Alums of American Horror Story are no strangers to playing a variety of characters. Evan Peters, for example, has been in every season of the show and has played a different person each time. It's not like they were all high school students or villains either; each had their own nuances and backstories. On AHS: Cult, Peters takes it to another level and plays multiple characters within the same season. But are they all connected by blood? Is Kai related to Andy Warhol on AHS: Cult? Evan Peters will play the elusive artist in this week's episode.
Ryan Murphy hinted at Peters' multiple roles when this season began. At a press screening, he said that Peters will not only play Kai this season, but also actual real-life people such as Charles Manson, Jim Jones — and Andy Warhol. In total, he'll play six cult leaders in flashback. "I think he's really a young genius," Murphy said of Peters. "He has really taken the part seriously, and done a lot of research about cults and the rise of fascism, and what does that take, and how do you speak to crowds, and how do you manipulate people?" On Tuesday's episode, "Valerie Solanas Died for Your Sins: Scumbag," viewers will see the first iteration.
The title of the episode may be confusing to some. If viewers aren't brushed up on Andy Warhol's biography (I know I wasn't), Valerie Solanas, played by Lena Dunham in AHS: Cult, attempted to murder Warhol in 1968. The two met when Solanas wanted Warhol to produce a play she wrote. He refused and claimed he lost it; when Solanas wanted payment for the play, he cast her in his film I, a Man and payed her $25. The following year, Solanas tried to show her play to producer Margo Feiden. She claimed that she would shoot Warhol and it would make the play famous. Feiden called the police, but they didn't take the threat seriously. That day, Solanas shot both Warhol and art critic Mario Amaya at Warhol's studio.
Warhol and Amaya lived, and Solanas turned herself in. She claimed that Warhol "had too much control in her life." She ended up serving three years in prison, and passed away years later in 1988. In the AHS: Cult trailer for the next episode, viewers simply see a shot of Dunham's Solanas pull the trigger. It's unclear if AHS will be completely true to history, but it seems Solanas at least tries to kill Warhol. Given that Murphy mentioned actual cult leaders like Manson and Jones, I wonder why Warhol is in the mix. I suppose one can argue that his following was cult-like (and he certainly changed pop culture), but he wasn't a traditional "cult leader" like those men, or like Kai.
Is Warhol included because he and Kai are related? I believe that could be possible; previous AHS seasons have revealed family lineages. For example, in Roanoke, Edward Phillipe Mott was the ancestor of Freak Show's Dandy Mott. Perhaps Kai is a descendant of Andy Warhol, and inherited his way of attracting collaborators. There's no way of knowing yet, however. Murphy said "Valerie Solanas Died for Your Sins: Scumbag" will be about "female rage, and that’s in the country now." AHS: Cult will examine how real people rose to power; Solanas believed the only way women would rise to power would be to kill men (or so said her manifesto). Maybe Warhol is included simply because of this assassination attempt. This is American Horror Story, though, so I wouldn't be shocked if there was a deeper meaning behind it. Regardless, it will be fascinating to see how Warhol's life ties in with Kai's cult.
Watch Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:
Check out the entire Romper's Doula Diaries series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.