Bad news for American Horror Story devotees and fans of astoundingly beautiful 64-year-old actresses (who are, if perhaps not an advertisement for aging 100 percent naturally, at least a shining example of what a few tasteful cosmetic procedures can do): Jessica Lange, AKA Constance/Sister Jude/Fiona, is planning to leave the series.
We'll get to enjoy Lange a little while longer, but after season 4 of AHS (assuming it's renewed, which seems a pretty safe bet given the ratings), she's planning to retire from acting. It seems like a smart move for Lange, whose roles on the show have created a surprising late-stage boost for her impressive 40-year career. Why not leave on a high note, after all?
If series creator Ryan Murphy is to be believed, however, Lange may still change her mind about saying goodbye to his show.
The veteran actress recently told a number of media outlets after she wraps up a few final projects, she's leaving the profession:
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?
If that's not clear enough, Lange confirmed she won't be back to AHS after season 4:
I'll do one more season. That'll be it.
It seems perfectly understandable to me -- she's had amazing movie roles over the years, for which she won two Oscars. Her characters in American Horror Story have been so well-received, she brought home an Emmy in 2011, a Golden Globe in 2012, and scored an Emmy nomination this year. I can imagine that at this point she's ready to enjoy retirement, secure in the knowledge that she left while she was still delivering top-notch performances.
Lange says she definitely appreciates what AHS has given her:
It reenergized me; it reenergized my career. There's no shame in recognizing that. It's exposed me to a whole new generation, which is a little strange. I'm not used to young people thinking I'm cool.
Interestingly, just a couple weeks ago Ryan Murphy said that he hopes she stays with the show another 10 years, which he thinks may be possible despite Lange's protests:
Every year, she says, "OK, that's my last one."
I suppose she may change her mind, but I doubt it. I think she knows a graceful exit when she sees one, maybe particularly since her season 4 character sounds quite memorable. Ryan Murphy:
All I'll say is, Jessica Lange has always wanted to play a Marlene Dietrich figure, and now she gets to.
What do you think about Jessica Lange retiring from acting? Will you miss her on American Horror Story?