Sarah Paulson is a staple in the world of American Horror Story. She shocked us as Lana Winters in Asylum, bewitched us as Cordelia Goode in Coven, and split our attention as Bette and Dot Tattler in Freak Show. It’s hard to imagine an AHS without her. 1984, the season between Apocalypse and the upcoming Double Feature, was the first in the show’s history to not feature Paulson. So it may shock some viewers to find out that there is one season of AHS that the actress wishes she’d sat out for.
On the latest episode of the podcast Awards Chatter with Scott Feinberg, Sarah Paulson admitted that, while she adores AHS and Ryan Murphy, there was a season of the show she wishes she could have skipped: Roanoke. She told Scott Feinberg:
I just don't care about this season at all. I know people will get mad at me for saying it, but to me, this was post-having played Marcia [in American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson] and it was what I went to do right after finishing Marcia, and I was so underwhelmed by the whole experience. Because I felt like I had entered into a new place inside of myself in terms of what I thought possible, in terms of what I might be willing to see if I could do. I felt really kind of trapped by my responsibility and my contractual obligation to do American Horror Story. As much as it's my home, and I've loved it always, it was the first time I felt like I wish I could have gone to Ryan and said, 'Please let me sit this one out.’
Geez, Sarah Paulson, tell us how you really feel! All jokes aside, her reason for not loving Roanoke is pretty valid. Marcia Clark in American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson was a huge role for Sarah Paulson, earning her an Emmy Award, a SAG Award, and a Golden Globe. If she felt so fulfilled by the novel experience of American Crime Story, it isn’t a stretch to see how she could have felt let down by filming yet another season of AHS.
However, Sarah Paulson’s ennui didn’t stop her from joining the season of AHS after Roanoke: Cult, where she played restaurant owner Ally. So what changed between Roanoke and Cult? She explained:
I didn’t really have to be there, I wanted to be there. Because of what we had all just been through I felt, as a country, with this new place we felt we were in, I liked the idea that it was sort of mirroring what we were experiencing and enough time had gone by… and I got to do The Post with Stephen Spielburg at the same time...I was experiencing a few things that were nice post Marcia Clark, career-wise, that I felt like it might be nice to be at home for a minute. I was happy to be back for Cult.
All things considered, it makes my heart feel warm and fuzzy to hear that AHS feels like home for Sarah Paulson. Despite her feelings about Roanoke, she has always been part of what makes AHS such an iconic show. And she obviously has no hard feelings, considering she’s going to play a central character in Season 10 of AHS. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait too long to see Sarah Paulson back in her natural habitat.