From Madonna to Kristen Bell and Anna Kendrick, Game of Thrones has amassed fans from all across Hollywood, so it’s no surprise that Sarah Paulson is another name in a long line of stars to admit their love of the HBO fantasy drama.
Warning, there will be spoilers.
Speaking to The Independent, Paulson said that she is an “enormous” fan of the series. She has even uploaded a video of herself singing along to Ramin Djawadi’s haunting theme tune and jokingly said that she did interpretative dances to it.
Paulson is friends with actress Amanda Peet, whose husband David Benioff is one of the co-creators on Game of Thrones.
Yet, like any fan, she tries to avoid spoilers as much as possible. “I’m sure I could go over to Amanda and David’s and ask them to show me episodes before they come on but I would never do that because I want to watch it as it’s happening. I don’t want to know.”
But the Game of Thrones connections don’t end there. Paulson is good friends with Pedro Pascal, who plays the Prince of Dorne, Oberyn Martell in season four of the show. The pair have known each other since they were 19 and often share silly photos together on Instagram and Twitter.
“I knew he [Pascal] was auditioning and I had to see his audition tape and I was like ‘you s**t! Now I know something’s going to happen!’” she says with a laugh.
“Any time they’re discussing a plot point or Pedro’s having a conversation about something, I put my fingers in my ears and say ‘blah, blah, blah’ because I just don’t want to know.”
Paulson enthuses about Game of Thrones, and she has some strong feelings (and colourful language) about the Purple Wedding, which saw the death of the most reviled character on the show.
“Boy, do I love the actor who plays Joffrey but boy am I glad that motherf**ker’s dead. He was such an evil little s**t and he was a terrifying, terrifying creature. So I was very, very pleased to see that snot and blood running out of his nose.
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“It seemed perfect that he would be poisoned when he was such a poisonous creature,” she adds.
The actress is best known for her roles in American Horror Story and more recently the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave, in which she played Mistress Epps, the wife of Michael Fassbender’s brutal slave owner Master Epps.
12 Years a Slave is based on the book of the same name by Solomon Northup, who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in America’s deep south in the Nineteenth Century.
In preparation for the part Paulson read the book and researched how women of Mistress Epps’ class behaved. The character is as vindictive as her husband but in her own way. Was it a challenging experience?
"Well, it was challenging, in the sense that you always want to do a good job, and you always want to tell the story to the best of your ability within the capacity that your character allows for in the story."
"It’s difficult because it’s not an easy place to sit, in the dark, angry, jealous, covetous place that I think Mistress Epps lives in," Paulson adds.
The film was a harrowing experience for a viewer that never shies away from the horrors of slavery, but what was it like working on it day-in day-out?
“I took all of my cues from Steve [McQueen]. There wasn’t really a time and a place to sit back and go ‘this is hard’ and ‘I don’t know how to do this’ and ‘how do we shake this?’” Paulson says.
“It was very important for me that I stood on my haunches – I didn’t want to be a person who was fearful of playing a woman who was so dark and I didn’t want to judge her.”
Following on from the success of 12 Years a Slave, Paulson has just completed work on Carol, starring alongside Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. She is also working on the fourth season of the anthology series American Horror Story.
The show has been created by Glee and Nip/Tuck writer, Ryan Murphy and each season tells a new story set in a different location but features the same ensemble cast of actors who play different roles every time.
Does Paulson have any titbits she can share? “Are you nuts? Do you want me to get killed in a dark alley somewhere? I can’t tell you anything. The only person who can tell anybody anything is Ryan Murphy and until he gives me the go ahead.
“I know what I’m playing. I’m very excited about what I’m playing. It’s going to be one of the more challenging things I’ve ever done and I can say that much but that’s about it,” she cryptically adds.
Season four entitled American Horror Story: Freak Show will be set in the 1950s and focus on the carnival scene but little else has been divulged about the forthcoming instalment.
‘12 Years A Slave’ is released on Blu-ray and DVD on 12 May
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