Evan Peters to play Andy Warhol, Charles Manson in American Horror Story: Cult


Ryan Murphy revealed that Evan Peters will play several cult leaders in season 7 of “American Horror Story.”

Following a screening of the first three episodes of American Horror Story: Cult, creator Ryan Murphy divulged numerous details about the new season in a Q&A session. According to Entertainment Weekly, the season secrets included the revelation that star Evan Peters will play several prolific, real-life cult leaders, in addition to the fictional main character, Kai Anderson.

Peters will portray Charles Manson, Jim Jones and David Koresh, as well as Andy Warhol, stretching the definition of cult leader to fit in a story line in the seventh episode of the season involving the pop artist’s brush with death at the hands of radical feminist writer and actress Valerie Solanas, who will be played by Lena Dunham (Girls). Emma Roberts will also briefly show up in the installment, titled “Valerie Solanas Died for Your Sins, Scumbag,” as a superficial newscaster who’s promoted over Adina Porter’s (AHS: Roanoke) more deserving character.

“Lena Dunham is playing Valerie Solanas, who attempted to shoot Andy Warhol because she felt denied the cult of personality that was Warhol and the Factory at the time,” Murphy explained.

In 1968, Solanas shot Warhol and art critic Mario Amaya at his studio, The Factory, after he failed to return the script for a play she wrote that he declined to produce. Both men survived, but Warhol was left with life-threatening injuries that had a great impact on the rest of his life, including his work. Meanwhile, Solanas was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and was sentenced to three years in prison.

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While last year’s presidential election will start off as a jumping off point for season 7, as the title suggests, it will still mostly revolve around the rise of a cult of personality by introducing a Manson-like figure, a concept that has been in the works for a while.

“Many seasons, the runner-up idea for the show had been Charles Manson, and the Manson Family,” Murphy said.

Peters previously played James March in American Horror Story: Hotel, who was inspired by one of the U.S.’s earliest known serial killers, H.H. Holmes, who designed a hotel where he murdered an unknown amount of people. The season also featured several real-life serial killers as characters including Aileen Wuornos, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, and Richard Ramirez.

The theme of cults is also the reasoning behind all of the bee imagery used in the season promos and opening credits since Murphy considers them “the original cult.” In fact, their use will extend to the addition of comedian Billy Eichner as a new neighbor who happens to be a beekeeper. Murphy added that the season will take on a more straight forward approach without any supernatural elements.

Next: American Horror Story: Cult intro and trailer released

American Horror Story: Cult premieres Tuesday, September 5th at 10 p.m. ET on FX.