Sarah Paulson is an Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning actor, recognized for appearances throughout screens massive and small. She’s performed 11 separate characters within the anthology sequence American Horror Story (thus far), and stars in movies like Ocean’s 8, Carol, and Glass.
Her newest tasks — within the Hulu movie Run (out Nov. 20) and the Netflix sequence Ratched, based mostly on the notorious nurse from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, add to her record of intense, disturbing roles. On NPR’s Ask Me One other, she informed host Ophira Eisenberg it is ironic to search out herself taking part in most of these components, joking that she’s afraid of her personal shadow.
Paulson stated, when she was a baby, her dad and mom beloved watching motion pictures like Nightmare on Elm Avenue. The movies scared her a lot, she’d go away her bed room door open at evening. In the meantime, “my sister could be within the mattress subsequent to me, like, ‘Freddy’s gonna get you.'”
Whereas Paulson stated she prefers to not watch her personal appearing, she broke her personal rule for the Netflix sequence Ratched, the place she’s an govt producer. “I felt it will be actually unfair of me to be shouting about what I believed ought to be totally different or different, having not seen it.”
Paulson can also be an enormous music fan. For her Ask Me One other problem, Coulton sang R&B songs re-written to be about different issues with an ampersand, like M&Ms, A&P & A&W.
On having a faithful cult following develop out of her iconic American Horror Story strains:
The one time it will get supremely bizarre is whenever you go to a few of these fan occasions, and they’ll roll up their arm and present you a tattoo of the phrase. Or, they are going to ask you to signal that phrase on a bit of paper, and you will note them later at a fan occasion and so they have tattooed that actual, your handwriting on their physique. And, it is a variety of dedication. I am grateful for them, however wow.
On being a nasty speller:
I’m the worst speller. I’m a horrible speller. I had a job at Circle’s Pizza, in Brooklyn. Circle’s Pizza up there on fifteenth? I believe I labored there for a day, as a result of I obtained a telephone name for an order to be delivered, and so they requested me to spell “rooster parmesan,” and I did not know easy methods to spell “parmesan.” And I panicked, it by no means occured to me I may write “rooster parm.” I simply did not have the talent. And I bear in mind calling my mom and saying, “How do you spell parmesan?”
OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:
Now for instance hi there to the second of two very well-known Sarahs on right now’s present. She’s an Emmy Award-winning actor from “American Crime Story” and “American Horror Story,” and now she’s on American Trivia Story. Sarah Paulson, hi there.
SARAH PAULSON: Hello.
EISENBERG: You are clearly a daily fixture on Ryan Murphy’s long-running TV anthology, “American Horror Story.” You’ve got performed 11 characters…
EISENBERG: …In eight seasons. And the roles – I imply, to – for me, to take a look at them – I am very scared of these things, so I do not devour a variety of it. Do you want horror? Do you watch horror your self?
PAULSON: No. However, see; I had actually younger dad and mom. My dad and mom have been 21 and nearly 23 once I was born. And they also wished to observe what they wished to observe, and they also did. And so I used to be a 9-year-old watching “Nightmare On Elm Avenue,” you realize, begging my father to depart the door broad open whereas I fell – you realize? It simply – and my sister would…
PAULSON: …Lie within the mattress subsequent to me and be like, Freddy’s going to get you, you realize? I would be like, (vocalizing). Yeah. And they also watched all these scary motion pictures as a result of they actually appreciated them, and so they have been younger, and so they wished to. So I used to be definitely seeing them method earlier than I ought to have. I am an individual…
PAULSON: …Who’s scared for my very own shadow. So how I discovered myself working on this style is mostly a form of confounding state of affairs.
EISENBERG: Yeah. And a number of the – I imply, your characters – they’re unbelievably doing grotesque issues.
EISENBERG: So I do not know what goes by your thoughts when you’re doing these items, however I simply marvel if it is, like, simply form of enjoyable and there is a detachment.
PAULSON: I – if I have been extra proficient, I believe the reply could be sure.
PAULSON: However I do not know easy methods to do it with out actually – like, I do not know easy methods to do – I do not know easy methods to faux it. So if I am hyperventilating, I am hyperventilating. And that is simply, you realize, the consequence of my – you realize, the havoc I’ve wreaked on my well being, I am certain, doing these reveals as a result of I believe in Season 6 or one thing, which was the “Cult” season, which was kind of coping with the inauguration of President Trump and that entire story, my character was purported to be utterly undone by all of this. And, you realize, that was kind of simple for me to duplicate…
PAULSON: …Entry in myself. But in addition, I used to be being chased by clowns, and it was like – however there’s actually an actor with a clown head on, you realize, with a knife in his hand chasing me, and I do not know easy methods to not run screaming from that. And I do not know easy methods to do it in a method the place then I cease and go, OK, so when’s second meal?
JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: (Laughter).
PAULSON: I simply – I do not know easy methods to do it. I am within the nook like, OK, are you able to simply give me a minute? I simply want a second. You realize, it is identical to, wow, woman, you have to discover a method to do that with out torturing your self. I do not assume appearing is meant to be torturous, however, you realize, I do not know easy methods to – I do not know easy methods to faux it. That is the reality about me.
EISENBERG: So – however what do you do in between takes after they’re like, all proper, lower, and you continue to should do it once more…
PAULSON: Sob and ask for my mom. I do not know. It is a variety of like – you realize, it is a variety of – it is actually – it actually does beg the query, like, am I sane? As a result of why would you set your self on this, you realize, place many times and once more? You realize, however I do – individuals appear to actually find it irresistible. And I form of love how…
EISENBERG: Oh, very efficient.
PAULSON: Yeah. These followers actually – it is form of wild to have individuals which are so devoted that method.
EISENBERG: And I’ve to say, the Web loves it since you get these strains on “American Horror Story” which are so outrageous. And one which involves thoughts is from “Apocalypse,” the place – I am simply going to take out the curse phrase, however you mainly say, like, I’m the supreme…
EISENBERG: …Proper? And…
PAULSON: Yeah. I’m the bleeping supreme.
EISENBERG: The bleeping supreme, which simply appears so proper for, you realize, Web memes and GIFs.
PAULSON: Oh, yeah.
EISENBERG: And, you realize, whenever you see these strains on the script, are you want, oh, yeah, the Web is simply going to gobble this up?
PAULSON: I believed they may be enthusiastic about that one as a result of that was a reprisal of a personality I performed that was very beloved by the followers from Season 3 in “Coven.” So – and that witch didn’t begin out essentially the most highly effective witch. I turned essentially the most highly effective witch by the top of the season. So then once I, you realize, returned to that character, individuals have been so excited to see how Cordelia had grow to be essentially the most highly effective witch of all.
PAULSON: So I knew they have been going to love that. However I’ve a bunch of – you realize, there’s the I am powerful, however I am no cookie as a result of someone calls me a cookie, and I say I am powerful, however I am no cookie. The one time it will get supremely bizarre is whenever you go to a few of these fan occasions and so they – you realize, followers will roll up their arm and so they’ll present you a tattoo of the phrase, or they are going to ask you to signal that phrase on a bit of paper and you will note them later at a fan occasion and so they have tattooed that actual – your handwriting on their physique. And it is simply a variety of dedication. I am grateful for them, however wow.
EISENBERG: And I am certain you’ve got additionally been like, I’ve to be actually cautious that I am spelling this all appropriately and (laughter) my handwriting…
PAULSON: No, I’m the worst speller. I’m a horrible speller.
PAULSON: I had a job at Circles Pizza in Brooklyn – Circles Pizza up there on fifteenth – yeah.
PAULSON: I labored there, and I believe I labored there for a day as a result of I obtained a telephone name for an – like, an order to be delivered, and so they requested me to spell rooster parmesan. And I could not – I did not know easy methods to spell parmesan, and I panicked. I imply, it by no means occurred to me I may write rooster parm. I simply did not have the talent. And I bear in mind calling my mom and saying, how do you spell parmesan? Like, it simply was too horrible for me. I am a nasty speller.
PAULSON: I am a nasty speller now. I’ve at all times been a nasty speller. After I watch these spelling bee motion pictures and issues, I am like, wow, these children are so superb.
EISENBERG: However, you realize, can all these good spellers act? Perhaps you’ll be able to ask your self…
PAULSON: You realize, this can be a superb level you make. I like this level. I like this level rather a lot.
EISENBERG: And in your new Hulu movie known as “Run,” you play the only dad or mum of a chronically unwell 17-year-old lady. And because the lady inches in the direction of her 18th birthday, she begins to get a way that perhaps she is not as sick as her mom makes her out to be.
PAULSON: Yeah. I discover myself in one other style – yeah.
EISENBERG: Yeah. It jogs my memory – perhaps it does you, too; I am unsure – it jogs my memory just a little little bit of Kathy Bates’s character in “Distress.”
EISENBERG: And also you two have been on the identical set.
PAULSON: We labored collectively on “American Horror Story” for a few years. Yeah.
PAULSON: I even obtained to a direct her in an episode the place she was simply essentially the most sport, scrumptious, great comrade in arms. She was great. She was simply so nice.
EISENBERG: Did you discuss your relationship to the style of horror?
PAULSON: We did not. It is so humorous. We did not as a result of typically, you realize, whenever you’re doing the factor, you do not have that perspective. It is like dwelling in New York and never going to see the Statue of Liberty since you stay there. It is like – it is simply not what you are going to do.
EISENBERG: Proper. After which somebody involves city and you are like…
PAULSON: And so they’re like, the Statue of Liberty. And also you’re…
EISENBERG: So – and now you’re the face of Netflix most-watched authentic sequence of 2020 to your position as Nurse Ratched, which is the origin story of some of the well-known villains in novel and movie from “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.” To start with, when you’re the most-watched sequence for Netflix, do they ship you, like, a fruit basket? Do you get a plaque, something?
PAULSON: I did not get a plaque, and I did not get a basket, both. So anyone listening to this working at Netflix, you would possibly need to ship me a goodie bag…
PAULSON: …Just a bit goodie bag. I imply, one may argue that the present they’ve given me is, you realize…
PAULSON: …Being on a present that is profitable. Cash – yeah, precisely.
PAULSON: They paid me to do the gig, so I suppose they do not actually owe me a plaque, though I am not – I do not object to it. Give me a plaque any day. I am going to take it.
EISENBERG: And also you have been additionally not solely the star of this, however the govt producer. And you’ve got a normal rule, I am going to say, the place you do not like to observe the ultimate product of what you are in. However you needed to break that rule for the sequence since you have been an govt producer.
PAULSON: Sure, as a result of I used to be an govt producer as a result of I felt it will be actually unfair of me to start out shouting about what I felt I believed ought to be totally different or different having by no means seen it.
PAULSON: So I believed, that is not going to work for this, so I’ll have to observe it. It is simply – I do not know. one’s personal face plus taking a look at one’s personal face when you’re speaking or emoting or simply standing there, and every thing appears prefer it’s melting to me. I simply appear to be a melting candlestick with a voice field. It is simply not – it is not an amazing expertise. It is like listening to your sound of your voice. Nicely, you guys in all probability have to do that on a regular basis. Do you take pleasure in listening to your voice on the radio?
COULTON: No. If I am within the automotive and the present comes on, I flip it off straight away.
EISENBERG: Sarah, we knew that you just love music.
PAULSON: I do.
EISENBERG: So guess what? Jonathan Coulton goes to sing you some clues in your sport. Are you prepared for an ASK ME ANOTHER problem?
PAULSON: I am prepared for an ASK ME ANOTHER problem. I am scared. I really feel frightened.
COULTON: Do not be scared.
EISENBERG: Oh, no, no, no.
COULTON: So what we have accomplished is we took traditional ’90s R&B songs, and we modified the lyrics to make them about different issues which have two initials with an ampersand between them.
PAULSON: My mind is already like, what?
EISENBERG: We’re right here for you.
COULTON: As an alternative of R&B, M&Ms sweet, R&D for analysis and improvement, A&P supermarkets. These are all examples of what the solutions may be.
PAULSON: OK. Thanks. Thanks for the assistance there.
COULTON: Positive. All you must do is inform me the factor I am singing about, or you’ll be able to inform me the identify of the music that I am parodying or the artist who made it well-known.
PAULSON: Nice. Oh, God, please do not fail.
COULTON: Here is the primary one.
COULTON: (Singing) “Storage Wars,” “Storage Wars,” I have been watching “Hoarders,” additionally “Legislation & Order.” I by no means go outdoor. “Parking Wars,” “Parking Wars,” it’s my intention to observe Intervention” (unintelligible).
PAULSON: OK, effectively, that is A&E.
COULTON: That is right – A&E.
PAULSON: OK. And “Say My Identify,” “Say My Identify.”
COULTON: That is proper.
COULTON: Future’s Youngster.
PAULSON: Future’s Youngster. OK, I imply, I get one. So now, it doesn’t matter what, we’re simply – we will solely go downhill from right here. Nevertheless it’s doable I may do one thing. We’ll see.
COULTON: All proper. Here is one other one.
COULTON: (Singing) Perhaps we should always have stayed at a resort. Morning meal’s not swell. There is no privateness, floral wallpaper, and the hosts are bizarre.
PAULSON: A B&B.
COULTON: A B&B. Mattress and breakfast – that is right.
PAULSON: A B&B.
PAULSON: And it is “I am going to Make Love To.”
COULTON: No. It is…
PAULSON: (Singing) I am going to make like to you.
COULTON: It is the identical – it is the identical band.
PAULSON: So it is Boyz to the Males (ph). Boyz to the Males, I simply stated (laughter).
COULTON: It is Boyz to the Males.
PAULSON: It is Boyz to the Males.
COULTON: It is Boyz II Males. That is “Finish Of The Street.” That is proper.
PAULSON: You are superb at this, Jonathan Coulton.
COULTON: Oh, thanks very a lot. Thanks.
PAULSON: You are welcome.
COULTON: (Singing) Yeah, we’re only a quick, fast-fashion retailer mainstay. Function worldwide, straight from the runway. Approach, method cheaper garments do not final by the 12 months, however we’re on the mall the place you are purchasing anyway.
COULTON: H&M is right.
COULTON: And are you aware the music?
COULTON: That’s “Fantasy” by Mariah Carey.
PAULSON: Yeah. Oh, candy, candy fantasy – that is what it was.
COULTON: That is the one.
COULTON: All proper, here is the following one.
COULTON: (Singing) Is it my flip? Is it your flip? Typically I am lawful-evil. Proper now chaotic-neutral. The DM says so. I may actually use a wizard. Inform me, would you be that wizard?
PAULSON: So Dungeons and Dragons – D&D?
PAULSON: D&D. And who has it?
COULTON: It was Aaliyah.
COULTON: It was known as, “Are You That Any person?”
All proper, that is the final one.
PAULSON: OK. Hit me.
COULTON: (Singing) Do not go ingesting orange pop. Do not drink Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper or Fanta. Have a drink that tastes like sarsaparilla or sassafras whose mascot is a bear with no pants.
PAULSON: I believe I’ve this one completely. It is “Do not Go Chasing Waterfalls.”
PAULSON: OK, and it is A&W root beer.
COULTON: That’s right.
COULTON: Yeah. TLC, you bought it.
PAULSON: By TLC.
COULTON: Nicely accomplished.
PAULSON: So would not it kind of imply I received? I simply have to win.
COULTON: It completely means you received.
PAULSON: Oh, man. I like to win.
PAULSON: I find it irresistible. I find it irresistible. I prefer to know I beat all of them.
EISENBERG: (Laughter) That is proper. Wonderful. Thanks a lot.
PAULSON: Thanks. I am going to come again.
EISENBERG: Yeah, come on…
COULTON: That may be nice.
EISENBERG: …Any time, any time.
COULTON: We’ll see you tomorrow.
PAULSON: Yeah, see you tomorrow (laughter). See you tomorrow.
EISENBERG: Thanks a lot, Sarah Paulson.
PAULSON: Thanks. Thanks guys a lot. I admire it.
EISENBERG: Sarah stars in “Ratched” on Netflix and within the Hulu movie, “Run.”
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
EISENBERG: Nicely, we’re contemporary out of Sarahs, in order that’s our present. ASK ME ANOTHER’s home musician is Jonathan Coulton.
COULTON: Hey, my identify anagrams to thou jolt a cannon.
EISENBERG: Our puzzles have been written by our employees, together with senior writers Eric Feinstein, Andrew Kane and Karen Lurie, with further materials by Cara Weinberger. ASK ME ANOTHER is produced by Travis Larchuk, Nancy Saechao, James Farber, Rommel Wooden and our intern, Sam Yellowhorse Kesler. Our senior supervising producer is Rachel Neel, and our bosses’ bosses are Steve Nelson and Anya Grundmann. Because of our manufacturing companion WNYC.
And earlier than we go, we need to elevate a potent potable and categorical our appreciation for the good Canadian, Alex Trebek. Each time somebody on our present solutions within the type of a query, we consider you, Alex. Thanks for every thing.
I am her ripe begonias.
COULTON: Ophira Eisenberg.
EISENBERG: And this was ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript offered by NPR, Copyright NPR.