Is Misty the next Supreme on FX’s American Horror Story: Coven? The skilled witch is about to inch closer to finding out her fate during Wednesday’s hour when musical goddess Stevie Nicks guest stars.
The hour, fittingly titled “The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks,” will see Lily Rabe‘s Misty Day finally come face-to-face with the only “other witch” — as showrunner Ryan Murphy first coined her — that she’s ever known.
Nicks tells The Hollywood Reporter that she reconnected with Murphy, whom she knew after Glee paid tribute to Fleetwood Mac with a season two episode, when the prolific writer-producer called to use her music on the series. Nicks recalls the conversation in which Murphy told her about Misty, describing the character as one who lives in a swamp who uses her music as a way to calm down.
“I know how beautifully they handled the music on Glee, so I knew that this would be great,” she says, noting she watched her first ever episode of American Horror Story while she was on tour in Europe and was hooked immediately.
“It’s a horror story told through the eyes of a fairy tale,” Nicks says. “Ryan really does write about misfits, whether it’s Glee or American Horror Story, and I was a misfit. I traveled around in high school. I was the new girl before the eighth grade, before the 10th grade, so I understand that. I thought by the second episode of Coven that it would take my music to a whole other generation. From 14- and 15-year-olds to 40-year-olds and expose it people that have never heard my music or never heard anything about me really. So as a writer, that couldn’t be better, because as a writer, we just want to affect people.”
After returning to the states after Fleetwood Mac’s Australian tour was canceled when bass player John McVie was diagnosed with cancer, Nicks had five weeks off and called Murphy with a request: to walk through the New Orleans house where Fiona (Jessica Lange), Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) and Zoe (Taissa Farmiga), among others, reside.
“In my mind, I was seeing myself walking through the big white house with the big black dress, beautiful hair, makeup and fan and just walking in and saying, ‘Here I am! You can all go now,'” Nicks says. She ended up staying five days and with a two-episode guest arc.
“It was the trippiest thing I’ve ever done,” the singer-writer says with a laugh. “I got the script and told my assistant, ‘Do they know I’m not an actress? Has anyone told them I’m not an actress?’ I was terrified and didn’t sleep very well. I went in the next day early — and early for me isn’t good — but I fell into their world like I was Alice and I fell into the rabbit hole and I was in Wonderland. And it really is Wonderland.”
The Coven house, it turns out, looks eerily similar to Nicks’ residence (it’s “not as ornate,” she says) with the same white round fireplaces, among other attributes. “I just watched my own movie, In Your Dreams, and a lot of my house is filmed in it and wondered if Ryan saw it before filming Coven,” she says with a laugh.
As for the episode, Nicks performs two songs while playing the piano — “Rhiannon” and “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You” — with both tracks selected by producers. “I was thrilled they picked them because those are really the only two songs I actually play all the time when I sit at the piano — which isn’t often,” she says.
“They chose them because ‘Rhiannon’ was Misty’s anthem and ‘Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You’ can work for anyone in the world when they’ve had a very long, bad day,” Nicks adds. “It was really a beautiful thing; it was like a dream. Everybody just moved slowly. I figured that those times will never come again. When I’m 90 years old and I look back over my life, I’ll remember Jessica Lange leaning over the piano and saying, ‘That was a difficult day,’ and walking over to the couch. I’ll never forget it.”
Beyond her Coven return — on which Nicks remains mum — the iconic performer is getting ready to revisit her long-gestating “Rhiannon” project.
“I already have some friends that are working with me and we are really starting to put it into shape and form. I may never have four or five months off again in my life and I have it right now, so I’m going to do that,” she reveals, noting she’d prefer to produce the entry as a feature film.
“I also think it would be an amazing miniseries because it’s long. It’s a lot of stories that are all connected and all amazing,” Nicks says. “It couldn’t just be one movie and if it can’t be what I want, then I won’t do it. So I’m just going to work on it for a couple months and see how it comes out.”
When pressed if she’d be open for another reunion with Murphy to produce the project, she laughs before getting serious. “That’s a very good idea,” she says.
American Horror Story: Coven airs on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.