admin • 01 25 2018

They recently finished working on heist thriller Ocean’s Eight together. But Sarah Paulson and Sandra Bullock are set to join forces once again in new horror film Bird Box, which will be released on Netflix.

The first-look pictures of them in their roles gives a hint of the film’s setting, but not the terrors that are in store for their characters.

Sarah, was seen walking out of her trailer in a red tartan dress, which was paired with a light brown felt jacket for the unnamed character’s look. Her wig was tied-up into a loose side ponytail, and her make-up was kept simple and natural.


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admin • 01 25 2018

Home > Photoshoots > 2018 > Town & Country Magazine, February 2018 Issue

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admin • 01 25 2018

Hollywood’s hardest working woman is finally enjoying her view from the top.


It’s difficult to imagine anything that would intimidate Sarah Paulson. She’s an actress who seems to choose roles for their audacity, and she inhabits her characters fearlessly– whether she’s playing Marcia Clark in American Crime Story, a brutal salve owner in Twelve Years a Slave, or conjoined twins in American Horror Story. Yet when Paulson arrived on set for The Post, Steven Spielberg’s film about the late Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep) and the legal battle around the Pentagon Papers, Paulson admits that she began “totally freaking out.”

“This movie, for all of its historical importance, is so much more than a history lesson,” says Paulson, who plays Tony Bradlee, the wife of Post editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks). Indeed, it’s also the first time Spielberg, Hanks, and Streep have collaborated on a project, making it a film landmark as well. “These are arguably the most respected filmmakers and actors of their generation,” Paulson says. “That made it a very extraordinary place to be. It was a pinch-me moment.”

Paulson is having a lot of those moments lately. Following her Emmy-winning performance as Clark in 2016, accolades and offers have been cascading in. Over the coming year, in addition to The Post, she will appear in the all-female spy comedy Ocean’s Eight, the Netflix series Ratched (as Nurse Ratched, of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest fame), and M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming thriller Glass. She also recently signed on to the movie adaptation of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch.

I’ve got a window, as a woman of 43. Right now it’s cracked this big and I’m trying to keep it open with both hands, as wide as possible, for as long as possible.

“It’s head-spinning,” she says over tea in West Hollywood. Paulson brings her own tea bags and casually slices a chunk of Beauty Butter, a collagen booster, into her cup. (“It’s amazing stuff,” she swears, adding that the butter, not a needle, is her anti-aging weapon; a character actress, mind you, must move her face.) “But part of me is scared. I’ve got a window, as a woman of 43. Right now it’s cracked this big”—she holds her hands inches apart—“and I’m trying to keep it open with both hands, as wide as possible, for as long as possible.”

No one else seems to be worried that Paulson’s window will close anytime soon. Spielberg had to negotiate with American Horror Story co-creator Ryan Murphy to borrow Paulson for The Post (both were shooting at the same time), and The Post co-producer Amy Pascal calls the actress a “guiding light” both in the film and real life. Her castmates seem to adore her (“I loved every minute of working with her,” Hanks says), and she has inspired something akin to universal admiration in Hollywood—quite a feat in a town often driven by furious ambition and envy.

If anything, Paulson has become the emblem of the Real Deal, the rare breed of actress who masters roles so completely that she can make audiences wholly believe in her. “She just transforms herself into another person,” says American Crime Story co-creator Scott Alexander. “When the director says ‘action,’ she drops herself into an emotional moment instantaneously. It’s like science fiction.”

Katharine Graham was deeply reluctant to enter public life, but Paulson occupies the other end of the ambition spectrum. She jokes that she knew she wanted to become an actress while still in utero, and began seeking the spotlight soon after her worldly debut. In the decades since, she has managed to work almost incessantly, starting with an off-Broadway role at age 12 and a guest spot on Law & Order just after she graduated from New York City’s LaGuardia High School, in 1993, where she studied performing arts, before attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

In the years that followed, she became a ubiquitous but background presence. She scored roles on television shows such as American Gothic, Leap of Faith, The D.A., and David Milch’s acclaimed HBO series Deadwood. There was also film and stage work with such co-stars as Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, and Kathleen Turner, yet Paulson never felt that she was fulfilling her potential.

Five years ago I was a disappointed actress. I was a benched player. I wanted a shot, and I felt I wasn’t getting a shot.

“Five years ago I was a disappointed actress,” she says. “I was a benched player. I wanted a shot, and I felt I wasn’t getting a shot.” How did she break through? “Ryan Murphy,” she says simply. “I got thrown a giant life raft.” Indeed, Murphy—writer, producer, and showrunner (he created or co-created Glee, Feud, and Nip/Tuck, among other successful series)—seems to have found a muse in Paulson. “I have the dream, and then I let her in on the dream, and then we let other people in on the dream,” he said in an interview last year. “But she’s the one I tell first.”

Paulson may have thought of herself as a benched player before her work with Murphy started turning heads in the industry, but the fact is a lot of Hollywood power players had been noticing her performances for years. The American Crime Story co-creators thought that she was the standout of Down with Love back in 2003, and 2012’s Game Change marked what Pascal calls “the first time I became aware of Sarah’s immense talent,” adding that the movie convinced her that Paulson’s range was vast.

For Shyamalan, the recommendations for Paulson were impossible to ignore. “The people in our office are often talking about special things that are rising in the zeitgeist, and Sarah’s name kept coming up,” he says. (Details about the actress’s part in his next film are under wraps.) “So I started watching her more. I think it’s a difficult thing to portray true empathy for the agility of human nature and to truly let yourself be emotionally naked in front of others. Sarah can do that. She’s fierce and comes at things in a way that’s dedicated and intense.”

When Paulson’s 2016 portrayal of prosecutor Marcia Clark in American Crime Story earned her that Emmy, as well as critical acclaim, she knew she had entered a new chapter in her career. So far it has brought her satisfaction—and anxiety, too. “Going to the next level means that you’re at the bottom of the next rung,” she says. She points out that she’s now vying for roles with many top-tier actresses. “Look, many of them have won Academy Awards. I don’t expect to get offered the roles before them, but I still want them.” She smiles. “All it means is that I have to keep working the way I always have, leaving my ego at home and trying to just think about what is true.”

To me, disappearing is everything. I’m not interested in a character’s goodness. I’m interested in what makes them human.

“To me, disappearing is everything,” Paulson says. She couldn’t care less if her characters are likable. “I’m not interested in a character’s goodness. I’m interested in what makes them human.” To portray these personalities, she says that she must put aside her own disdain for them and play the characters unapologetically. The roles she takes may be wildly diverse, but she brings to each a trademark intensity.

“She is ferocious and versatile and deeply real,” says actress Amanda Peet, Paulson’s best friend of 20 years. “But she’s also exquisitely funny. Within seconds of meeting her, I was laughing so hard—the kind of laughing where you’re like, ‘Someone should call an ambulance.’ ” Paulson’s colleagues agree that she can bring humor even to the darkest parts and moments.

Unconventionality is central to Paulson’s allure, both onscreen and off. Her relationship with actress Holland Taylor, who is 30 years older than she, has inspired legions of fans who appear to be seriously invested in the romance. (BuzzFeed recently ran a story on the pair with the headline “Sarah Paulson and Holland Taylor Are Dating and It’s Everything.”) Paulson bristles a little when questioned about public interest in her relationship.

“I do not want to be defined by who I share my bed, my home, my soul with,” she says. “My choices in life have been unconventional, and that’s my business.” Then she pauses. “But I do want to live responsibly and truthfully without hiding. It’s complicated, because there is a lot of hate in this world, and a lot of good can come from quote-unquote normalizing something for people who don’t see it as normal. Our relationship represents a certain amount of hope and risk. Maybe there’s something brave in it. Maybe it encourages others to make brave choices.” She pauses again. “What else can I say? We love each other.”

Our relationship represents a certain amount of hope and risk. Maybe there’s something brave in it. Maybe it encourages others to make brave choices.

An aversion to tradition seems to run in Paulson’s family. Her mother, who gave birth to Paulson in Tampa when she was 21 and to Paulson’s sister when she was 23, decided to uproot the family and move to New York City without Paulson’s father to pursue a writing career alone. “My mother had a cotillion,” Paulson says, “but she wanted to be bohemian.”

The family moved into a one-bedroom apartment in Queens; Paulson’s mother took a job as a waitress at the theater district haunt Sardi’s and finagled tuition for a private middle school for Paulson by working in the school’s office. “She was ballsy and brave and refused to take no for an answer,” Paulson says. “I’m the same way. Molecularly, we have that as part of our DNA.”

Paulson says the move undoubtedly raised her career’s trajectory. (If they hadn’t gone to New York, she says, “I’d be doing dinner theater in Florida.”) Yet at times it was a painful existence in which structure and security felt like alien concepts. “My mom worked late, and I was at home a lot by myself,” she remembers. “It was good for my imagination—and bad for it, too.”

To soothe herself to sleep at night, she sometimes imagined that she was in a giant metal bunker: “Nothing cut through it.” Today, her idea of a safe house has evolved. She recently bought a home in the Hollywood Hills, which she’s renovating. “I bought it a year ago, and I’m still not in it. What does that say about me?”

It’s selfish, but I think the word selfish gets a bad rap. —Paulson, on her decision not to have children

Paulson has wrestled with having children of her own. Motherhood can be tricky for an actress, she says, especially for her, because she becomes hyper-responsible for creatures in her care. At one point she owned two dogs—Italian greyhound–Chihuahua mixes named Alice and Millie; their initials are tattooed on her arm—and even they became a distraction. “I don’t want to be torn,” she says. “I don’t want to look at my child and say, ‘You’re the most extraordinary thing that ever happened to me, but also the death knell.’ It was hard for my mother to be everywhere, to come to the school play and make a living. I’ve always known what I wanted out of my professional life, and I didn’t want to turn around and go, ‘If I had only made the choice to just dedicate this time in my life to me.’ It’s selfish, but I think the word selfish gets a bad rap.” She says her children are the characters she has played. “I’ve devoted more time and energy to creating a soft landing for all of them, as much as possible. So I have been of service in a way.”

The pleasure that she has taken in playing those characters is almost palpable. These days her schedule is full, but she does have a wish list of roles she would love to tackle, including Ibsen heroine Hedda Gabler and Mary, Queen of Scots. One gets the sense that more awards are in her future—after all, she received six Emmy nominations for six different characters in the space of five years—but Paulson insists that the purity of the work is still what drives her.

“It’s extraordinary that critics keep noticing my work,” she says. “But the fact is, I got to play all of those incredible characters. And that has to be the reward. The joy is always in the work.”

admin • 12 23 2017

admin • 12 10 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.”

admin • 12 09 2017

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Photoshoots > 2017 > The Edit Magazine

admin • 12 09 2017

admin • 11 18 2017

Steppenwolf Theatre today announced it will honor Emmy Award- and Golden Globe Award-winning actress Sarah Paulson at its 2018 Women in the Arts luncheon gala Jan. 18.

The annual event, attended by more than 400 leaders in Chicago’s civic and business communities. celebrates women’s contributions to the arts and business. The luncheon benefits Steppenwolf’s various professional development and education programs.

Paulson is no stranger to the Steppenwolf stage, having performed in Tracy Lett’s “Killer Joe.” Her film and television work includes “The Notorious Bettie Page” and “12 Years a Slave,” her Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning portrayal of Marcia Clark in “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson,” and “American Horror Story.” Upcoming film projects include Stephen Spielberg’s “The Post” (starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep) and “Ocean’s 8” (alongside Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock).

Previous honorees have included Claire Danes, Julianna Margulies, Joan Allen, Phylicia Rashad and Laurie Metcalf.

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