Sarah Paulson’s Glass Character Was Almost Played By A Man

Sarah Paulson in Glass

Because Glass is the sequel to both Unbreakable and Split, the cast is understandably comprised of the main actors from those previous movies. But there still some new faces being introduced, and the most important of them all is Sarah Paulson's Dr. Ellie Staple, the psychiatrist treating David Dunn, Elijah Price and Kevin Wendell Crumb at the high security mental hospital. But when conceiving Glass, M. Night Shyamalan also considered casting a man as the psychiatrist. The writer/director recalled:

I originally was sketching [the character] and I was like, Gosh, should this be a man or a woman? I had two different actors in mind and one was male and one was female, and obviously Sarah was the female choice. It just suddenly felt right, that, wow, it should be a female character challenging these guys in a therapy session. I really enjoyed that dynamic between Betty Buckley and James in Split, [and wanted a] very, very intelligent woman challenging the precepts of these men, and what they believe in, and trying to help them in some way. Sarah just had all those colors. When I met her I'm like, 'This is it, this is it.'

Those who've seen Sarah Paulson show off her acting chops in projects like 12 Years a Slave and American Horror Story will understand why M. Night Shyamalan made the decision he did. It would have been easy enough to throw another male actor into the mix, but with Paulson occupying the psychiatrist role, it resulted in a better dynamic between the three leading men, as Shyamalan told EW. Paulson joins the returning Anya Taylor-Joy and Charlayne Woodard as Glass' important female characters.

As we've learned in the Glass trailers, Dr. Ellie Staple's specialty is treating patients with delusions of grandeur, specifically those who believe they're superhuman. She's confident that David Dunn, Elijah Price and Kevin Wendell Crumb don't really have special abilities and is determined to bring them back into reality. But she'll soon learn that these men truly are more powerful than your average human, whether it's through brute strength or superior intellect.

Set nearly two decades after Unbreakable and only a few weeks after Split, Glass will see David Dunn clashing with Elijah Price and Kevin Wendell Crumb when those two join forces. Elijah, a.k.a. Mr. Glass/The Mastermind, sees great potential in Kevin, a.k.a. The Horde, specifically his 24th and most dangerous personality, The Beast. It'll be up to David, a.k.a. The Overseer, to stop them before a lot of people die. While Glass is gearing up for a big opening weekend at the box office, so far early critical reception to the movie ranges from mixed to negative overall.

Glass opens in theaters on January 18. As for what else is coming out in theaters this year, you can find that information in our 2019 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.