RYAN MURPHY: I think we just wanted to spend our time with resolving a lot of those stories. I think it was interesting because a lot of those people had never been together. We’ve never had Alma and Grace and Kit all together. I think the idea was just to spend a good chunk of time with them and see what that relationship was like which was very interesting with all the progressive, free-love, civil rights stuff so that was one thing.
The funny thing about the second act which is Jessica and Franny Conroy is I think at one point as we were spitballing season two before we landed on the asylum idea, we had actually talked about doing the second season in a prison but then Alcatraz came along and stole that idea. [laughs] It was never very definitive but I always liked that idea. I think an insane asylum for us was probably much more effective. I love the idea of showing Jude’s descent. We wrote it and directed and shot it much like one of those ‘50s ladies in prison movies which I was always obsessed with. As a child I was obsessed with this movie called Caged which was like tough broads standing against Jimmy Cagney. I was really thrilled with Franny Conroy’s brilliant lady gangster interpretation. She was so brilliant and I loved her henchwoman and I loved the whole idea that Jude thought that woman is death. And I love love the actress who plays the new ward of Briarcliff, Robin Bartlett, who’s in one of my favorite Mike Nichols movies Heartburn.
All of that Lana stuff was really modeled after Truman Capote and his complete In Cold Blood fame grab. Lana has sorta become Truman Capote meets Jackie Susann. I thought it was just fascinating and moving and totally understandable that after all the horrors Lana took refuge and solace in fame and money and celebrity and glamour. I really understood that for her. Then I love how they all dovetailed.
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