“I think within a couple years,” said Jessica Lange on eventually quitting acting.Credit: Scott Kirkland/Invision for Academy of Television Arts & Sciences/AP Images
With 2 Oscars, 5 Golden Globes and 2 Emmys on her mantlepiece, Jessica Lange is ready to bid adieu to an illustrious four-decade career as one of the most celebrated actresses of her generation.
The American Horror Story: Coven star, 64, sat down with Savannah Guthrie on the Today show on Monday, Nov. 11 to confirm an LA Times report that discussed her plans to retire from acting. Lange gave a more specific timeline to Guthrie — “I think within a couple years,” she said — when the morning show host inquired if the actress was “really considering giving it up.”
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After almost 40 years devoted to her trade as an actor, Lange said, “I want a new adventure in life, I’ve been doing this for quite a long time.” The star, who has won two Oscars for her roles in Tootsie and Blue Sky, currently plays Fiona Goode, the Supreme in an order of witches on FX’s hit horror show. Playing an evil next door neighbor in season one and a diabolical nun in season two, Lange has headlined each installment of the FX series, co-created by Ryan Murphy. “Every year, she says, ‘OK, that’s my last one,’” Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter last month.
But in a recent interview with BuzzFeed, Lange said she is done for good with the gory show after season 4: “That’ll be it,” the actress said with finality. Her reasons for leaving, however, remain unrelated to the dark material, written explicitly for her on the show.
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Although she still does not know exactly what she will pursue next, Lange has actually published a children’s book titled, It’s About a Little Bird. The story, originally written for her granddaughters, is accompanied by black and white tinted photographs taken by Lange of her two granddaughters. “It kind of spiraled out of control,” she admitted to Guthrie on Monday.
“Would I do it again?” Lange said to BuzzFeed in an interview on writing. “I don’t know. I’d have to be enchanted with the whole thing the same way I was with this… I’d have to think of a story that would really warrant it.”
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The actress has three children: Two with longtime love Sam Shepard, from whom she quietly split in 2010, and a daughter, Aleksandra, with dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov. (The book was written for Aleksandra’s daughters.) While Lange has a nice, extended family, the actress has only been married once before to photographer Francisco “Paco” Grande from 1970 to 1981.
Meanwhile, the actress wisely noted that the most important next step following the imminent end of her acting career is remaining “open to the possibility” of what is to come. She added, “I think you can only do that if you’re not committed to something else.”