Sarah Paulson has us starstruck since the Emmy Awards. She won the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role as Marcia Clarke in The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story. The actress is also said to be leading in the race for the Golden Globe in the same category. While that role made her highly popular, she is long known in the television world as the actress to appear on every single season of American Horror Story. A limited series, Paulson has portrayed around eight characters over the course of six seasons of the show.
Billie Dean Howard
Paulson only appeared in three episodes of American Horror Story: Murder House. She was a medium, found by Constance (Jessica Lange), to convince her dead son Tate (Evan Peters) to move on to the afterlife. Like most of her characters on the show, Paulson portrayed Billy Dean Howard as a tough woman, often seen smoking, who survives the bloodbath that the show is known for. The character was seen again in an episode of season five, American Horror Story: Hotel.
One of her best roles till date, Paulson became the series regular in season two, American Horror Story: Asylum. She played an inquisitive journalist, trying to get a good story after famous serial killer, Bloody Face’s, confinement to an asylum. The tables are turned on her, when she herself gets trapped in the asylum, only to find out that Bloody Face is not who she thinks he is. The progression of this character from ambitious journalist to prisoner to (spoiler!) successful writer is worth a watch.
All hail the Supreme! One of her most fabulous AHS roles, Paulson played the Headmistress of Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies in American Horror Story: Coven. She later went on to become the reigning Supreme of the Coven. What made this role particularly amazing, was that Foxx had some kickass powers as the Supreme, such as telekinesis, teleportation, astral projection, mind control and seer, amongst others. That’s magic goals for all you aspiring witches!
Bette and Dot Tattler
As Bette and Dot, Paulson played not one, but two characters in American Horror Story: Freak Show. Conjoined twins, they share every part of their body, other than the head, giving them varied personalities. Bette is impulsive and full of hopes and dreams, while Dot is more guarded and stoic. You would think that a character, or characters like that would be difficult to pull off, but not for Paulson. Not her best roles, but she certainly performed them well and convincingly.
Paulson’s primary character on American Horror Story: Hotel was the junkie ghost, who sewed the guests of Hotel Cortez to their beds. This was probably the best character in the already star-studded cast (Lady Gaga was there), but was majorly overshadowed in the Awards season, due to Paulson’s other character in American Crime Story. Unlike the previous seasons, Paulson’s character was killed in this one, only to be reprised as the ghost. There’s no getting rid of her!
This character was originally played by Lily Rabe on American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare, and portrayed by Paulson in a documentary series within the show, titled ‘My Roanoke Nightmare’. Even though she was playing someone else, there’s no doubt that Paulson pulled off the character better than the character herself. As Shelby, Paulson was simple, sweet, and relaxed, very unlike the character, Audrey, which she actually played on the show.
Audrey was Paulson’s original character on American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare. She was an actress who played the role of Shelby Miller in a docu-series. As Audrey, Paulson played a British character, obsessed with her age and looks. This season also saw the pairing of Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters, the two actors seen on every season of American Horror Story. Peters played Audrey’s husband, Rory, a fellow actor in the docu-series ‘My Roanoke Nightmare’.