9:23am PT by Jackie Strause
'American Horror Story: Cult': Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters' Characters Revealed
American Horror Story is tackling the 2016 presidential election through the eyes of a cult, but it will also feature an epic love story between the anthology's starring two players.
Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters, who have starred in every season of Ryan Murphy's FX anthology series, are playing lovers for the second season in a row in American Horror Story: Cult, the showrunner revealed on Sunday.
Frequent Murphy leading lady Paulson is playing "Ally" and Peters will be seen as a character named Kai for "his heaviest season yet," the showrunner had said in a Twitter Q&A. In response to a fan question about Peters' role in the season, which premieres Sept. 5, Murphy said plainly, "More Evan you will get." Murphy also revealed that the 11-episode season will be set in Michigan, a key state in the election results.
Murphy, who has been taking to his Instagram account to drop hints on the premise and developing cast of the upcoming season, shared a sketch of the pair's characters on Sunday. The drawing features Peters' character with blue hair — proving that the previous tease of a man in blue is in fact of the leading man.
"Ally and Kai in CULT...a love story for the ages," Murphy captioned the drawing on Instagram.
A post shared by Ryan Murphy (@mrrpmurphy) on
Ally and Kai are the first character details revealed by Murphy. While the co-stars have stepped into many roles over the course of the franchise — Paulson has played seven, with two of her characters making cameos on subsequent seasons, and Peters, six — the two had never been linked up romantically until Roanoke. The sixth season featured featured Paulson and Peters as a married pair of actors who fell in love on set, much to the delight of viewers of the longtime franchise.
Both Paulson and Peters had shared their excitement when finding out about the season-seven election theme, saying the mystery is half the fun of the show. "American Horror Story pushes the buttons," said Peters of tackling the current social climate. "It makes you think and it will be interesting to see how people react."
Following the trail blazed by Roanoke's strategic marketing, Murphy planned a big reveal when he announced the title and dropped the first teaser for Cult. A Comic-Con activation sent fans to AHS7.com, where viewers are now encouraged to join the cult and play along for eight weeks of clues.
The following day, the first official promo for the season arrived, unveiling the terrifying clown and monster creations Murphy has been alluding to on social media. "Do you ever feel alone? Does it seem like no one really understands you? Do some people just make you sick? Are you afraid?" asks the clip, which shows images of what look like Twisty-inspired clowns gathering in cult-like formation. The clip continues, "We can set you free. We will make you strong. We want you."
Of the election theme, Murphy told THR he planned to highlight "people who don’t have a voice in our culture — people who are ignored by the current administration and who are afraid and feel terrorized that their lives are going to be taken away."
Joining Paulson and Peters in Cult are returning players Frances Conroy, Mare Winningham, Adina Porter and Cheyenne Jackson; and newcomers Colton Haynes, Billie Lourd, Billy Eichner, Leslie Grossman and Alison Pill. Lena Dunham will also be appearing in one episode.
Watch the official promo below and follow along as details continue to emerge with THR's handy guide to American Horror Story: Cult.