Actress Sarah Paulson on her own terms
Sarah Paulson had a big year in 2016. She had the crucial role as Marcia Clark in the award-winning and critically acclaimed true crime drama American Crime Story: The People V OJ Simpson.
Barely recognizable with her black perm and absolute Clark impersonation, she received nominations and awards left and right, which was crowned by an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe.
But through it all, Paulson wants to do it her way, whether her career or how her relationships are perceived in public.
Sarah Paulson: The early years
Born on December 17, 1974 in Tampa, Florida, Paulson moved to New York with her mother when her parents divorced. She would have summers in Tampa with her father but spent the rest of the year in Brooklyn.
Graduating from American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Paulson got into acting the minute she graduated from high school.
She played a role in Horton Foote’s Talking Pictures and appeared in one episode of the TV crime show Law and Order in 1994.
Sarah Paulson on screen and on-stage
From Law and Order, Paulson would go to have a very long list of television appearances. In some, she would play supporting roles in TV shows like Deadwood, Nip/Tuck, and The DA.
She’s played main characters, like in Leap of Faith. She’s also played major roles in Broadway such as The Glass Menagerie.
In films, she starred in movies such as What Women Want and Down with Love, among others. In 2015, she also starred in Carol.
Unfortunately, while Paulson has had quite a busy career, she hadn’t gotten the acclaim that she deserves.
Sarah Paulson catches the critics’ eyes
It was in the TV series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip that she was finally noticed by the critics, garnering a Golden Globe nomination for her supporting role.
When that show was cancelled, she went back to work with shows like Cupid, which was also cancelled after a few months. She also did guesting stints in Grey’s Anatomy and in American Horror Story.
It was the latter where Paulson generated a sort of celebrity status, when she kept returning every season playing different roles.
“American Horror Story is my home. It’s the place I feel the most comfortable. Working with (show writer) Ryan (Murphy) was the first time I felt really seen by someone in a position of power,” Paulson told The Guardian.
Then in 2016, Paulson landed a role in American Crime Story: The People V OJ Simpson.
Sarah Paulson and her sexuality
Through it all– her career and her life– Paulson refuses sexual labels and would rather use the term “sexually fluid.” More to the point, she refuses to be pinned down about it.
In an interview with PrideSource, she said: “All I can say is, I’ve done both, and I don’t let either experience define me.”
“I don’t let having been with a man make me think I am heterosexual, or make me want to call myself that, because I know I have been attracted to women– and have lived with women,” she added.
“So, for me, I’m not looking to define myself, and I’m sorry if that is something that is seen as a rejection of or an unwillingness to embrace (my sexuality) in a public way, but it’s simply not. It’s simply what’s true for me, and that’s all I can speak to,” she declared.
She went out for five years with Cherry Jones, who was 18 years her senior. Currently, she’s dating Holland Taylor, who is 31 years older than her.
The actress had this to say of her relationships: “There’s a poignancy to being with someone older. I think there’s a greater appreciation of time and what you have together and what’s important, and it can make the little things seem very small.”