American Horror Story Has A History Of Stunt Casts, What’s So Different This Time?

American Horror Story continues its stunt casting history with Kim Kardashian in season 12, but this time, the reaction to it has been different. American Horror Story is no stranger to stunt casting, from acclaimed actors to rising stars. For example, Jessica Lange was a fan favorite in seasons 1-4, as she put her Oscar-winning skills to the test, and Lily Rabe was also a great addition to American Horror Story​​​​.

American Horror Story has often utilized famous celebrities to get audiences even more interested in the series. For example, Lady Gaga, who would go on to have an impressive movie career, starred in American Horror Story season 5. In the season 10 double feature, the American Horror Story cast included famous actor Macaulay Culkin and supermodel Cindy Crawford’s daughter Kaia Gerber, who has since appeared in other movies and TV shows. However, Kim Kardashian’s role in American Horror Story: Delicate is drawing negative attention that is unlike any of the previous examples.

American Horror Story’s Stunt Casting Explained

Stevie Nicks stands with her arms wide from American Horror Story

Kim Kardashian isn’t the first non-actress to star in American Horror Story, as the show has a history of stunt casting. In American Horror Story: Asylum, the show’s second season, Adam Levine appeared only at the beginning of the premiere episode despite the show heavily promoting his role. In the following season, American Horror Story: Coven, Fleetwood Mac icon Stevie Nicks appeared in a few scenes, including one where she performed Fleetwood Mac’s 1987 single “Seven Wonders.”

However, American Horror Story took stunt casting to the next level when it came to Lady Gaga’s appearance in season 5, American Horror Story: Hotel. Luckily, Gaga had a significant role in the season, unlike the other stunt casting choices, but at the time, many were skeptical about including the pop star in the series. Those fears were proven wrong, as Lady Gaga’s performance in American Horror Story season 5 was very well received.

Lady Gaga Revitalized AHS – Could Kim Kardashian Do The Same?

Lady Gaga as the Countess in American Horror Story: Hotel.

Lady Gaga’s role in American Horror Story: Hotel proved itself a smart decision for the series. The show’s fourth season, American Horror Story: Freak Show, was not as highly praised as the previous entries. However, the hardest part about the show continuing with a fifth season was that fan-favorite cast member Jessica Lange had decided to step away from the show. If American Horror Story wanted to keep viewers engaged, the show would need a cast member with the same pull who could hold their own on the series.

Lady Gaga was the show’s solution, and her role in the series landed her a Golden Globe and opened up other acting opportunities for her, such as 2018’s A Star Is Born and 2021’s House Of Gucci. Gaga did an impressive job in American Horror Story: Hotel, and because she took over the role that likely would have gone to Lange, the series was able to stay afloat without its most popular star. In the years after Gaga shook up American Horror Story, the series hasn’t been performing as well. It hasn’t brought in nearly as many viewers as it did in the past, but a new stunt casting might change things.

Kim Kardashian is arguably just as influential as Lady Gaga, if not more. However, her influence comes from a completely different genre. Kardashian thrives in reality television and social media, meaning American Horror Story is her debut role in a major scripted TV series. Her star power has been bringing plenty of attention to American Horror Story: Delicate, but not always in a good way. Kardashian’s inclusion has brought in mostly negative attention, and in order for her to revive the series the way Lady Gaga did, she will have to deliver a strong, unique performance in American Horror Story season 12 that proves critics wrong.

The Kim Kardashian Backlash Suggests Prejudice Against Reality Stars & Influencers

Kim Kardashian in American Horror Story: Delicate teaser trailer

Like Adam Levine, Stevie Nicks, Lady Gaga, and Kaia Gerber when they joined the show, Kim Kardashian doesn’t have much acting experience, but she’s gotten the most backlash for her role in American Horror Story. Even actress Patti Lupone, who appeared in American Horror Story: Coven and American Horror Story: NYC, doesn’t believe Kardashian should be in the show. On an episode of Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens LiveLuPone said Kardashian is stealing an acting role from a professional actor. It seems Kardashian’s role especially rubs audiences the wrong way, and it could be because of the public’s overall disdain for reality stars and influencers who go on to have roles in scripted productions.

Kim Kardashian’s casting in American Horror Story would naturally deal with this perception, especially now that elements like privilege in the industry have been widely discussed. While no one in the Kardashian family ever made it big as an established Hollywood actress, Kim Kardashian is already extremely famous. Generally, American Horror Story has served as the starting point in the acting career of many stars who came from different spheres, and something similar could now happen to Kim Kardashian, depending on how her character and the new season are received.

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