The quality of American Horror Story vacillates wildly from season to season, and even episode to episode. Like most Ryan Murphy projects, each installment usually starts out strong and falls apart under the weight of its own commitment to shock value, glossing over things like, you know, cohesive plotting. But one thing that can always be counted on is Sarah Paulson. Whether she’s a witch, a medium, a two-headed circus sensation, a ghostly heroin junkie, or a Jill Stein voter, Paulson holds every season together with excellent performances no matter the outrageous circumstances.
But, according to Paulson, that may not be true for season nine of the horror anthology. When asked by Syfy if she was returning for the next season, Paulson honestly had no clue.
“I don’t really know the answer to that,” she said. “I think… all I can say is I know the least about this season upcoming that I’ve known about any season. I don’t even know…yeah, that’s all I can say. I think that’s all I can say.”
Paulson went on to explain that at this point in the process she usually knows a bit more about what's going on with American Horror Story but has been busy working on Ratched, Murphy’s upcoming Netflix series about the nurse from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.
“Usually, I have more information at this point, and I’m bugging Ryan with questions,” she said. “Right now, I don’t have a lot and yeah, I’m so busy with Ratched, it’s hard for me to think about anything beyond that.”
If Paulson doesn’t appear in the ninth season of AHS, it will be the first in the show’s history in which she doesn’t appear. While Paulson first became the show’s leading lady in Asylum, she appeared in Murder House as the clairvoyant Billie Dean Howard. And if Paulson doesn’t return, she’ll join Evan Peters, who confirmed last month that he will “sit a season out”
Last week Murphy revealed the title of the anthology’s upcoming ninth season, 1984, with a short clip that suggests the show’s next chapter will focus on classic slasher films. Maybe Paulson will make a surprise appearance at the end as the killer? We’ll have to wait until it premieres this fall to find out.