The upcoming season of American Horror Story, entitled 1984, won’t feature much (if any) of lesbian actress Sarah Paulson. She might still appear in a quick cameo or brief role, but she won’t be screaming, crying and killing people as prominently as she usually does. And she’s not the only AHS star sitting this next season out.
Paulson has starred in all eight seasons of the horror anthology series so far. Although she only appeared as a psychic in all three episodes of season one, she has since appeared as a main character in each subsequent season including playing a heroic lesbian journalist named Lana Winters in season 2, Asylum; a coven leader named Cordelia Foxx in season 3, Coven; conjoined twin sisters Bette and Dot Tattler in season 4, Freak Show; a murderous junkie named Hypodermic Sally in season five, Hotel; a British actress and yoga instructor in season six, My Roanoke Nightmare; an anxious lesbian neighbor named Ally Mayfair-Richards in season seven, Cult; and a sadistic outpost leader named Miss Wilhemina Venable in season eight, Apocalypse.
The ninth season is inspired by ’80s-era slasher films and will feature out Olympian freestyle skiier Gus Kenworthy playing the boyfriend of longtime series regular Emma Roberts.
However, another longtime series regular, Evan Peters, will also sit out season nine for mental health reasons. Peters called the show “a massive stretch for me and really difficult to do,” as well as “heartbreaking,” “exhausting” and “mentally draining,” adding, “I’m sick. I don’t feel good.”