'AHS: Roanoke' Will Feature The Franchise's First Female Director & It's A Game-Changing Moment
Women have had a major presence in front of the camera since American Horror Story started, so you would be forgiven for not knowing the show has never had a female director. I know, it sounds completely bonkers, and, thankfully, creator Ryan Murphy agrees. Murphy revealed to E! Online that Episode 6 of American Horror Story: Roanoke is directed by Angela Bassett, making Bassett the first female director in AHS history.
What makes the news even cooler is Bassett is helming the season's game-changing episode. After five episodes of watching "reenactments" for the reality series My Roanoke Nightmare , Episode 6 is flipping the script and taking viewers into the world of the actors and producers who have been making the show within the show. Murphy didn't just task Bassett with directing any episode; he signed her up to direct the season's biggest episode, and, according to him, she completely nailed it. "So I told her, 'You're going to do this big, big episode and you're going to knock it out of the park,' and she did," Murphy told E! Online of Bassett's work.
AHS: Roanoke is not Bassett's first directing gig. The actress recently directed Lifetime's Whitney, but, with just two prior directing credits to her name, it's going to be a treat for fans to see Bassett's behind the scenes talents as well as watching her tackle a new character onscreen.
Up until this point, Bassett has been playing the fictionalized version of Lee in the reenactments, but, starting in Episode 6, Bassett will playing a different character entirely — presumably the actress who brought Lee to life for My Roanoke Nightmare. Seeing the actress take on a new role midway through the season and direct the biggest episode of the year at the same time is going to be thrilling stuff. Bassett is such a consistently amazing actress, so I can't wait to see how she brings Murphy's Season 6 vision to life.
Her AHS directorial debut is not an isolated event. Murphy is committed to to making a difference in the television industry. As one of the most prolific TV creators working today, he is in a unique position to make a difference in how shows are made. After realizing he was part of the problem that leads to women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community being marginalized behind the scenes, Murphy founded Half, a foundation devoted to filling at least 50 percent of director slots with women and minorities.
In his E! Online interview, Murphy revealed Sarah Paulson will also be directing her first episode of television soon, either in American Crime Story: Katrina, or in Season 2 of his upcoming series Feud. Murphy wants Half to extend beyond his preferred leading ladies to include newcomers to the TV industry. He even started a mentorship program to allow those with an interest in directing to shadow established TV directors.
Bassett is not just set to make AHS history; she is helping open the door for more women to work behind the camera not only on AHS, but on TV in general. This makes Episode 6 even more of a game-changer than Murphy intended. It marks the beginning of a whole new chapter for the women of American Horror Story and beyond.
Images: FX (3)