'American Horror Story: Freak Show' Brings Back an 'Asylum' Character
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Naomi Grossman will reprise her role as Pepper, who is a Briarcliff patient in the second installment of the FX series.

AceShowbiz - "American Horror Story" is bringing back an "Asylum" resident to "Freak Show". Pepper, who was portrayed by Naomi Grossman in the second installment of the anthology series, will appear in the new season.

Rumors about Pepper's return first sparked in late July when a leaked call sheet listed Pepper, but co-creator Ryan Murphy has not confirmed it until now. "She is in this [season]," he tells Entertainment Weekly, which has got its hand on a picture of Grossman's Pepper holding the real-life world's smallest living woman, Jyoti Amge, from "Freak Show".

"We thought about it long and hard and we decided that it was interesting to do," he says of bringing back a character from a previous season, which is the first time since the show debuted with "Murder House" in 2011.

Murphy explains how Pepper fits into the storyline. "What Elsa (Jessica Lange) has done for 20 years is she goes around to hospitals and jails and rescues these 'freak' circus performers who are going to be shipped away to asylums and she signs the waivers and she becomes their guardians," he reveals. Since the next season takes place in 1952, or 12 years before the events of "Asylum", "Freak Show" is "sort of like what happened to Pepper before she went to the asylum."

More details about other characters recently also emerged via EW. To the magazine, Lange describes her character Elsa Mars, a former German cabaret star who manages the freak show, as "very manipulative." She goes on sharing, "She understands what's needed and she provides it. However the thing I want to be very clear that Elsa really loves these people. She truly cares for them in her own selfish narcissistic way. It's not just exploitation."

Among the attractions are Jimmy (Evan Peters), a young man with lobster-like hands, and his mother, bearded lady Ethel (Kathy Bates). Murphy dishes on Bates' character, "Ethel is basically Elsa's right hand woman. She helps run the camp, and she's sort of the guardian of the law. She had a real tragedy in that she was a real circus star in the '20s and 30s and then she had her baby and she became a down-and-out drunk, and Elsa saved her."

Michael Chiklis plays Ethel's ex-husband Dell Toledo, a strongman who's on the run from the law, whose arrival brings drama to the group. "Jimmy is the big man on campus and is the male leader of the group until Dell comes and they begin to battle for power under Elsa," Murphy reveals. Dell's new wife Desiree Dupree, played by Angela Bassett, is a three-breasted woman.

Conjoined twins Bette and Dot played by Sarah Paulson are the new recruits to the troupe. Paulson says of her character, "It's not as simple as nice and evil. It's more complicated, in true Ryan Murphy style."

This season's main villain is a murderer named Twisty the Clown (John Carroll Lynch), who will make the troupe members' "lives a living hell," according to Murphy. He continues teasing, "He's wearing a mask on the lower part of his face and there comes a point in the season where takes the mask off and when you see what's under you will faint in terror."

Emma Roberts and Denis O'Hare play a pair of con artists, Frances Conroy stars as a wealthy woman whose son (Finn Whitrock) wants to join the freak show, and Gabourey Sidibe joins the cast as a socialite who returns home to Jupiter when her mother (Patti LaBelle) goes missing.

Wes Bentley will appear in a two-part Halloween episode as Edward Mordrake, whom Murphy describes as "a very famous horror myth. It was a man with two faces. A normal face and then a face on the back of his head that would whisper evil things and force the forward-facing entity to commit horrible crimes."

The show will also feature flashbacks to 1930s when Elsa was still a cabaret star in Germany and give a look at young Ethel.

"American Horror Story: Freak Show" debuts Wednesday, October 8 at 10 P.M. ET/PT on FX. Matthew Bomer is also set to guest star in a role that's only described as "very...warped."

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