'American Horror Story' Creator Ryan Murphy Talks World Building

‘American Horror Story’ Creator Ryan Murphy Talks World Building

American Horror Story wasn’t the start of Ryan Murphy’s career as a television producer, but it did shoot him into legendary status in Hollywood that has given him the biggest platform of his life. It is generally accepted that the American Horror Story creator is the one who popularized the modern anthology fictional TV series, with each season serving as a separate story and featuring a revolving door of troupe actors that have been magnificent, to say the least.

Not only has Ryan Murphy delivered American Horror Story, but he is also responsible for American Crime Story, Feud, Glee, and Scream Queens on Fox. His three American Story shows are what seem to be his claims to fame now that they have received so much attention on the awards circuit and garnered a cult of devoted fans for each show.

The ratings have also shown what Ryan Murphy is capable of, with both American Horror Story and American Crime Story returning massive cable audience hauls every week. It is also the imagination that Ryan Murphy has, according to NPR, giving way to his worlds on the small screen, which includes the unnerving FX TV show, Nip/Tuck.

“The greatest thing that you have when you’re a showrunner is this opportunity to create worlds,” American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy told NPR. “And it always sounds so insane when somebody says, ‘Well, what do you do?’ And you say, ‘I create worlds.'”

In addition to the anthology shows American Horror Story and American Crime Story, Ryan Murphy has also recently delved into another non-fiction area with the classic Hollywood feud between starlets Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in the series, Feud: Bette and Joan.

The ideas that Ryan Murphy comes up with hold a special flavor in his brain. Murphy explained how he takes an idea and before he fleshes it out in in his own mind, he looks for a cast. At least that is what he did with Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon on Feud.

“What I do is I come up with an idea like Feud, and then I… cast it — I go out to Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon…. And then I gather a writing staff and we wrote eight episodes, and then I directed three of them…. But also, like, I’m interested in everything else… the art department, the costumer, the director of photography,” the American Horror Story creator told NPR.

What Ryan Murphy is perhaps most well known for in his TV shows is giving certain demographics of people a voice that have been either suppressed or stereotyped in the media. On American Horror Story, every season has featured a character, or characters, that are gay. There have also been a lot of bi-racial relationships, as well as other storylines that laugh in the face of TV stereotypes of the Civil Rights era for their taboos. This is something that fans of American Horror Story and other Ryan Murphy shows have loved.

“What I’m interested in doing now is to go and give voices that are not being heard a platform, and just sort of bring people into people’s homes that you think you may hate or despise, but the truth of the matter is if you just sat in a room [with them] a) I think you would admire them and b) I think that you would have a lot more in common with them than you think,” Ryan Murphy told NPR.

Fans of American Horror Story will get to see a special element on Feud, where Ryan Murphy exposes the dark side of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, which includes the way that the studios manipulated the two women into confrontational situations that fed right into the supermarket tabloids.

[Featured Image by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly]

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