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.