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AHS' Jessica Lange Said Asylum's Shock Therapy Was Like Deja Vu

If you're an "American Horror Story" fan, you probably have clear memories of Jessica Lange's incredible acting range solidly in your mind. Starring in the first four seasons of the anthology horror series, she brought some of its most iconic and unhinged characters to life, such as Constance Langdon and Supreme Fiona Goode. But Sister Jude from Season 2, "Asylum," stands out from the rest.

Sister Jude's backstory makes for a complicated juxtaposition to her role as a nun. Watching her go from the nun who runs the asylum to a patient of the facility is both hard to see and satisfying because it breaks her, while also giving her a taste of her own medicine. The shock therapy scene that helps initiate her spiral is gruesomely realistic.

Weirdly enough, "AHS" wasn't the first time that Lange portrayed a character who underwent such an ill-advised treatment. In 1982, Lange starred as Frances Farmer in "Frances," which told the story of the troubled actress's rise to fame and eventual fall. Lange told Gold Derby that "AHS" brought back some memories from shooting this Oscar-nominated film. "I can't believe I'm revisiting this like 30 years later," Lange said. "It felt a little funny."

Lange recalled knowing how patients react to shock therapy

When asked about the parallels between her roles in "Frances" and "American Horror Story: Asylum" — including the fact that both characters were treated with shock therapy – Jessica Lange agreed that there were similarities between Sister Jude's and Frances Farmer's treatment.

"There was a moment when they strapped me down on the table and, you know, put the electrodes on my forehead and I was supposed to simulate this thing of shock therapy where your body goes rigid and shakes," Lange recalled about her "Asylum" shock treatment scene. "I thought, 'Oh, I should research how the body — how everything — reacts to this,' and then I thought, 'Oh no, I remember how that is. I've already researched that. I remember that from all those years ago.'"

Sister Jude and Frances were very different characters, but Lange's commitment to the scenes depicting the darker side of their treatment speaks volumes. She researched and understood how shock therapy would realistically impact a person, both as it's happening, and in its aftermath. It seems that the research had an impact on her, since she remembered it 30 years later.