courtesy of Getty Images and IMDB.
Though, maybe that wasn’t as drastic as his appearance as Christ himself. Photos courtesy of Getty Images and IMDB.
Yes, the show even turned Meryl Streep’s daughter into a freak show performer once. Photos courtesy of Getty Images and Everett Collection.
Gaga maintained her glamour in Hotel, but went full on swamp witch for her smaller role in this season. Photos courtesy of Getty Images and Everett Collection.
Patti LaBelle is showbiz glamor personified, but she underwent a pretty drastic makeover for her role in Freak Show. Photos courtesy of Getty Images and IMDB.
Perhaps regretting killing off her original character too early, Ryan Murphy brought Joan Collins back for a second character later in the season and fitted the famous brunette with a white wig. Photos courtesy of Getty Images and IMDB.
Jessica Lange usually gets to retain a bit of glamour for her roles, but certain scenes in Coven required her to portray the dying witch as, well, a dying witch. Photos courtesy of Getty Images and FX.
Perhaps less notable than her accent from this season, but a beard on Kathy Bates is still a beard on Kathy Bates. Photos courtesy of Getty Images and Everett Collection.
Joker who? Photos courtesy of Getty Images and IMDB.
Lena Dunham has only appeared on one season, but even she required a makeover. Photos courtesy of Getty Images and IMDB.
France Conroy’s most famous roles are usually more low key, which made her transformation into full-fledged fashionista Myrtle Snow all the more exciting. Photos courtesy of Getty Images and Everett Collection.