Sarah Paulson Q&A: ‘American Horror Story: Coven’
"From an acting standpoint, ['American Horror Story'] is the best job in town," exclaimed Sarah Paulson during our recent webcam chat (Watch below). Getting to create a new character every season ensures "it's a very exciting way to work, I think. [As an actress], you'll never get bored, and hopefully the audience doesn't get bored. If they don't like that character so much this year, then hopefully next year they'll like what you get to do… if you're asked back."
Regarding the female-centric "American Horror Story: Coven" season, "I think that what [creator Ryan Murphy] did know he wanted, the real core of it, was a story about mothers and daughters and sisterhood in general."
As for her character Cordelia Foxx: "I didn't know fully that I was gonna become the Supreme, but that was a very exciting day for me when I got that call. I had to pull over because he told me basically the entire final episode and all that was going to happen and what I was gonna get to do, and I was very excited. I mean, everybody wants to be the Supreme. You want to be the Supreme, don't you?" And, she revealed, "We kept feeling like the last episode was 'The Hunger Games,' and it was like, Cordelia is Katniss! And nobody knew it."
The actress is especially fond of Lana Winters, the character she played in the second season, "American Horror Story: Asylum," whom she calls a "tragic heroine." And she's happy that audiences got to see Lana's complete story over only 13 episodes. As she explained, "If you stretch the story of Lana Winters over seven years, I don't know if it would have had the same impact, and I don't know if you could sustain something like that — that kind of torture. If we actually watched for seven years her story and by the end of the seven years she was an 80-year-old woman, that might have had a different impact on the audience than to have it happen in 13 episodes. It was just one of the greatest acting jobs I've ever had in my life."
This year, Paulson has jumped up to Movie/Mini Actress from Supporting where she contended last year. That means being pitted offagainst co-star and friend Jessica Lange. So, what's that Emmy battle going to be like? "I faced off with Jessica Lange the first time I was nominated for an Emmy, when I was nominated for 'Game Change' and she was nominated for the first season of 'American Horror Story.' I've been there before. I've lost before to her. I can handle losing to her again. To me, the honor of even being considered in the same breath as her is something I still can't kind of wrap my brain around."