It's no secret that the eighth installment marks the most ambitious, biggest installment of American Horror Story yet. Apocalypse literally ended the world in its first episode and, minutes before the credits rolled, brought out the Antichrist himself. But the plot isn't the only epic thing about the new iteration of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck's beloved horror anthology. With the intersection of past AHS storylines comes one very delicious and exciting reality: a slate of badass women to carry the whole thing through.
But the majesty of this female cast doesn't quite sink in until you see these powerful, talented, award-winning forces all in one place. Witnessing Sarah Paulson, Joan Collins, Kathy Bates, Leslie Grossman, Billie Lourd and Adina Porter all on one show has already been the greatest gift, and AHS is just getting started.
So, in no particular order, here are the inspiring, amazing women we know will grace our screens this season — and the very things that make them each iconic in their own, special ways. Who knows, knowing Murphy’s creativity and the anthologies’ deep roster of talent, there may be even more surprises in store!
While Roberts has quite a film career under her belt as well (the 27-year-old has been in 33 films since her debut in the movie Blow in 2001), she's become a television favorite thanks largely to her unforgettable role on AHS: Coven as the amusingly cruel Madison Montgomery. That meme-able performance served as a precursor to her iconic character Chanel Oberlin, who ruled over Scream Queens for two memorable seasons, much to fans’ delight.
Conroy is a returning AHS favorite, having appeared in six previous seasons, and while fans have loved every minute with her (especially the one in which she was literally resurrected from a pile of ashes in Coven), she was doing amazing things long before joining the series. She began as a stage actress, and even boasts a Tony Award® nomination for her performance in The Ride Down Mt. Morgan. Before AHS, she was known for her role as the matriarch on the critically beloved Six Feet Under, for which she gained four Emmy® nominations and a Screen Actors Guild Award®.
What is there to say about Jessica Lange that hasn't already been said? She's a legend and the light that fans followed for her four seasons on AHS, two of which earned her Emmy® Awards. Her characters have become iconic, but she was an actual icon long before that. She has two Oscars® (six total nominations), five Golden Globes® (16 total nominations), and a Tony Award®. She's also been hailed at one of the greatest actresses of the '90s, and honestly, these accolades are just the tip of the iceberg.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a soul who doesn't know the sweet sound of Nicks' raspy, yet soothing voice and who doesn't want to instinctively twirl and sing along to "Rhiannon" every time the classic song plays. Nicks is not only one of the best surprise guest stars to ever grace AHS (go ahead and try to tell us her Coven cameo wasn't absolute magic), she's had more top-50 hits than most artists could dream of (40, to be exact), sold over 140 million records, won two Grammy Award®, and continues to earn her spot on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 best songwriters of all time.
Television audiences fell in love with Britton after watching her play Tami Taylor for four seasons on Friday Night Lights, only to fall in love again with her Emmy Award® nominated portrayal of the haunted and tormented Vivien Harmon on AHS: Murder House. She later led ABC's Nashville, and returned to the world of Ryan Murphy as Faye Resnick in The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story. But she's not just a TV fanatic favorite, in her spare time Britton is also a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador.
Rabe is another Tony Award® nominated actor that will grace the AHS screen this season. She earned her coveted nomination for a notoriously difficult role, in a 2011 production of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. Since then, she's used her talents to play classically difficult roles in A Doll's House, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, and Cymbeline. She made her AHS debut in Murder House and has continually turned out iconic performances throughout the series — chief among them, the one and only Misty Day in Coven.
New Jersey native Farmiga hadn't done much acting before making her television debut on AHS: Murder House, but once fans saw her in action, they were hooked. Not only did she go on to star in two more seasons of the anthology series, she also nabbed a spot in the critically beloved Sophia Coppola film The Bling Ring and can be seen in the 2018 thriller The Nun.
Keep watching to see how these fan-favorites return to the AHS universe, and what new surprises Apocalypse has in store.
Catch all-new episodes of American Horror Story: Apocalypse Wednesday nights at 10p.