Today I am supremely grateful to Jessica Lange, who has taught me a very important lesson: you can be in your sixties and still drop-dead gorgeous! In a town that worships youth and scorns the aging process, this actress is re-writing the script. Completely. Today she turns sixty-six, and we gather here to celebrate.
In case you missed it (how, I don”t know), Lange has spent the past four years transforming herself into four different, though equally harrowing, characters for the nightmare-inducing anthology series, American Horror Story. Each season, Lange takes on a new role, and shows us the many (beautiful) faces of evil. In celebration of her birthday and inspiringly artful career, let”s get to know each of these four frightening women.
•Constance Langdon (Season 1, Murder House): When Ben and Viven Harmon move into the “Murder House”, Constance is the eccentric and nosey woman next door. An eerie woman, though seemingly harmless, the new neighbors would never have guessed about her murderous streak. Let”s just say she has some ghosts in her past.
•Sister Judy Martin (Season 2, Asylum): An obsessively strict nun who oversees doctors and patients at Briarcliff, hospital for the criminally insane. Deeply passionate about God and Jesus, she uses torturous, inhumane methods to beat evil out of the Briarcliff patients.
•Fiona Goode (Season 3, Coven): Head of a home for young witches, Fiona is the “Supreme” witch of her generation, making her the most powerful and capable of them all. Her many powers include: telekinesis, pyrokinesis, vitalum vitalis, clairvoyance, concilium, descensum, resurgence, divination, and transmutation. As a new Supreme witch comes to power, Fiona loses her vitality and becomes desperate for eternal life, which is where her dark and downward journey begins.
•Elsa Mars (Season 4, Freak Show): German expatriate who manages one of the last remaining freak shows in 1952. She rescues performers from the streets or from being sent away to asylums, and cares for them as their legal guardian. When she originally arrived in America after World War II, Elsa was a dominatrix at a brothel until she was drugged and had both her legs taken off with a chainsaw.
If you have yet to see Jessica Lange in these twisted roles, I highly recommend turning on Netflix and getting started ASAP. Each of these characters is more psychologically upsetting than the previous one so, if you are anything like me, you will want to keep your lights on and have a list of good therapists handy.
Happy birthday, Jessica! You have simultaneously chilled my soul and enhanced the quality of my life.