Sarah Paulson has been pulling double duty in American Horror Story: Freak Show (Wednesdays on FX) playing conjoined twins Bette and Dot — two characters, Paulson tells us, that have proved to be her most challenging role to date.
“What I’ve already got to do in the first three episodes, there’s just nowhere else I would have done any of it — any of it — ever!” Paulson tells us, early into shooting. “There are up to 22 people working on every single shot that I am in. It’s very, very labor intensive, both for me physically and for the people working on it, and one that I don’t think has ever been done before in this way.”
On a break from filming earlier this season, we talked AHS and the fabulous cast, her obsession with Postcards From the Edge and Fika bars, which I now blame Sarah for my new addiction (thank you very much, Ms. Sarah Paulson, as those things aren’t cheap!)
1. You’re at a magazine rack and can only pick three titles. Which ones do you choose?
Elle, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker.
2. If your TV carried just three shows or networks, what would they be?
FX, because I have to watch myself because I’m a narcissist. Bravo and HBO.
3. What are three things you have to have in your fridge or pantry?
Fika bars, which is a chocolate bar from Sweden that I get in New York. It’s a protein bar and it’s the most delicious thing ever. It’s like puffed quinoa coated in chocolate mixed with peanut butter and almond butter, and it’s all natural and it’s got so much protein in it. It’s the most addictive. I’ve gotten like 15 for my friends; they’re like, “How many Fikas do you have left? Could you spare a Fika?” I like to keep those in my fridge because they’re really good when they are cold and I’m absolutely obsessed with them. Some kind of jalapeño jack kettle chip — sometimes I just get a craving and I just crave it. And half and half for my tea. [On a side note, I had never heard of these things, so I had to try them. But Sarah’s right, these things are dee-lish!! Although quite pricey if you have them shipped.]
4. What’s a movie you can watch over and over again?
It’s Postcards From the Edge. Every time it comes on, I will sit down and I have to watch the whole thing. And I can quote the whole thing and play all the parts; it’s really irritating to watch it with me because people are like, “I can’t hear the movie, shut up.”
5. You and Jessica Lange continue to return to AHS season after season in lead roles. When does Ryan Murphy usually let you know if you are coming back for another season?
I think Ryan is so brilliant; it’s all about story to him. If he’s got a part for you in a particular story, you’re going to be back, and if he doesn’t, he’ll get you next time. That’s just sort of how it goes. … If I could be on this show until I’m 705 I would do it. Because I’m not stupid — I know how special this is and how rare it is.
6. What’s it been like actually working with the world’s smallest woman Jyoti Amge?
It was one of the more extraordinary things, ever, because she is such a unique woman, and she is a woman, she’s just so small that you can’t help but feel like she’s a child. But she really, really isn’t. She’s got an incredibly playful, playful, way about her and a great sense of humor and is just an absolute delight to be around. Every time she’s on set you can always figure out where Jyoti is because she’s where ever the crowd is, wherever the people have gathered, is where she is. She’s incredibly warmhearted and openhearted and everybody just wants to be around her. She’s got the most incredibly laugh, and everything makes her laugh. She’s giggling nonstop. We’ve had to stop takes sometimes because she can’t stop giggling, and of course it just makes everyone else giggle and that’s been really great fun. She’s an incredible light to have around.
7. So who is your favorite twin to play— Bette or Dot?
So far Bette is my favorite to play, so far, but I love playing them both. She’s the one I feel closest to, but again we’re very early on, we’re only filming the third episode — there’s a long way to go. By the time we get to the end it may be Dot. That’s my favorite and that’s the incredible thing about the show, in the beginning we really don’t know where we are going and how we’re going to get there and this go around I’m playing two people so I really don’t know which way it’s going to go. Whichever way it goes for one the other one is going to come along for the ride.
>American Horror Story: Freak Show airs on FX Wednesdays at 10pmET.