Only a handful of cast members have starred on all eight seasons of American Horror Story, and Sarah Paulson isn't ruining her every-season-so-far streak by not appearing in season 9's AHS: 1984. Alas, for those hoping that Paulson would reign supreme in screen time amongst the cast when the 2019 season premieres, a new report from Deadline claims that's not going to happen.
Paulson's television career exploded when she became one of showrunner Ryan Murphy's favorite players on American Horror Story. Though Paulson was only in a few episodes of the first season, Murder House, as psychic Billie Dean Howard, by season 2's Asylum, Paulson solidified herself as the show's leading lady. She's had a prominent role (and in many cases, multiple roles) on every season since, and also went on to win an Emmy for her part on Murphy's sister series, American Crime Story.
This year, however, Deadline reports that Paulson will not star on 1984, but will have a "reduced role." The reason the outlet cites is that Paulson will be hard at work on yet another Murphy project. Ratched, an upcoming Netflix series from Murphy, stars Paulson as the cruel titular nurse in this prequel to novel and film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Refinery29 has reached out to Paulson for confirmation.
Paulson previously told The Hollywood Reporter she has every intention of continuing her time on American Horror Story forever.
"I've made the joke before that I want to be doing this show until I'm 95. That they're going to have to drag me out of there kicking and screaming. That being said, I have no idea what Ryan's plans are for me," the actress told Deadline in September of 2018. "So I don't know what his plans are for me as it pertains to Horror Story, but there will be crawl marks on the walls from them trying to drag me out if they ever ask me to go."
While Paulson is taking a smaller role this year, one key player in the American Horror Story cast is sitting the new season out entirely. Evan Peters confirmed that he will not participate in 1984. Like Paulson, Peters also appeared in every season of the series.
Who will reign as scream queen with Paulson taking a step back is unclear, but we do know that Emma Roberts — who literally starred in Murphy's Scream Queens — has a role in the new season. Olympian Gus Kenworthy will reportedly play her boyfriend this season.
Paulson may be saving most of her screams for Ratched this year, but at least we know that the creative kinship between her and Murphy remains as strong as ever.