Jessica Lange to leave AHS

Jessica Lange, image courtesy of WikiCommons

Jessica Lange, image courtesy of WikiCommons

All American Horror Story fans know that Jessica Lange is like a fine wine. It seems that with each passing season, she gets better and better. I would even argue that this is her best season yet. She absolutely gives credence to the term “witch with a B,” and if she’s not given an Emmy for her character, Fiona, I personally will lose all faith I have in humanity. Her acting is filled with such emotion and finesse; no woman can make wiping tears off her face or sucking the life out of a younger man look quite as good as Lange.

Given all of that, I was met with great disappointment to hear that American Horror Story: Coven would be Lange’s penultimate season, a fact confirmed by Lange herself. Now before we all get up in arms, let’s break this news down. First, penultimate means that Lange has one more season left in her. So, while Coven will not be her last season, the fourth one will. And with the way this season is going thus far, especially after the last episode (no spoilers here folks), I can only imagine that this season and her final season are going to be wild. Second, in speculating Lange’s reasons for departure, one could assume that the Emmy snub from last year’s American Horror Story: Asylum played some role. While AHS: Asylum got a little out there at times – like when they tried to bring in the whole alien thing – I thought that Lange’s performance as Sister Jude was phenomenal. Finally, in commenting on her departure, Lange has cited her age as a reason. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Lange stated, “I am coming to the end of acting. I have a list: another stage production, maybe one or two more movies, one more season of American Horror Story…and then that is it for me. Because I think that’s enough. I want to go out with a bang…or should I say, a scare?”

So, to add insult to injury, not only does Lange intend to retire from AHS, but she also wants to retire from the industry as a whole. Similar to her character, Fiona, in AHS: Coven, Lange is feeling the effects of her age. Lange started her career in the 1976 adaption of King Kong, a film for which she received a Golden Globe. She has gone on to star in numerous films, biopics, and television series, such as Tootsie, Blue Sky, and The Vow. Furthermore, Lange has received over 80 award nominations, and over 37 awards, including two Oscars, two Emmys, and five Golden Globes. It is pretty safe to say that Ms. Lange has had a rather successful career. On top of that, Lange has also published several photography books and released several albums. She has also been known for her extensive charity work, and was even named a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF specializing in the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Looking at her extensive resume, it is safe to say that Jessica Lange is a god-like Renaissance woman, or something of the sort. In my eyes, she can do no wrong. While she is grateful for her roles as Constance Langdon, Sister Jude, and Fiona Goode throughout her time on AHS, she sees this point in her life as the perfect time to step away from a career spanning nearly four decades. And personally, while I think she is a wonderful actress, I agree with her. There really are only so many times she can play the cold-hearted b-word that you love oh-so-dearly before it gets old (The Walking Dead should really take a page from her book). So with that, I tip my hat to you Jessica Lange. Thank you for a wonderful career and thank you for knowing when it is time to bow out with grace.