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‘Coven’ a ‘mixed blessing’ for Jessica Lange

JessicLange says she gets play ”betrayal loss heartbreak” as Madame Raqu“In Secret.” | ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS

Jessica Lange says she gets to play ”betrayal, loss and heartbreak” as Madame Raquin in “In Secret.” | ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS

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Updated: April 14, 2014 4:37PM

Not to be witchy, but Jessica Lange wasn’t 100 percent thrilled with this season of “American Horror Story: Coven” on FX.

“That season for me was really a mixed blessing,” says the kitten-smooth voice of the Oscar winner. “Oh, there were things I loved about it. I know there had to be humor. It was the right thing to do. But I resonate to the darkness. I love the darkness.”

So she’s comfortable with her decision that the next season of “AHS” will be her last.

“Four years is long enough to do anything,” she insists.

Meanwhile, Lange is being drawn back to the big screen. Her latest film is “In Secret,” opening Friday and based on the book “Therese Raquin” by writer Emile Zola.

“James M. Cain based ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice’ on this novel,” notes Lange, who famously starred in a steamy adaptation with Jack Nicholson.

“It was a thrill when this movie came my way. In fact, Glenn Close was supposed to do it, but at the last moment couldn’t,” she says. “This came out of the blue like in the old days when you used to get great scripts sent in the mail.”

The controlling mama she plays, Madame Raquin, was right up Lange’s alley. “I thought, ‘What a wonderful exercise and challenge as an actor.’ I get to play betrayal, loss and heartbreak. At one point in the movie, I have a stroke and I can’t move or talk. I still have to portray those emotions — but just with my eyes. It was quite interesting to go down that rabbit hole.”

At 64, she has an appreciation of the issues of youth and beauty explored on “Coven,” the latest story from “AHS” creator Ryan Murphy.

“At my age, it all depends on the lighting,” she jokes. “In bad lighting, you can look like an ancient crone! In good lighting, you can still look sexy and good.”

“What I’ve learned is you can’t play sexy. You can play sexual. And playing that in ‘Coven’ and other things is very interesting to me again.

“So, I like the characters Ryan creates for me. Very, very much.”

Cindy Pearlman, Big Picture News Inc.

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