We know that Lady Gaga loves her monsters, but this news still took us by surprise: The music superstar announced on Feb. 25 via Twitter that she would be starring in the fifth season of FX’s American Horror Story, premiering in October.
In a quick video, Gaga, who acted on the big screen in 2013’s Machete Kills and 2014’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, also revealed that this year’s AHS would be subtitled Hotel. The show has always attracted top-tier talent (Academy Award winners Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates appeared previously) and has even drawn some music icons (Stevie Nicks and Patti LaBelle have had small roles). But to nab a global sensation on the level of Gaga for a 13-episode series is nothing short of a TV miracle.
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) February 25, 2015
So how did creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk do it? EW has learned that Gaga and Murphy have been talking since last fall, and that once the right role was crafted for her, she was fully on board. Still, everyone involved remained silent about the talks—FX didn’t even know about Gaga’s interest in the show—realizing what a coup this could be.
Creative viewers of last season’s Freak Show may have actually been able to predict this casting scoop. In the Oct. 29 episode, the camera noticeably focused on a paper coffee cup with a large top-hat logo. Murphy told EW back in October, “That is a big season 5 clue! It’s an arcane clue, but it’s very purposeful, and it illuminates something that you’ll be like, ‘Oh! You dirty bastard!’”
EW can now confirm that the image was directing viewers not only to the theme (the classic 1935 film Top Hat is set in a hotel) but also to Gaga (the song “Cheek to Cheek” was written originally for Top Hat and is the title of Gaga’s current duets album with Tony Bennett). Details are scarce as to who—or what—Gaga will be playing at this hotel, but we’re guessing it will be even scarier than the hot tub at your local Holiday Inn.