Why is Jessica Lange no longer in American Horror Story?

Jessica Lange experienced a major career change when she joined the cast of “American Horror Story” in 2011. Certainly, Lange was already known for her famous film — she won the Oscars for her roles in Tootsie in 1983 and Blue Sky in 1995. Despite her impressive film and theater roles, the hit FX series was among Lange’s only television credits. The series was an instant hit, having won a total of 16 Emmy Awards since its inception. In 2012, Lange’s role on Season 1 of “AHS” earned the actress her fifth Golden Globe and her second Emmy win.

“I find it rarer and rarer every year to find work that’s really beautifully written and gives you something to do, and it certainly was,” Lange said during her acceptance speech. Adding: “I want to thank Brad and Ryan – and especially Ryan – for convincing me of this. I guess it’s wonderful.” And while Lange had a big role in the horror series, she has since left the popular show.

Jessica Lange felt she made the most of her time on the show

Jessica Lange was arguably one of the most recognizable faces in Ryan Murphy’s “American Horror Story”. However, after four seasons of the FX series, the actress announced that she was leaving the show due to its demanding production schedule. “This is a 6 month commitment every year. That’s going to be four years in a row,” Lange told Entertainment Weekly in 2013. “I want to have more time to myself, I think. Once it’s over and I’ve got a full year of nothing to do, who knows? It might not have been the best decision.”

Speaking about Lange’s departure, show creator Ryan Murphy said he understands that TV series commitments can be stressful. “I understand. I think being on a TV show, even a cable show for 13 episodes, is a big challenge. It’s really hard work,” he told Vulture. Adding, “Maybe she’s off for a year, or maybe I can seduce her with a role. It depends on what she wants to do.” For fans wondering if Lange ever sees her return to the series, that seems unlikely.

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Jessica Lange does not expect an AHS return

Jessica Lange has seemingly ruled out any possibility that she would return to American Horror Story after her departure. Lange, who currently stars on Netflix’s The Politician, told Entertainment Weekly in 2019 that she had no immediate plans to reclaim her spot on the FX show. “I feel like I made the best of it in those first four seasons. Great characters. It was exciting to do,” Lange told the outlet. “I’ve worked with some of my favorite actors, but I can’t imagine we could ever go back to that.”

Lange has made it very clear that she has no interest in returning to the small screen full-time. However, she had a brief appearance in season 8 of the famous horror series. The actress has explained in later interviews (via Yahoo) that she only agreed to guest star because she could reprise her role as Constance Langdon, her season 1 character. Lange previously told The Hollywood Reporter that she would only consider a network TV show role if it was “something very, very different and special.”