When Jessica Lange announced she was leaving American Horror Story, many presumed she would be retiring from TV and films. It looks like nothing could be further from the truth, as Lange has signed on for a new drama on FX titled Feud. Feud will center around the legendary rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford that came to head while filming their classic Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? The two Hollywood legends’ bitterness towards each other makes modern spats like Taylor Swift vs Katy Perry look pretty tame in comparison.
In fact, the feud between Crawford and Davis was so legendary it’s been referred to many times in pop culture, including a classic MTV spoof ad featuring an elderly Madonna and Courtney Love. The two had a rivalry after Love turned down a record contract with Madonna’s Maverick Records and then interrupted a live interview between MTV’s Kurt Loder and Madonna, stealing her spotlight.
Susan Sarandon will co-star in Feud, according to TV Guide, as well as Alfred Molina, Stanley Tucci, Dominic Burgess, and Judy Davis. While Lange may not be starring anymore in American Horror Story, Ryan Murphy is one of the executive producers of Feud, as well as Lange, Sarandon, and Sarandon’s Thelma and Louise co-star Brad Pitt, who shot to superstardom in his first major role in that film. While the news of this new series hasn’t spelled out which actress will play Davis and which will be Crawford, many have noted that Sarandon has “Bette Davis eyes,” so it looks like Lange might get to sink her teeth into the role of the notorious diva, Joan Crawford.
“We’ve had a great run here. I mean, I absolutely love doing these four characters, and in all the madness, I love the writers and Ryan [Murphy] and the insanity of shooting it.”
Lange garnered praise for her roles in the series including a rather demented southern belle, a sinful nun seeking redemption at the helm of an insane asylum, the leader of a coven of witches in New Orleans, and the ringmaster of the freak show, covering Lana del Rey and the late David Bowie in a German accent. During her four seasons of working on American Horror Story, Lange won a number of accolades: four nominations and one win for the Critics’ Choice Television Awards; four Golden Globe nominations with one win; four nominations with two wins for best actress at the Primetime Emmy Awards; and five Dorian Awards nominations, including two nominations for musical numbers on American Horror Story (“The Name Game” and “Life on Mars.”)
With Lange and Sarandon sinking their teeth into such juicy material, it looks like Mother Monster may have some stiff competition for future awards when Feud hits the small screen.
To hear a firsthand account of the real life feud between Davis and Crawford, actor Bruce Dern dishes on Davis calling Crawford the very worst word in an interview with Opie Radio on YouTube. Warning: language in the video linked is most definitely NSFW.
[Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images]