From “American Horror Story” and “Bird Box” to most recently “Glass,” Sarah Paulson has become the reigning queen of the thriller genre – kind of by accident.
“I really fell into it and the irony is not lost on me because I am the biggest scaredy cat you’ve ever met,” Paulson told CNN in a recent interview. “It is strange I should find myself making a living reenacting moments of terror, but here I am.”
In her latest role in “Glass” as Dr. Ellie Staple, Paulson plays a psychiatrist treating patients who believe they are superheros in M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller sequel to his 2000 film “Unbreakable.” The film also stars Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson and James McAvoy.
“I love his [M. Night Shyamalan] movies. I’ve always loved his movies. I remember where I was when I saw ‘Sixth Sense,’ ‘Unbreakable’ and ‘Signs’ and what I did after.” Paulson said. “I just remember so many points in my own personal history that are associated with seeing movies of his.”
Next up is “Ratched,” Ryan Murphy’s first project since signing a multi-year deal with Netflix. Paulson will star as Nurse Ratched, famously played by Louise Fletcher in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
Paulson already has a case of the nerves about stepping into the role.
“I mean [Fletcher] won an Academy Award doing it, so there’s no where to go but down,” Paulson said with a laugh. “I absolutely feel that pressure because I have an enormous reverence for Louis Fletcher and for her portrayal in that movie and for the movie itself. This story stands on its own in the sense that we are starting many years prior to when we meet Nurse Ratched in the movie ‘Cuckoos Nest,’ so I know that I’m not going to be trying to emulate what she did because this is prior to her doing what she did in the movie. I have a little bit of leeway there, but I’m certainly thinking about it.”
Paulson and Murphy have proven to be successful creative partners.
“The Ryan Murphy thing, I don’t have much of a choice,” she said. “The man just tells me where to go and what I’m doing and when to report. I just listen to him because I trust him implicitly. Where he goes, I shall follow.”
If you feel like you’re seeing Paulson everywhere these days, you are. She wouldn’t have it any other way, but she wouldn’t mind a nap.
“I don’t want to complain about it because I did ask for this,” Paulson said. “I did hope and dream for this. Now that I have it, I can’t be like, ‘I’m tired, I wanna lay down.’ Although, I really would like to go to sleep.”