Mädchen Amick is known for playing an overprotective TV mom on the CW’s hit show, Riverdale, but this trend continued with the actress playing a minor role in the fifth season of American Horror Story as well.

The fifth season of Ryan Murphy’s long-running horror anthology series, Hotel, was a deviation from the other four seasons, and had a marked difference from the get-go after the departure of mainstay cast member, Jessica Lange. While other actors from the series did return, including Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, and Denis O’Hare, the cast was bolstered with the addition of Chloë Sevigny and Wes Bentley as Alex and John Lowe along with Lady Gaga as the mysterious Countess. These three characters served as the centerpiece of the season, in many ways, as John’s grief over the disappearance of their son, Holden, propelled him into the dangerous Hotel Cortez.

While Amick’s role on Hotel was a minor one, she has gone on to play the role of Alice Cooper, mother of Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) on Riverdale. The actress is no stranger to horror and horror-adjacent television, as she has previously held roles on Twin Peaks and Witches of East End. Her performance in Hotel, while short-lived, served its purpose in one of the season’s most integral storylines.

Mädchen Amick’s Role In American Horror Story: Hotel

Amick played Mrs. Ellison, who originally interacted with Dr. Alex Lowe (Sevigny) about her sick son, Max. Dr. Lowe determined that Max was afflicted with measles, likely because his mother didn’t vaccinate. Mrs. Ellison comes across as an affluent, overprotective mother who looks to internet doctors for medical advice and makes decisions based on her instincts rather than the instructions she’s being told by someone who knows best. This comes around when, after Max gets sicker and ends up being hospitalized for his condition. Originally, Mrs. Ellison was convinced that he was suffering some rare, incurable disease, which Dr. Lowe cautioned her against, as it could prove to be a dangerous line of thinking.

In episode five, “Room Service”, Dr. Lowe is struggling with her own biology after being turned into a vampire. When Max is found to be suffering from pneumonia and a high fever, worsened symptoms from his untreated measles, Dr. Lowe takes his health into her own hands, as she knows what it’s like to lose a child. Dr. Lowe ends up saving Max’s life by sneaking some of her blood into his IV bag, which turns him into a vampire. While Mrs. Ellison is initially thrilled by her son’s quick turnaround - nothing short of a miracle in her eyes - she later pays the price when he turns his new, bloodthirsty nature on her and his father, killing them both before leading his classmates on a killing spree. Max and his friends go on to create their own band of vampires, similarly to The Lost Boys, and claim they no longer need adults to care for them.

While certainly a far cry from her sleuthing ways and occasionally odd parenting choices on Riverdale, Amick’s brief role adds her to a long list of talented actors to grace American Horror Story with their formidable skills.

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