Sarah Paulson Q&A: ‘People v. O.J. Simpson’ and ‘AHS: Hotel’
“It was pretty extraordinary,” recalls Sarah Paulson as we chat via webcam (watch above) about her two Emmy nominations this year for “The People v. O.J. Simpson” (Best Movie/Mini Actress as embattled prosecutor Marcia Clark) and “American Horror Story: Hotel” (Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress as ghost Hypodermic Sally).
Paulson has been nominated six times at the Emmy Awards, and is finally predicted to win for “O.J.” according to our experts derived from major media outlets. So, does she have an acceptance speech ready to go? “I don’t know if I’ll write something down, it’s all too crazy!”
“I’m just a goony little actress person who wanted this for my whole life,” Paulson continues. “To be in this company and to be nominated twice in one year, it’s just a little bit dizzying. It’s incredibly flattering and humbling and makes you feel that it’s not a mistake and that you’re getting to do what you love. But there’s always that little kid in me that practiced speeches in the mirror and dreamt about what it would be like and never missed an Emmy Awards. I sort of like the idea of acknowledging that winning probably feels really good. I’m sure there’s also some deep part of me that feels like it would concretize something in terms of my internal feelings about my own self as an actress.”
The actress has mostly played fictional characters throughout her career, so what were the challenges in playing such a well-known person in “The People v. O.J. Simpson”? “I think I learned something about myself as an actress that I didn’t know was true before,” she notes about her performance as Clark. “My imagination is almost overcrowded. If I’m creating a character with a writer and a director and it’s all sort of invented — like all the previous iterations of ‘American Horror Story’ have been — it sort of means anything goes, because there are no rules. With this show, I was able to be a little bit more confident and sure of my choices because I had so much fact-based information to stand on. I had done all the research and I felt strongly about my take on her.”
As for her bid for playing Sally on “AHS: Hotel,” Paulson explains why she submitted the episode “The Ten Commandments Killer” to Emmy judges. “That episode is the moment where it’s revealed that John, played by Wes Bentley, is the Ten Commandments Killer. Sally is very much involved in revealing that to him. It was very painful for her to have to let him know who he really was, [because] with him having that information she knew she might lose him, that he might leave the hotel and never come back. And so I just felt that it had enough colors in there.”
Also in our interview, Paulson gives us a three-word tease about her new character on Season 6 of “American Horror Story,” she chats about what it was like working with a legend like John Travolta on “O.J.” and she discusses how difficult it was bouncing back and forth between Sally and Clark as both FX projects were filming at the same time.