Interview: Sarah Paulson is ready to do comedies

NY Post — Sarah Paulson is best known for her role as the determined lawyer Marcia Clark on FX’s miniseries “The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” and is a regular on Ryan Murphy’s “American Horror Story.” Now, Paulson is playing Sandra Bullock’s sister in new apocalyptic movie “Bird Box,” opening on Netflix and at the IFC Center Dec. 21, about a spontaneous wave of mass suicides brought on by invisible creatures.

Here, Paulson tells The Post about filming the frightful flick.

This is one of the most emotionally brutal movies of the year. Have you seen the final product?
I don’t watch anything I do. I have a sheer perfectionist streak, and I tend to be incredibly hard on myself. I used to watch it all because it was such an extraordinary thing to me that I was being hired to do this, and I was making my living as an actor. When I did “[The] People v. O.J. Simpson,” I decided I was not going to watch myself [anymore]. I didn’t think I could watch [Marcia Clark] lose. Also, as I said, I’m a perfectionist and Marcia Clark is left-handed. I’m a right-handed person, and I just knew I was going to see all the moments where I pick something up with the wrong hand.

You and Sandra Bullock also worked together in “Ocean’s 8.” Are you pals off-screen?
We’d met once at an awards show in a very brief way years ago, and we didn’t really meet properly until we were going to start “Ocean’s 8.” She came to the hotel where I was staying. And we had lunch and we just talked and yakked and it became clear that we shared a similar sensibility and humor. It became easy for us to needle each other all the time the way sisters do. It was she who came to me and said, “Would you play my sister in this movie? It’s not a big part, but it would really mean a lot to me.” She brings so much integrity and soul to everything she does. I think she’s one of our great actresses. She paid me a lot of money to say that, by the way.

You tend to play serious roles. Would you ever want to do a comedy?
I would love to do one. The truth is in Hollywood you tend to get hired to play a particular thing, and that’s the only thing you’re asked to do. And there are so many people who have wider ranges than anyone knows. I think not a lot of people know that I have a funny bone, and having not been asked to do it I started to get a complex.

There’s a massive disaster scene in the middle of a city. What was filming that like?
Walking into traffic. That’s not something I, uh, ever wanted to do. But there’s sort of a sweet thing. I remember Sandy [and I], we had to crawl out of that car. And right before we did the bit where I had to walk into traffic, Sandy did the sweetest thing: She’d be holding my hand and she’d just squeeze it, like she didn’t want to say goodbye. I’m sure it was an involuntarily, unconscious thing she was doing, but it was very, very sweet. And it helped me.

 

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