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The Edit Magazine Interview

Posted by admin on
December 10th, 2017
With a résumé that embraces everything from a heroin-addicted ghost to O.J. Simpson, Sarah Paulson doesn’t exactly toe the Hollywood line. The Emmy Award winner talks to Jane Mulkerrins about her unconventional choice

WhatsApp groups don’t come much more envy-inducing than one particular thread on Sarah Paulson’s phone. Titled ‘O8’ – as in Ocean’s Eight, the film due out next summer – it is a solidly A-list chat between Paulson and her co-stars: Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter, rising star Awkwafina, and Rihanna.

“I’m not going to lie, it is a very cool chain to be part of,” Paulson nods, looking a little sheepish, as if barely able to believe her membership. “We can go weeks without a chirp, then someone sends one message, and it’s like – ‘brp, brp, brp’ – your phone just blows up for hours.”

Paulson plays Tammy, one of the seven women recruited by Debbie Ocean (Bullock), to carry out a heist at the Met Gala. It’s an infinitely more mainstream blockbuster than most of 42-year-old Paulson’s previous work.

“I’ve always fancied myself a journeyman actress; a working character actress,” she muses. “Early on in my career, people couldn’t place me. I had long blond hair like every girl in Hollywood. I looked like four different actresses all rolled into one. I wasn’t standing out in any way.”

That is impossible to fathom now. Paulson made her name playing serious, competent women in cerebral dramas – the political journalist Nicolle Wallace in Game Change; Cate Blanchett’s former lover in Carol – alongside a parade of dark, weird characters, including a heroin-addicted ghost, a psychic, and a pair of conjoined twins in the cult anthology series American Horror Story. Then, last year, her star was given a meteoric boost via her role as prosecutor Marcia Clark in smash-hit miniseries The People v. O.J. Simpson, for which she won an Emmy Award.

Paulson is candid about the effect that playing the iconic lawyer has had on her life, though is endearingly uncomfortable describing it. “The difference in terms of my recognizability and my…oh, this is a disgusting word…” – she rolls her eyes – “my profile. It definitely all changed.”

We’re in Manhattan, on the first truly frigid day of the season. Paulson has been shooting The EDITs cover story, and is apologetic for having now changed into leisurewear. Not only is it perfectly excusable – she’s flying home to LA shortly, overnight, for just 24 hours to attend an event – but this is mighty stylish leisurewear: sweatpants by Rag & Bone; overcoat by Acne Studios; a scarf by Valentino; Céline sneakers.

The day we meet, new revelations have emerged about sexual abuse and harassment in Hollywood. “I think that’s what happens when you take the top off something that’s been pressurized for a long time,” observes Paulson. “But there is one positive coming out of this, and that is this knitting together of women. There’s this feeling of being really supported by other women, and that’s incredibly powerful. It’s very clear that there’s a new world order.”

Next up, Paulson stars in The Post, playing Tony Bradlee, the wife of former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee. While any film examining power and corruption would feel timely and prescient, The Postseems particularly so. Directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee and Meryl Streep as publisher Katharine Graham, it is the story of the Pentagon Papers, leaked government documents about America’s involvement in the Vietnam War, and the newspaper’s battle to publish them. It is also, inadvertently, something of a feminist narrative.

“Katharine Graham was the first woman to hold the position of publisher in our country, and had to make a huge decision that could potentially cost her the family business,” says Paulson. “It was a very bold decision on her part to publish, and absolutely the right one. She had real integrity and conscience and heart.”

In person, though highly articulate, and with so much to say that her words often tumble out, torrent-like, Paulson is a far cry from the serious characters she frequently inhabits. She’s a fizzing bundle of positive energy, prone to mimicking my British accent (mimicry is one of her favorite pastimes, and she’s very skilled).

Which is not to say the actress lacks focus; far from it. “I come from a family of women who want things,” she says, matter-of-fact. “I am ambitious and unsatisfied in general. I’m not often content with anything the way it is; I always want more. I dreamt about holding an Emmy for a long time. As a kid, I dreamt about holding any kind of statue: I would practice holding an Oscar in the bathroom.”

Paulson was born in Tampa, Florida, but moved to New York aged five with her mother, Catharine, and younger sister, Liz, when her parents divorced. They lived in Queens, where her mother worked as a waitress and took writing classes. At first, all three slept on mattresses on the floor.

“I don’t think I would ever have been as brave as my mother was,” Paulson says, with some wonder. “She was born in Alabama, and grew up in Florida, neither of which she felt was home; she just had to get to New York City, because that’s where she felt she belonged. She was 27 and she had five-year-old and a three year-old. My sister and I both benefited enormously from that want in her.”

Paulson’s mother, now based in upstate New York, is currently writing a novel, while her sister is senior vice president of casting at 20th Century Fox in LA.

At 12 years old, a teacher at Paulson’s school, where she was heavily involved in drama, suggested she apply for the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, aka the Fame school. Though she “wasn’t going to class and smoking a lot in Central Park” in her final years, she landed her first role soon after graduating, as an understudy on Broadway.

Her aspirations back then, though, were firmly mainstream: she had posters of Julia Roberts plastered all over her high-school locker. “I found her so charming and witty and winning,” says Paulson, before letting out a hearty laugh. “And, at the time, people told me I looked like her. So, there was a slight narcissistic connection in my brain. I thought maybe I could play her sister or something.”

But she found the glitzy leading lady was not often the role that came her way. “The two times I was ever asked to play a romantic lead on a TV show, I auditioned as a brunette and they wanted me to go blond,” she once said. “One wanted me to put these giant mermaid-like extensions in. And I put up with it then because of my desperation to work.”

But when Ryan Murphy, the man behind Nip/Tuck and Glee, cast Paulson in three episodes in Season 1 of American Horror Story, she quickly became something of a muse; she has been a central part of his cast for all five subsequent seasons. And not once has he asked her to do something that would make her ‘more attractive’.

“Ryan’s not interested in all the things most people are interested in, which means, if you’re a little bit off-center, he’s liable to gravitate towards you,” she says. Does she see herself as off-center? “I think so. My life choices are, um, unconventional. I’m with a much older person [her girlfriend of two years is actress Holland Taylor, 74] and people find that totally fascinating and odd, and, to me, it’s the least interesting thing about me,” she shrugs. “But I do feel a bit unconventional. I am a woman of a certain age who chose not to have children, and who has made my career my priority. I am the captain of my own ship, and I’ve never looked to anyone else to validate that, or tell me it’s okay.”

She has always resisted being pigeonholed or defined by her sexuality. Before Taylor, she was with actress Cherry Jones, 19 years her senior, for five years, and before that, she dated mainly men. “Early on, when people found out I was with Holland, some said: ‘I think you have to be careful, I’m afraid it’s going to affect your career negatively’. I was like, what? It never occurred to me at all.”

But she did have a moment of self-doubt during her acceptance speech at the Emmys. She wondered whether to say, onstage, ‘I love you’ to Taylor. “It occurred to me, should I not do that?” she says, still looking puzzled as to why it crossed her mind. “And then I thought, why would I not? The fact I’m having this thought is wrong. But I had a moment of societal concern; wondering if, maybe, people who didn’t know that about me would be like, wait, what?” She beams, broadly. “But then, you know, I did it anyway.”

Sarah on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Posted by admin on
December 9th, 2017

Sarah Paulson is one of the few members of the American Horror Story ensemble to appear in all seven seasons of the FX anthology series, sometimes even playing multiple characters at once. But in the most recent installment, she faced a new sort of challenge: AHS: Cult eschewed supernatural monsters to examine America’s post-Trump political atmosphere and how fearmongering has affected the country.

In Cult, Paulson plays Ally Mayfair-Richards, a lesbian restaurant owner and Jill Stein voter whose phobias come to the forefront alongside her guilt for helping hand the election to Trump. But over the course of the season, she goes from cowering about clowns, blood, and phobias to vengefully killing her wife Ivy (Allison Pill), destroying alt-right cult leader Kai (Evan Peters), and eventually winning a seat in the U.S. Senate in Tuesday night’s season finale. Vulture spoke with Paulson about her interpretation of Cult’s message, unlocking female rage for the good of society, and how a big glass of vodka helped her get through Election Night 2016.

When you first heard the concept for Cult, what did you think?
I thought it sounded terrifying and I worried that it was going to be so close to home that people would be afraid to watch. That it would be beyond the normal fear of watching it — you know, people who are afraid of clowns, or people who don’t like ghosts or vampires or things that go bump in the night. But, you know, this is obviously dealing with a lot of the things that are in our current worldview. I knew for myself, from an acting standpoint, it would be challenging because of that. I worried that it would keep people away, which thankfully it did not.

It was obviously inspired by the frustrations people felt after the election. Going into this season, what state of mind were you in?
The very, very, very first thing we shot of the entire season was the very first scene of the [first] episode, which is Ivy and Ally and their friends waiting for the election returns. It was the very first thing we put on film for the season and it felt very fresh. A lot of people on our set, no matter their political inclination, felt the wild nature of reliving this. They were playing on our character’s television screen the exact moment when Wolf Blitzer or whomever called the election. It was a very wild thing and I think a lot of people were having some post-traumatic stress experiences on the set.

Was Ally’s election-night experience similar to your own?
It was similar to mine in that it was one of shock. I did not wail and fall to my knees. My first thought was not about Merrick Garland or that I was going to be found out for having voted for Jill Stein. I did drink a glass of vodka that night — a straight vodka on ice and it was quite a tall glass.

I had a very early call on the set of Ocean’s 8 the next morning. But thankfully, I was working with a wonderful male director and there were eight fabulous women to process that moment with, so that was good. I didn’t wail and I didn’t fall to my knees. I did cry, but it was much more sort of softly and to myself, then to my family.

How would you describe Ally’s character arc over the season?
I think it’s a very empowering thing to watch someone be pushed to the brink and have them not fall of the edge of the cliff, but rather step back on their own accord and take a different road. I think she was able to do that because of her feelings about her son and the absolute injustice of what had been perpetrated against her by those [cult members], one of whom was the closest person to her.

From an acting standpoint, it was exciting because I had spent many, many, many, months running around and cowering in terror and weeping. As challenging and exciting as those acting moments can be, it’s also hard to sustain that kind of emotion all the time and to not feel that someone was going to get their comeuppance. I wanted to do some knee-breaking. I wanted to take someone out by the knees. That was a very helpful feeling as a performer, because it only could inform how I was gonna try to play this. It was exciting to me and I was grateful that they found a way to come back to that point, where she was stronger than she ever had been in her life.

By the end, she’s almost as diabolical and charismatic as Kai. Do you think that Ally is as dangerous as he is?
I do think so, in just a different way. That’s what so wonderful about the way the season ends. Ally’s ambition, Ally’s need for justice, Ally’s relentless and unstoppable need for revenge — it’s not just for the greater good of her community, but it is to avenge herself, to take her power back. In order to do that, some people had to fall by the wayside and that was a complicated thing, knowing that she’s done those things. But I think she sleeps well at night, given what was done to her. I don’t think it keeps her awake at night too much that she had to say night-night to Ivy.

Ryan Murphy said that the season would critique both the right and the left. Do you think Ally’s behavior is a warning or a rebuke for liberals? 
I don’t know that I see it quite that way. I think any action creates an opposite and equal reaction. There are consequences to all behaviors, positive and negative, and Ally may feel she’s doing the right thing because she had been so wronged, but in doing the right thing, she is doing some deplorable things along the way herself. I don’t think you can align that with a necessary message for liberals to hear or reconcile themselves with.

I personally don’t see it that way. I know what we’re saying, I know what we’re positing, I know why you’re asking it. It’s just for me, personally, I don’t categorize it in political terms. I don’t view it with that particular lens.

I think human behavior runs the gamut. Human desire, human will, consciousness and unconsciousness in terms of how it affects behavior is a terrifying world to live in, but it is the world we live in and everybody is affected by it. There is always opportunity to learn from and redirect your own life when you have information that you didn’t have before. Everything that we do and see and read is an opportunity always to have an adjustment to the way you think. But I certainly didn’t, from an acting standpoint, think I was giving a message to the liberals of America.

One of the interesting things about this season was the story line about Valerie Solanas unleashing female rage to create a better world. Do you see that happening now in real life?
Well, I’d have to be a blind, unfeeling dead person to not see the uprising that we are currently experiencing in our culture and our climate. I think anything that’s been muffled is going to find its way out. A lot of women, and rightfully so, struggle with feeling voiceless and I feel those days are behind us. But the pain, the heartbreak, the bravery, and the courage it takes to have all of this happen is something to behold. It’s something to respect and to honor and to give space to. It’s been unleashed. It’s out now.

I want to ask about the final scene. Ally tells Oz she’s meeting a bunch of powerful women, and then she puts a hood on. Where the hell is she going?
I wonder how many people are going to know what that cloak is. Did you recognize what that cloak was?

Throughout the finale, I was waiting for Lana Winters to interview Ally. I was like, “It’s going to be funny when Sarah Paulson is talking to herself.” But is she actually going to see our old friend Cordelia from AHS: Coven?
None of those things happened and obviously they were missed opportunities. I see that clearly now.

Please explain it to me, because I’m clearly an idiot. 
Well, you’re not an idiot. I love that there’s a mystery to it and that you walk away from this season going, “Where the hell is she going?” I think that’s great and that’s a good question to have. I think it looks an awful lot like the robes Bebe wore, doesn’t it?

That is a very good point. It also looks a lot like Stevie Nicks.
That too, there’s another missed opportunity. No, but there could be a scene on the DVD that should be between Cordelia and Lana Winters with Ally and then Stevie could play a song in the background.

How will it feel next season to go back to playing some sort of crazy creature, rather than just a lady from Michigan?
[Laughs.] Do you really think I haven’t been doing this for so long on this show that I don’t know what you’re doing? You really think I don’t know what you’re doing?

I just assumed you’d like to go back to the supernatural.
Again, I don’t know who you think you’re talking to, but I don’t have the answer to that question. I can tell you that I have heard rumbling of thoughts and plans and ideas. I’ve heard two separate ideas about what could happen next year and one of them I’m particularly in love with. But I could not possibly give you even one shred of information regarding whether or not I play a creature or a cuckoo bird or a regular gal from Des Moines. They usually will call me at some point and say, “Here’s what it is, lady.” Then Ryan breaks it down and I get very excited and I don’t wanna ruin that for myself by jumping in before I fully know what it is. I can just tell you, I’ve heard rumblings and one of them I really like.

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the ninth episodeof American Horror Story: Cult, “Drink the Kool-Aid.”]

When it comes to American Horror Story, Sarah Paulson’s role is rarely what it seems.

Starring in every season of the FX horror anthology, Ryan Murphy’s reigning leading lady has now played eight different characters in the franchise, with two of her roles crossing over to make cameos on separate cycles. In American Horror Story: Cult, the seventh season of the Murphy and Brad Falchuk-created horror show, Paulson entered the story as Ally Mayfair-Richards, a fragile yet passionate liberal mother and wife who found herself paralyzed by a range of phobias that resurfaced after Donald Trump’s stunning election as president.

Throughout the timely season, however, Ally experienced a transformation that provided a welcome challenge for Paulson. As the main target of her Michigan town’s post-election sprouted cult, Ally has been framed for murder, thrown into the psych ward and terrorized daily, losing her wife (played by Alison Pill) and the ability to see her young son, Oz, in the process. With nothing to lose in the ninth hour of the 11-episode season, Ally seeks revenge. She murders her wife and seemingly steps over to the dark side with her son in tow, joining up with cult leader Kai Anderson (Evan Peters) to start a new family.

“I don’t know if ever in her life Ally has felt this powerful or capable,” Paulson, who shares some of Ally’s phobias in real life, tells The Hollywood Reporter of her big Cult shift. Though this season began with a much-covered election theme, Cult has come to reveal an underlying current of female empowerment as the episodes progress. Paulson says of Ally taking back her power, “There comes a point when once you realize that your life has forsaken you — you’ve got nothing in the world to live for except your son, and there’s no one you can count on — that basically, all bets are off. You’ve already been to the brink. There is no going back and when you’re pushed to that point, people can summon things in themselves they didn’t know were possible.”

Below in a chat with THR, the actress explains why the episode, titled “Drink the Kool-Aid,” brought about her favorite scene of the season, details what it was like to film an election-themed cycle parallel to Trump’s America, and sheds light on her next roles in Murphy’s creative arsenal with FX’s upcoming American Crime Story: Katrina and Netflix’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest prequel series Ratched.

After a season of being paralyzed by her fears, Ally emerges as a strong and almost entirely new person. You have played multiple roles within AHS seasons before [conjoined twins in Freak Show, an actress playing a role in Roanoke], but what did you most enjoy about this season’s task? 

Well, I had spent many, many episodes and many weeks begging for my life, weeping, and in real peril and terror. In the beginning of the season, we thought that some of this was imagined for Ally. Then the more layers that were peeled back, the more we realized this was being perpetrated against her in a very purposeful and intentional way, which made it so much more horrifying. I just loved having an opportunity to take some of my power back in a way that felt empowering both as an actress and as the character. It had been many, many months of me doing a lot of crying and, as much as I loved the emotional depth of where they were asking me to go, it was an exciting moment to cross that threshold into new world order for Ally — which is a very new world that she hasn’t lived in for quite some time, if ever.

Much of the early strain between Ally and wife Ivy (Pill) was Ally secretly voting for Green Party candidate Jill Stein on Election Day. We eventually learned their backstory and discovered that was just the final straw in a decaying relationship. At this point, how do you reconcile Ally’s actions of killing Ivy and joining up with Kai?

She has nothing to lose and everything to gain, which is her son. That’s all that matters to her. The safety and security and connectivity of her with her son. She’s probably very aware that much of her mothering has been about her panic and fear and worry, about what was going to happen to her and to her child, or to her wife. Now, she’s not afraid of what she can’t handle and she probably wants to get to being present in Oz’s life in a way that she’s never been able to do before. It does make sense to me, but there’s so many more questions that won’t be answered until the final episode. So I can’t answer that question with great clarity and full transparency but, at this point, I feel like I can say it is all about her boy.

I remember having these fights with the writers on set because I didn’t understand how Ivy could go so far because of a Jill Stein vote. But it just ended up being the straw that broke the camel’s back. I do get that it’s very trying for people to be around Ally sometimes. Because people who indulge in their most vulnerable moments can sometimes be hard to take. I would posit, though, that given the extreme nature of it — I could recount many things that happened in those first five episodes — can you blame her?

Let’s talk about the scene where Ally seeks revenge and kills Ivy. What was it like to film Pill’s exit scene and do you feel that Ivy deserved it?

It’s my favorite scene of this year. Alison is one of my favorite actresses and I had a wonderful time working with her and being married to her. But she deserves it 1,000 times over. I could have done it much more horrifyingly, I think. We’ve seen worse on the show. I thought it was the tame way to make it happen. As the episodes were coming down the pike and I was reading them, I kept going, “I cannot believe she’s doing this to me because of Jill Stein!” Or because I was overly possessive of our child because I carried him. There are all kinds of things with Ally that are pejorative, but this kind of terrorizing and this kind of torture, all the while knowing the impact that it’s having on our son? I kept thinking, “How in the world could she commit to this knowing that our son would be watching me dissolve into a puddle on the ground?” I know she wanted full custody and her own connection with Oz to be as vibrant as Ally thinks hers is, but it did feel very satisfying to me when I read that I was going to get to do that. That seems like the only damn answer to this story. The only way to resolve this is: You gotta go, and I’ve got to be the one to do it.

Ally now has a larger game plan that will feasibly play out in the final episodes. At this point, is she playing a long con or is she making it up as she goes?

I think she’s just at the beginning of a road that will end somewhere that she’s not even expecting.

What has it been like working with Billie Lourd this season as your characters have evolved, and what’s ahead for Winter (Lourd) and Ally as the season wraps up?

I have known her since she was quite young, so it’s really wild and kind of beautiful and also bittersweet, because I realize I’m so much older now than I was when I first knew her. I just want to be Billie Lourd when I grow up, so that’s sort of the truth. She is a fine actress — and I mean fine in that she’s exquisite. I feel excited to see what she’s going to do next. But, there are plot points with Winter and Ally that I can’t possibly speak to right now, to answer the rest of your question.

When you began filming this season in May, did you find the show’s post-election setting to be therapeutic after the actual election?

No. I did not find it therapeutic at all. It just felt like an aftershock. I remember the day we shot the first episode — where we’re in our living room watching the election results come in — and all of a sudden it was a horrible flashback to that night. By the time we started shooting it was mid-to-end of May of this past year and we had Trump in office for a few months. I wouldn’t say we had gotten used to it by any stretch, because I don’t know that I ever will, but we had a little distance from the November of it all. Even more distance from that then Inauguration Day, so it brought everyone right back there, no matter which way they lean politically, just because it was traumatizing. Everyone looked at each other and just went, “God, this feels too soon.”

Who did you base your Cult character on, where did you draw your diehard liberal inspiration?

She’s not entirely other to me. Funnily enough, those parts are actually harder to do. When you play something extreme or outlandish, you have a lot more freedom in terms of how far you can go and in believability and permissibility. But when you’re playing a character that’s not that far from you, it’s actually a bit more challenging. You end up feeling like you’re not doing enough. Even though I do share some of Ally’s political leanings — not the Jill Stein part, but the more liberal part — and I myself am afraid of flying, I’m afraid of the ocean, I’m afraid of bees. I have some of Ally’s phobias, which is why Ryan was so kind as to put them in the show. (Laughs.) It doesn’t make it easier to act. Because actually, when you go into a state of panic — that has happened to me before where you can become hyper aware or “white out” aware, where you actually don’t know what’s happening around you — it’s hard to figure out what would be going on with a person in a moment of true panic.

You have spoken about the phobias you share with your character. Did filming this season ever become too much?

No. It’s a funny thing to put yourself in this alternate reality. If it were happening in real life, I, Sarah, would be freaking out. But I’m at work and trying to portray it. My thinking brain is so alive, there’s no way I can’t be aware that I’m pretending. If you actually faced some of these fears in a contained environment, like I am on the set because we can always call “cut” if I got too scared, it automatically takes the fear away. So I am actually having to conjure up something because your brain knows you’re pretending. But, it was hard on me, physically. I signed up for this. I love my job and they pay me to do it, so I’m very happy to oblige. It’s just that kind of work can sometimes take its toll on you physically, for sure.

Approaching Ally from an acting standpoint, I’m just trying to be as open as I can possibly be because she is so sensory-overloaded. I thought, if I could just try to open myself up to all the crazy environments around me, it would probably put me in the right place emotionally. I know that those are not real crazy clowns or actual murderers, they are just actors in costumes, but if I kept myself really hyper-aware of my surroundings from a sensory standpoint, I would probably be on-edge like in the extreme circumstances Ally is put in.

So after all the roles you have played on the franchise, Ryan Murphy’s challenge for you this year was to add a real-life layer to it?

(Laughs.) I said to Ryan, “If I do this show again you have to promise me that I don’t have to run around and I don’t have to cry. I’m just begging you.” He just looks at me and is so inscrutable, I can’t tell what his plan is.

You are going to be starring in three of his TV shows, filming them all next year, with American Horror Story season eight, Katrina and Ratched. In what ways does working with Murphy continue to challenge you?

Something I think I said on the Emmy stage when I won that statue is that it was only because of his belief in me I even thought I could dream it. The same thing is true now. There is no one I trust more. I call Ryan and ask his opinion on projects that have nothing to do with him! He’s so involved in my mind in terms of my career choices, because I do think that once in a while you fall into a collaboration with a person who you feel really sees you. I got very lucky with that. We didn’t know how we were going to play those twins in Freak Show, the technology hadn’t been done in the way that we were going to try to do it. And the same thing with Marcia Clark [in The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story]. There were so many things I never thought I could do where Ryan has said, “This is what the job is and what I’m offering you and, do you want to take it?” I’ve always felt that if he thought I could do it, he must be right. I know that he has my back and I know he wants to push me to do things that are a little bit outside of my comfort zone and everyone needs that in life. It’s been an extraordinary relationship for me, not just professionally but personally, the way I can rely on him a great deal.

What excites you about your Katrina and Ratched characters, Dr. Anna Pou and Nurse Ratched, respectively?

I’m excited about the Ratched development also because it’s my first foray into producing and that feels like a natural progression. I feel the most comfortable already in sharing my voice and my opinions and really having a seat at the table without having that title. But now having that kind of credit, where I can actually feel like I belong there in official capacity feels very sweet that it came to me because of my relationship with Ryan. I didn’t come to Ryan a fully formed actor. So much of how I have come to even approach my work was developed with him standing there. So, to have reached a moment in my work life where he wants to develop something with me or produce something with me is a real evolution of work put in, on both our parts. That makes it feel extra rewarding, validating and special so I look forward to doing it.

The characters are all so divergent, even though one of them is a doctor and one of them is a nurse, and we have no idea what next year will be on American Horror Story. He may know, but I don’t and that’s always exciting. My life with Ryan was always the mystery with American Horror Story of what character I was going to get to play. Now, I have this incredible good fortune of having three opportunities to work with him in the next year and two of the characters I know what they are, and I can research and learn. And then I have this mystery that I don’t know what it will be and it just keeps it so exciting and fresh. It makes me one of the luckiest ladies in town.

Katrina was pushed back and THR reported that it was retooled. What can we can expect with these changes?

It’s not the same hush-up thing in the way American Horror Story is, where so much of the fun is that you don’t know what the twists and turns are going to be. I understand why they keep that under wraps. With Katrina, I think there is great care and attention being put into this story and how best to tell it. They’re taking their time with it, and that’s honorable, even though I am incredibly hungry to chomp down on that part. I’m very much looking forward to having an opportunity to do something with a character that some people know. When I was playing Marcia Clark, there was a lot of attachment and expectation with who she was and a story that had been written by individuals about her. This character [Dr. Pou] is obviously far less notorious. So much less has already been decided about her, so she has more mystery around some of her choices and that’s an exciting thing to broach as an actor. To figure out where you end up sitting on the line internally, so you know how to play something, is challenging and scary and I just want to get it right.

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Sarah Paulson shines on in American Horror Story

Posted by admin on
October 24th, 2017

Sarah Paulson has that rare, charismatic presence that makes you want to watch any television or movie project she is in. Winner of an Emmy, SAG Award and Golden Globe for her riveting performance in the FX miniseries, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,”  she was recently given the lead role in the upcoming Netflix series, “Ratched.” Both series are executive produced by her gay long time collaborator, screenwriter Ryan Murphy.

Next year, Paulson will start work on “American Crime Story: Katrina,” the third series in Murphy’s anthology for FX, as well as star in the series that catapulted her to being a household name, “American Horror Story,” which is currently in its seventh season.

At the Television Critics Press Tour, the veteran lesbian actress, talked about the mega success of shows. ”I don’t  know what the magic bullet is about why people love watching this show. I think it’s great, and I’m so happy to be a part of it. I don’t know what that ineffable thing is that makes it still here seven years later and other things laying by the wayside.”

In this season, “American Horror Story: Cult,” Paulson and actress Alison Pill are playing a married couple.

“We’ve known each other for a long time and have never had the chance to work together,” said Pill. “So it was really most exciting to have all of these scenes with a person that I couldn’t respect more and who is so good at acting.”

This is the second LGBT relationship that the veteran lesbian actress (who offscreen, is in a relationship with actress Holland Taylor) has played on “American Horror Story.” In the second season, Paulson played reporter Lana Winters, who was committed to Briarcliff for being in a secret lesbian relationship.

For all of  “AHS”‘s intensity, Paulson still finds time to have laughs. “When Jessica (Lange) was on the show, we would have to stop shooting, we would be laughing so hard, in the most insane, fully charged moments. And I think that’s just what happens when you are asked to bring that part of your internal being forward. Sometimes you have to have a moment.”

While Paulson doesn’t get scared on set, she does get frightened watching the show. “Part of the thing this year for me, is that I have to be ratcheted into a place of terror. You have to manufacture that in a way that’s believable.”

She continued: “I had a couple of moments this season; my character is pitched very, very, far emotionally. I actually had to stop for a moment and collect myself. Because I got very upset…when you are asking your body to be in a state of panic or terror, your mind knows that you are pretending but your body doesn’t know. If you have gotten yourself into a hyperventilated state, you are running out of oxygen.”

Off set, she is terrified by bees, snakes and sharks. “All the normal things! Who likes any of those things!” she quipped.

Paulson prefers playing real human beings. “I love playing real people more than anything. For me as an actor, I like having a very steadfast blueprint of what the boundaries are with the character, because then I feel like you can do so much with it. If you know exactly the core of the person, it gives you a kind of confidence to make really bold choices within that framework.”

Paulson also has a slew of movies she has starred in, like M. Night Shymalan’s  “Glass,” and Steven Spielberg’s drama, “The Post.”

and recently worked on “Ocean’s Eight,” the all female spinoff to the “Ocean’s Trilogy.”

“It was extraordinary to look around the room and see Cate Blanchett, who i worked with twice now, Sandra Bullock, Rihanna, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter, Awkwafina. It felt like a very empowering place to be. Really fun; we have a text chain going that’s one of the most epic things!”

With all her seemingly overnight success, Paulson remains modest. “It’s a bit of an out of body experience. I don’t think I have really taken in what happened.”

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Sarah on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Posted by admin on
January 17th, 2017

Last night Sarah appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert I have added screencaptures of her on the show, I will be adding stills shortly so stay tuned!


Sarah Paulson Interview on Golden Globes Win

Posted by admin on
January 11th, 2017


Videos: Backstage Interview at the Emmy’s

Posted by admin on
September 27th, 2016

Sarah Paulson on Her First Time on Camera

Posted by admin on
April 5th, 2016

IMDB has shared this video of Sarah talking about her first time on TV,enjoy!

(Screencaps)The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Posted by admin on
April 2nd, 2016

I’ve added screencaps of Sarah on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert thanks to Jay enjoy viewing them!

Screencaptures > 2016 > The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

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