For fans of FX's horror anthology series American Horror Story, Jessica Lange's return as Constance Langdon was one of the great highlights of last season's Apocalypse. The season saw the long-awaited crossover between the first season, Murder House, and the third season, Coven but it wasn't one that Lange necessarily planned to participate in -- at least not until series creator Ryan Murphy made her an offer she simply couldn't refuse.
In an interview with The Wrap, Lange revealed that Murphy offered her a death scene for Constance that hit upon everything Lange wanted to do with the character.
“It was like all conversations with Ryan,” Lange said. “He is extremely … Can I use the word seductive? He knows exactly what to say to whom. I think he knows me so well by now that he hits all the key phrases right off the bat. So, for instance, he’s talking about the relationship with the children and a 10-page monologue, the drunkenness and the death. He hits all the scenes that would make it interesting for me to come back to play this character. And he usually catches me when I’m sitting out here in the middle of nowhere, doing nothing and I think, ‘Oh, yeah, maybe I should work. Maybe I shouldn’t quit quite yet.’ That’s how it happens. He knows what I like to do and what appeals to me as an actor to play.”
In the "Return to Murder House" episode of Apocalypse, Constance tells Michael Langdon's (Cody Fern) story to Madison (Emma Roberts) and Behold (Billy Porter), explaining that she attempted to raise Michael as her own son after taking him from Vivien at birth. However, when Michael soon displayed violent tendencies, aged ten years overnight, and attacked Constance before murdering a priest who she had brought in to help, she realized that her dream was shattered. She returned to the Murder House where she died by suicide, overdosing and slipping into an afterlife where she would be with three of her four beloved children forever.
“To play a part like that, to play a scene like that, I find deliriously fun because it’s total abandon,” Lange said. “There’s no reason, there’s no logic. It’s just about the physical and emotional. So the idea that she is basically OD’ing and having these — are they visions, her children come to see her? It was my favorite scene to shoot, because there is a physical abandon to it that I always like to investigate.”
However, while Constance's death scene is what lured Lange back, that doesn't mean Apocalypse ranks as one of her favorite seasons of the series. Lange previously told Gold Derby that she's never even seen Apocalypse and declared Freak Show her favorite, from the experience of actually making it.
"My very favorite, just from the experience of doing it, was Freak Show," Lange said. "Although, I think Asylum was the better season, but I loved Freak Show."
American Horror Story returns for its ninth season, 1984, on Wednesday, September 18th at 10 p.m. ET on FX.