Paulson brings her own tea bags and casually slices a chunk of Beauty Butter, a collagen booster, into her cup.
(“It’s amazing stuff,” she swears, adding that the butter, not a needle, is her anti-aging weapon; a character actress, mind you, must move her face.) “But part of me is scared. Right now it’s cracked this big”—she holds her hands inches apart—“and I’m trying to keep it open with both hands, as wide as possible, for as long as possible.”No one else seems to be worried that Paulson’s window will close anytime soon.
“All it means is that I have to keep working the way I always have, leaving my ego at home and trying to just think about what is true. She couldn’t care less if her characters are likable. I’m interested in what makes them human.” To portray these personalities, she says that she must putaside her own disdain for them and play the characters unapologetically.
The roles she takes may be wildly diverse, but she brings to each a trademark intensity.“She is ferocious and versatile and deeply real,” says actress Amanda Peet, Paulson’s best friend of 20 years. Within seconds of meeting her, I was laughing so hard—the kind of laughing where you’re like, ‘Someone should call an ambulance.’ ” Paulson’s colleagues agree that she can bring humor even to the darkest parts and moments.
Indeed, it’s also the first time Spielberg, Hanks, and Streep have collaborated on a project, making it a film landmark as well.
“These are arguably the most respected filmmakers and actors of their generation,” Paulson says. It was a pinch-me moment.” “It’s head-spinning,” she says over tea in West Hollywood.
“The people in our office are often talking about special things that are rising in the zeitgeist, and Sarah’s name kept coming up,” he says.
(Details about the actress’s part in his next film are under wraps.) “So I started watching her more.
“Going to the next level means that you’re at the bottom of the next rung,” she says.
She points out that she’s now vying for roles with many top-tier actresses. I don’t expect to get offered the roles before them, but I still want them.” She smiles.