Kathy Bates is happy to have found a home on FX’s “American Horror Story: Coven,” especially after an experience at NBC with “Harry’s Law,” the end of which she doesn’t remember fondly.
When a reporter at Friday’s “American Horror Story: Coven” panel at the Television Critics Association Summer Tour in Beverly Hills asked her if this project was what made her want to do weekly work again after her last television series experience, Kathy said yes. She then shared her feelings about the end of her last TV series – “Harry’s Law” on NBC – without mentioning the show or her former network by name.
“I think they treated us like sh**,” Kathy said. “They kicked us to the curb and I think they disrespected us. I think they disrespected our 7 – 11 million viewers every week, and I think they’re getting what they deserve.”
“Harry’s Law,” which was canceled in May 2012, averaged around 8 million viewers, and was speculated to have been canceled because it was pulling in an older audience.
Later, during the panel, Kathy explained why she is happy to be a part of “Coven.”
“I would like to add something on the positive note, because I went out for a drink with my friend, Jessica [Lange], after seeing the first season and I said, ‘You gotta get me on that show!’ And I kind of thought it would be maybe a couple of episodes or whatever… and I went in and I sat down and I met with Ryan [Murphy, show co-creator and executive producer], and I must say, when he pitched this show to me, this little kid that lives inside all of us, I think, just started jumping up and down and running around and saying, ‘I can do it like this.’
“[It] just got me so excited that it sort of washed most of the crap away – clearly, there’s some residue,” she continued, again appearing to reference her NBC “Harry’s Law” experience. “[‘Coven’ is] a delight. … It’s delightful to be among such a glorious group of actors and have such magnificent material to play and I’m gonna go on the record and say we’re gonna knock your socks off.”
The third season of “American Horror Story” will have many witches, as had been suspected, and panelists Jessica, Kathy as well as Sarah Paulson and Angela Bassett, finally shared a few details about the anticipated third season that has so far been cloaked in mystery.
Jessica will play a character called Fiona, who is the mother of Sarah’s Cordelia. Meanwhile, Kathy and Angela are both playing versions of historical figures – Kathy is playing Madame LaLaurie, while Angela’s role is Marie Laveau, and she deals in voodoo.
“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,” Angela said. “[She was a] very influential person in the city, so my character’s sort of based loosely on her and I’m looking forward to it.”
Jessica confirmed her character will be a witch, but she doesn’t know too much more about Fiona.
“I do play a witch. We move back and forth in time so it encompasses a lot of stories and the truth is, I’ve shot two days so far, one day just like entrances and exits, one day a scene, so I don’t know who the character is yet, I really don’t,” Jessica said. “It comes in little dribs and drabs.”
Tim Minear, an executive producer of “American Horror Story,” who was also on the panel Friday, said the show should be big with women this coming season.
“When you look up at this murderous row of actresses, you can see that this is, in fact, going to be the most friendly place for women on television this year,” he said. “Friendly, until we start that thing we do.”
The producer also said the dark show will be a little more “fun” this season.
“The fun quotient is higher this year,” he said. “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 this year.”
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-- Jolie Lash