Apparently, we're going to be dealing with a lot of famous people in American Horror Story: Cult. Although teasers have made clear the new season will deal with a creepy cult of clowns, Ryan Murphy has said that it will include much more real events and people than you may assume from the out-there theme. For one thing, the season will kick off on the recent election night, and be influenced by Trump's election as President of the United States. The other main root in reality looks to be the ensemble of real-life cult leaders that Evan Peters will somehow portray, according to Murphy. Although Peters is cast in the fictional role of Kai Anderson, Murphy recently revealed the actor would also be playing a bunch of actual cult leaders, such as Charles Manson, Jim Jones, and Andy Warhol. Now, that last name may throw you for a loop, and wondering: Did Andy Warhol have a cult? Here's everything you need to know about the eccentric pats of Warhol's life that we may see Evan Peters playing on in AHS: Cult.
1. The Factory
Although Andy Warhol wasn't really considered a cult leader on the level of Charles Manson and Jim Jones, American Horror Story will most likely tie him to the cult mentality through his off-kilter art studio, known as The Factory. Warhol established The Factory in New York City in the '60s, and invited numerous young artists, writers, singers, and other creative people to live with him. The Factory became an artistic beacon of the countercultural movement in the '60s, and it was described as a bizarre structure filled with aluminum foil and silver paint. Though it wasn't a cult in the murder-suicide kind of sense that defined Manson and Jones' devoted followers, it's clear that Warhol did exhibit an extraordinary amount of influence over the other artists in The Factory.
2. His Gunshot
One thing Cult will almost definitely show is Warhol's attempted murder, and we know that because Lena Dunham has been cast as his shooter Valerie Solanas. Valerie had been a fringe member of The Factory for a few years before shooting Warhol in 1968 — it's there that she wrote her feminist paper the S.C.U.M. Manifesto, which called for the elimination of men, and appeared in some of Warhol's films. However, after Warhol apparently misplaced a script she had written, she was asked to leave The Factory and went on to fire a gun at Warhol, nearly killing him and requiring him to wear a surgical corset for the rest of his life. After her arrest, Solanas said she felt Warhold had too much control over her life.
3. His Sexuality
A particularly mysterious aspect of Warhol that Murphy will most likely explore in AHS: Cult is the late artist's vague sexuality. Warhol was gay, but even a couple years before his death, he maintained that he was a virgin. This assertion was challenged by his lovers, many of whom were young men who lived with him in The Factory. Most notably, his muse BillyBoy said Warhol exuded sex when they were alone together, and that he was a completely different person with him than in public, noting that his private persona was seductive and generous, but in public Warhol could be obnoxious.
4. His Wigs
There are rumors bubbling among fans that Cher may guest star on AHS: Cult this season, but she won't be the only person in the show with a love for wigs. Warhol was actually an obsessive collector — like, Hoarders level — and his prized possession was his collection of wigs. Warhol also filled a whole rental unit with tons of strange items, including cookie jars, airplane menus, and a mummified human foot.
5. His Religion
Contrary to what you might judge from his lifestyle, Warhol was actually an incredibly devout Catholic by all accounts. His priest even said Warhol attended mass daily, was responsible for one conversion, and financed his nephew's studies to become a priest. But aside from some religious themes in his art, Warhol kept his Catholicism largely a secret from others. He would sit in the very back at mass, and his brother said Warhol viewed his faith as an incredibly private matter.
Obviously, you are probably most familiar with Andy Warhol because of his art, but these aspects of his personal life are likely what Evan Peters' take on Warhol will examine in AHS: Cult. As for the question of whether Warhol was actually a cult leader or not, that's up for debate, but its clear he definitely did have a considerable amount of control over the people around him.