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'American Horror Story's' Sarah Paulson on humor amid the fright

August 19, 2013|By Yvonne Villarreal

Sarah Paulson was relieved that the TV academy decided to reinstate the supporting categories for TV movies and miniseries at this year's Emmys.

"I don't know if I would have been able to compete with the leading actresses ... if there had only been one category," she told The Times during an in-studio live interview on Monday.

The move also means Paulson doesn't find herself head-to-head again with veteran actress and co-star Jessica Lange. The two — whose working relationship previously included appearing in the 2005 Broadway production of "The Glass Menagerie" — were both contenders for supporting actress last year, Paulson for her role on HBO's movie "Game Change," Lange for her role in the first season of "American Horror Story."  (Lange won.)

"No one was beating Jessica Lange," Paulson quipped. "That was never going to happen." So yes, there's a relief not to be up against the powerhouse this time around, she said.

Paulson held her own in the Ryan Murphy-Brad Falchuck frightfest last season with her turn as Lana Winters, a reporter held against her will at a mental institution after trying to expose corruption. A gig that would include aversion conversion therapy, breastfeeding Zachary Quinto, and aging 40 years.

Watch the chat above to listen to Paulson talk about the journey, finding humor amid the scares, and what lies ahead when she returns for the third season — "American Horror Story: Coven," which centers on witches — this fall. This time, she'll play the daughter of Lange's character (hence the return to blond).


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Yvonne Villarreal



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