Jessica Lange began her acting career in the monster movie King Kong. She starred opposite Jeff Bridges in the 1976 remake directed by John Guillermin. She went on from there to many interesting and creative movies – The Postman Always Rings Twice, Frances, Tootsie, Titus and Cape Fear just to name a few. She’s won Academy Awards in both the supporting and lead actor categories putting her into an exclusive group of actors who have won both. She’s come full circle and is back in the horror genre as Constance Langdon in the FX show American Horror Story.
Constance Langdon’s character is complexly drawn – part mother, part aging southern belle, involved in the occult and 100% protective of her children. Lange is spot on as the alpha female who heads up a pretty unconventional family. Constance harbours many secrets and is intent on doing anything to maintain and protect those secrets. She’s a dark horse. At the beginning of Season 1 she comes across as a gracious yet intrusive woman who has an unhealthy interest in the family that moves into the house next door (mom/dad/ teenage daughter). She forms independent relationships with all 3 family members (who have their own dark secrets) and begins to undermine each of them for her own ends. She’s an anachronism, a remnant of a bygone era, a gothic matriarch with a penchant for self destruction. Constance is totally f’d up. Jessica Lange is magnificent in the role. It’s refreshing to see an actor with so much depth bring it to a cool television show.
“More than anything I want to thank the writers. I find it more and more rare, or rarer, every year to find a piece of work that is really beautifully written and gives you something to do and it certainly was this.” Jessica Lange – Golden Globe winner for American Horror Story
I chose Jessica Lange for day 27 of women in horror month because she kicks ass as Constance Langdon and shows how awesome the genre can be when you have strong actors involved.