If fans of American Horror Story were wondering what Jessica Lange has been up to since leaving us on a tragically sad note in Season Four: Freak Show, it’s because she was busying herself preparing for something bigger.
Lange will play Joan Crawford opposite Susan Sarandon, who’ll play Bette Davis, in a new TV series Feud: Bette And Joan, produced by AHS creator Ryan Murphy.
As the title suggests, the series will delve into the rivalry between two of Hollywood’s legendary actors (played by two of Hollywood’s greatest modern actors, no less).
On-set and off-set, the bitchiness and bitterness between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford was fierce – so fierce that if you asked any drag queen which celebrity they most like to do bitchy imitations of, chances are they’d pick Bette or Joan. This writer once witnessed fab queen Maxi Shields perform both roles on stage at Sydney’s Midnight Shift, and let me say she read those bitches like nobody could… until Lange and Sarandon, of course.
Bette and Joan’s rivalry became legendary when they appeared together in the film Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?, the story of an ageing actress (played by Bette) who holds her paraplegic sister – also an actress (and played by Joan) – captive in their Hollywood mansion (“But ya are in that wheelchair, Blanche, but ya are!”).
Fans wondered if this was the beginning of art imitating life or life imitating art, suffice to say the actors did a great job of keeping the rivalry myth going all the way to their graves.
That rivalry will now be brought back to life in a series that not only stars two very brilliant actors of our time, but a supporting cast that is second-to-none. Also billed are Sarah Paulson as Geraldine Page, Alfred Molina as Robert Aldrich, Stanley Tucci as Jack L. Warner, Catherine Zeta-Jones as Olivia de Havilland and Judy Davis as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper.
And that, entertainment fans, will make for some frigging awesome television. Antonino Tati
‘Feud: Bette And Joan’ airs internationally in March 2017.