‘American Horror Story: Freak Show”: Naomi Grossman Returns as ‘Asylum’s Pepper
Three seasons in, we've gotten accustomed to the fact that FX's 'American Horror Story' reboots year after year with its cast playing new roles in a new story. And while this year's 'Freak Show' follows the same trend, Ryan Murphy's horror franchise will at last extend a bit of connective tissue between universes, bringing a fan-favorite 'American Horror Story: Asylum' character back into the fold.
As initially rumored, and now confirmed by Entertainment Weekly, 'Asylum' star Naomi Grossman will indeed join the season 4 'Freak Show' as "Pepper," her character from the FX horror-drama's second season. As the upcoming season chronologically takes place some 12 years before the events of 'Asylum,' series creator Ryan Murphy and producers hesitantly agreed to have Grossman reprising the character, the first instance of crossover in the entire 'American Horror Story' franchise.
Says Murphy of the character's newly-revealed origins:
What Elsa has done for 20 years is she goes around to hospitals and jails and rescues these ‘freak’ circus performers who are going to be shipped away to asylums and she signs the waivers and she becomes their guardians. ['Freak Show'] is sort of like what happened to Pepper before she went to the asylum....We thought about it long and hard and we decided that it was interesting to do.
Of course, why after Pepper's 'Asylum' alien brain boost, the character never once paused to point out "hey, you all look kind of familiar" remains unknown, but given aliens, demons, murder-Santas and the fact that Kathy Bates beat out Julia Roberts and Allison Tolman for an Emmy, we've learned to stop asking 'Horror Story' questions by now.
Premiering Wednesday, October 8, here's how FX officially describes its fourth season 'Freak Show':
'American Horror Story: Freak Show' begins its tale in the quiet, sleepy hamlet of Jupiter, Florida. The year is 1952. A troupe of curiosities has just arrived to town, coinciding with the strange emergence of a dark entity that savagely threatens the lives of townsfolk and freaks alike. This is the story of the performers and their desperate journey of survival amidst the dying world of the American carny experience.
The new ‘Freak Show’ season will see franchise veteran Jessica Lange as Elsa Mars, a German ex-patriot running one of the last American freak shows, which includes rescued “unusuals” from the likes of ‘Coven‘ and franchise stars Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Gabourey Sidibe, Sarah Paulson, Denis O’Hare, Evan Peters, Emma Roberts and Frances Conroy. ‘The Shield’ star Michael Chiklis will portray a strongman husband to Bassett’s character, 'The Normal Heart' stars Matt Bomer and Finn Wittrock will both take new roles, and Wes Bentley will guest in a Halloween arc.
Additionally, original 'Fargo' star John Carroll Lynch will play the season's big bad clown killer "Twisty," singer Patti LaBelle will play Gabourey Sidibe's mother, and the world's smallest woman Jyoti Amge will guest as ... well, she's right there in the photo. Lest we forget, there are also the other details teased from Comic-Con 2014.
Probably inconsequential, but what say you? Are you intrigued to have an 'Asylum' character popping up in 'American Horror Story: Freak Show?' Might we inevitably have one giant interconnected 'Horror' universe, wherein the Ghost-Harmons end up exorcised by the 'Coven,' and join the surviving 'Freak Show?' Watch the trailer again below, and tell us what you want from 'American Horror Story: Freak Show' in the comments!