*“American Horror Story” is bringing out the big guns for its witch-themed third season.
Oscar-nominated actress Angela Bassett joins Oscar winner Kathy Bates and returning Oscar winner Jessica Lange for “American Horror Story: Coven,” which is set in New Orleans and will be more fun than the original 2011 season and last year’s “American Horror Story: Asylum.”
“This year is a drama but there is a lot of humor, and we are embracing a kind of velocity and fun with the series,” said executive producer Tim Minear in August. “It’s not the same as it was the past two years, but I think it can be more fun for the audience.”
Bassett, who has put her cinematic stamp on such real people as Tina Turner, Betty Shabazz and Katherine Jackson, will portray in “Coven” a lesser-known woman in history – unless you’re steeped in the history of New Orleans.
“I play Marie Laveau. And it’s been interesting being in New Orleans, because there’s such a regard and respect for who she was,” Bassett told TV critics in August. “There was a woman in the 1800s, she lived to about 80 years old who was a very influential person in the city. So my character is sort of based loosely on her. And I’m looking forward to it.”
So who is Marie Laveau? She was a Creole Voodoo priestess who had a huge following among both blacks and whites during her heyday. Bassett says Laveau diehards in New Orleans who heard she was in town and set to play the voodoo legend have been bombarding her with unsolicited advice and background info.
“There’s some voodoo, voodooian how do you say it, voodooans?…who have offered to show me a few things. But I don’t know if I need all that right now,” she told us during the TCA Summer Press Tour in August.
So far, creator Ryan Murphy hasn’t tipped his hat on how closely the story of his Laveau will follow the real thing.
Below Bassett explains how she was persuaded to join the cast this season.
“American Horror Story: Coven” premieres Oct 9 on FX. Watch teasers below.