Jessica Lange explains 'American Horror Story' departure

In her four seasons of "American Horror Story" (AHS), Jessica Lange has carved a niche as the shows grande dame. From her turn as a crazed nun in "Asylum" to the deranged witch of "Coven" to most recently her all-singing ringmaster Elsa Mars in "Freak Show," Lange steals the show every time. Raking in two Emmys, a Globe and a SAG award for her "AHS" efforts, her recent announcement that she will not be joining the latest in the series, "Hotel," has come as a shock to fans. Her involvement with "AHS" creator Ryan Murphy does not end there however. He will be producing "Long Days Journey Into Night" on Broadway in which Lange will resume her role as Mary Tyrone a part that won her an Olivier award in 2000. As to the possible EGOT status that awaits her, Lange laughs, You cant get too far ahead of yourself.

Deadline: A nation weeps its the end of "American Horror Story" for you. Why?
Jessica Lange: I mean they'll continue and it'll be great. You know, when I originally agreed to do this, it was for one season. (I thought) “this will be interesting to try this. I've never done this kind of television before.” Then I had such a great time doing it the first year, when they approached me to do it again I thought, well okay, maybe we can do it season to season. Instead, I agreed to do three more seasons. And that was fine because I've had just such a great time doing it. I have no regrets or second thoughts about that decision. But there's always an end to everything.

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Deadline: You seem to have an almost collaborative relationship with "AHS" creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.
Lange: Yeah, I mean I love Ryan. I think he's absolutely unique and wonderful and brilliant. And the fact of the matter is what kept me coming back were the characters. I mean they wrote such characters for me so diverse and wild. They gave me so much to do every season in a time in my career where that's the exception not the rule anymore. I mean we could get into a long thing about women aging in Hollywood and what happens.

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Deadline: It shouldn't be a topic of conversation anymore, but unfortunately it is.
Lange: No, it shouldn't. But it is because that's just the natural order of things. There's a period of time when the work is just plentiful, and then there's a steep drop-off as far as what is still interesting to play. What was great about these four years is that it reminded me of the kind of work that I was doing when I was in my thirties and forties. Those huge roles. It was kind of like inexhaustible, bottomless. I mean what you could do. And well written with really something to play. I mean, this last season, it was just huge. It was a great role one of the best I've ever had. I really hope that Ryan and I can continue some kind of work situation, but I did feel like four seasons for me was probably enough of this particular piece.

Deadline: Murphy will produce "Long Days Journey Into Night" on Broadway you're playing one of your favorite characters for which you won an Olivier Award last time.
Lange: What was wonderful is Ryan and I were talking, he's so generous, and I mentioned this thing of wanting to do this play because I had done it 15 years ago and I really wanted to do it again. He went out and got the rights, which was so touching. I love him. He'll be involved as a producer, but he signed it over to the Roundabout Theater so it's all done, it's a not-for-profit theater, and we'll do it on Broadway next year. It's going to be great. At one point I thought, what if this doesn't work out? I don't care. I've played Mary Tyrone, and then it kept getting closer, one step closer, and I thought, yes, I get to do it again. I loved that character.

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Deadline: Is the prospect of possible EGOT status exciting? If you get a Tony, that's be all four major awards under your belt.
Lange: Oh, that's what that EGOT stands for? OK. Well, we'll see. You can't get too far ahead of yourself. I mean I just hope we have a great production and we honor the play.

Deadline: Do you have an all-time favorite co-star? You've worked with so many of the greats.
Lange: Well probably my all-time favorite, and I worked with her twice, was Kim Stanley. There's nobody like her, nobody. There was a rawness to her and a truthfulness and a ferocity. I loved working with Tommy Lee Jones. We had a really great way of working together, and obviously Nicholson and DeNiro. Liam Neeson. It's a long list.