Sarah Paulson is a cool lady. She turns 43 years old this month and she is, right now, the most famous she’s ever been in her life. She toiled away as a character actress in film and television for years, all while working consistently in theater too. Then Ryan Murphy made her into his muse and suddenly there aren’t enough hours in the day for her – she’s been working back-to-back for years on a variety of projects, plus she’s been juggling her career with her relationship with Holland Taylor, her 74-year-old girlfriend/partner. Paulson has a supporting role in The Post (about the publication of the Pentagon Papers), and next year she’ll appear in Ocean’s Eight, the all-girl installment of the Ocean’s franchise. To promote The Post, Paulson chatted with net-a-porter’s The Edit, and you can read the full piece here. Some highlights:
The journeyman actress: “I’ve always fancied myself a journeyman actress; a working character actress. Early on in my career, people couldn’t place me. I had long blond hair like every girl in Hollywood. I looked like four different actresses all rolled into one. I wasn’t standing out in any way.”
On the outing of Hollywood predators: “I think that’s what happens when you take the top off something that’s been pressurized for a long time. But there is one positive coming out of this, and that is this knitting together of women. There’s this feeling of being really supported by other women, and that’s incredibly powerful. It’s very clear that there’s a new world order.”
Her ambition: “I come from a family of women who want things. I am ambitious and unsatisfied in general. I’m not often content with anything the way it is; I always want more. I dreamt about holding an Emmy for a long time. As a kid, I dreamt about holding any kind of statue: I would practice holding an Oscar in the bathroom.”
Whether she sees herself as “off center”: “I think so. My life choices are, um, unconventional. I’m with a much older person [her girlfriend of two years is actress Holland Taylor, 74] and people find that totally fascinating and odd, and, to me, it’s the least interesting thing about me. But I do feel a bit unconventional. I am a woman of a certain age who chose not to have children, and who has made my career my priority. I am the captain of my own ship, and I’ve never looked to anyone else to validate that, or tell me it’s okay.”
Her history of dating older women: “Early on, when people found out I was with Holland, some said: ‘I think you have to be careful, I’m afraid it’s going to affect your career negatively’. I was like, what? It never occurred to me at all.”
I wish more women would say sh-t like this: “I am ambitious and unsatisfied in general. I’m not often content with anything the way it is; I always want more. I dreamt about holding an Emmy for a long time.” YAS. I get tired of the “what who me I never expected this Golden Globe nomination OMG” thing. That being said, I know it’s about the messenger too, truly. I’m fine hearing about Paulson’s ambition for awards because I think she’s an immensely talented and deserving actress. If Blake Lively said that quote, I would metaphorically throw her into a bonfire and gleefully roast her.
I also enjoyed this: “I am a woman of a certain age who chose not to have children, and who has made my career my priority. I am the captain of my own ship, and I’ve never looked to anyone else to validate that, or tell me it’s okay.” Queen. A lot of us do choose the childfree life. A lot of choose to work and be free and be the captain of our own respective ships. Bless her for saying it like that.
Photos courtesy of The Edit.