‘American Horror Story’: Jessica Lange Reveals Which Character She’d Return to Play

Jessica Lange has always played an iconic role in FX’s thriller series American Horror Story. Many consider the actress to be the absolute lifeblood of the series for the first four seasons, from the nosy, cunning Constance Langdon in American Horror Story: Murder House to the glamorously damaged Elsa Mars in American Horror Story: Freak Show. Lange has been a fan-favorite since the beginning.

After Jessica Lange left the show, fans thought it would mean the death of American Horror Story. However, Lange returned in American Horror Story: Apocalypse to reprise her role as Constance Langdon in a long-awaited crossover between Season 1 and Season 3. Her performance, despite being very short, earned her an Emmy nomination and has fans wondering if another appearance on American Horror Story could be in the cards. And it doesn’t seem altogether unlikely!

Jessica Lange
Jessica Lange | Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Why did Jessica Lange leave ‘American Horror Story’?

Jessica Lange shocked American Horror Story fans when she announced that she would be leaving the show after its fourth season in Nov. 2013. She made her last regular appearance in American Horror Story: Freak Show where Lange played Elsa Mars, the German manager of a rather unsuccessful carnival of colorful characters. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Lange revealed what led her to leave American Horror Story.

“This is a six-month commitment every year. That will be four years in a row. I want to have more time to myself I guess. Once it’s over and I have a full year ahead of me with nothing to do, who knows?” said Lange, “It might not have been the best decision. But I think four years doing something is a sufficient amount of time.”

In a later interview, Lange also expressed that she wanted to leave American Horror Story on a high note. “In a way, this character is so great, I don’t know how you top Elsa Mars. I really — in deference to Ryan, who I love dearly and who I respect beyond — I have no idea at this point,” said Lange.

Jessica Lange
Jessica Lange | FX

Which character would Jessica Lange return to ‘American Horror Story’ for?

Seeing Jessica Lange in American Horror Story again isn’t entirely impossible. Lange mentioned in an interview that she would be willing to return to play a certain character. When Deadline asked Lange if she wanted to revisit any character, she went on to talk about how Elsa Mars from American Horror Story: Freak Show was near and dear to her heart.

“Well, probably my favorite character of the four seasons was Elsa in Freak Show. I just loved her. Again, I didn’t watch it, so I can’t compare the finished product with the other seasons. But the doing of it — there was something magical for me in that season,” said Lange, “We were in New Orleans. The set that they built, that rundown carnival freak show with all the roundabouts and the actual actors, the people that came in to play those parts — for me, it was like a long poem.”

In Season 4, Jessica Lange performed covers of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” and Lana Del Rey’s “Gods & Monsters.” “Getting to sing Bowie… It was like gifts just kept piling up and piling up,” said Lange.

Jessica Lange and Ryan Murphy
Jessica Lange and Ryan Murphy | Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Will Jessica Lange ever return to ‘American Horror Story’ in the future?

While Lange hasn’t officially confirmed that she would return to the FX series, she hasn’t entirely ruled out the possibility of a return. Jessica Lange mentioned in an interview that she absolutely loves working with American Horror Story‘s Ryan Murphy and, if he wrote a compelling character that could top Elsa Mars, she would absolutely be willing to return.

“I think [Murphy] is a rare talent and I love the way he thinks and what he creates. I completely appreciate it. And he has created, for me, the four characters in American Horror Story,” said Lange, “Between Ryan imagining and creating the character or the story, and the writers who are actually putting those words into your mouth, it’s been a joy.”