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Arts and Entertainment

Six Things We Learned About 'American Horror Story: Roanoke' at PaleyFest 2017

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Several castmembers and producers of American Horror Story: Roanoke wrapped up the PaleyFest 2017 television festival at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Sunday night. Moderator Tim Stack, a senior writer for Entertainment Weekly, spent most of the night herding cats. The cast and producers proved to be an ornery, rambunctious bunch—and maybe hung out in the green room for a little too long. While the fast-paced panel discussion took a look back at the Roanoke season, we were expecting tidbits about next season. But honestly, more F-bombs dropped than any morsels on the upcoming season, which is rumored to focus on the November election.

Taking to the stage on behalf of AHS: Roanoke were actors Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Cuba Gooding Jr., Denis O’Hare, Cheyanne Jackson and Adina Porter and Executive Producers Brad Falchuk (co-creator) and Tim Menear. Here are six interesting items we witnessed/heard/observed during the panel.

Someone get Kathy Bates and Sarah Paulson a TV reality show or a podcast, stat.

The love/hate banter between Bates and Paulson was one of the highlights of the night. The two actors teased each other all night long, and the biting repartee was hilarious to watch. Bates referred to Paulson numerous times as “the people’s princess,” and Paulson mimicked Bates’ Butcher accent on several occasions, causing Bates to say at one point, “Go f*ck yourself.”

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Yes, Cuba Gooding Jr. did flip up Paulson’s skirt.

The incident happened so quickly that we missed much of it, but here it is on the internet for all to see. The last time something like this happened to us was in like, third grade?

Angela Bassett is one hell of an actor’s director.

While Bassett wasn’t in attendance last night, her directing skills left quite an impression—a good one—on her fellow castmembers. She directed a couple of AHS: Roanoke episodes, and the cast went on and on about her style and energy. We also learned that Jackson does a killer Bassett impression, and Gooding Jr. reminded the audience that Bassett played his mom on Boyz N the Hood and his sister on AHS. “She might be immortal,” he said.

iPhones played a big part of the Roanoke season.

Many AHS: Roanoke scenes relied on amateur "found footage," and actors were often asked to act as well as shoot their own footage simultaneously. The producers pointed to how Kathy Bates’ awesome Hollywood Boulevard massacre scene was shot early on a Sunday morning with actors shooting the hand-held footage of Bates. The cast talked about the multitude of cameras for the season, including the hidden cameras rigged on set. There were sometimes too many cameras to keep track of, with Bates summing it up like this: “That was a f*cking nightmare,” Bates said.

Reprising characters

The AHS franchise has often brought back characters from earlier seasons; for Roanoke, Paulson’s investigative journalist Lana Winters returns from AHS: Asylum. The panelists were asked which characters they’d like to revisit, and Paulson chose her AHS: Coven character: "Probably Cordelia. We only got to see her just getting her powers. I just would like to know if the power might have been something that kind of changed her." O’Hare said that he’d like to bring back Larry Harvey from AHS: Murder House. The former owner of the haunted house has been in prison. “I’d like to see him get out of jail, he’s probably been organizing musicals there,” O’Hare said.

What we learned about next season?

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Nada. Zilch. Zero. The actors and producers weren’t talking. But when asked by an audience member if they’d be up for tackling the real American Horror Story—slavery—later on down the producers didn’t say no. “Anything’s possible,” Falchuk said.

PaleyFest panels will be available on Hulu for streaming.