Sarah Paulson is not only playing three different characters this season on American Horror Story: Apocalypse, but she also made her directorial debut with this week’s pivotal episode, “Return to Murder House”.
“I’m a gal who likes to be prepared, so I wanted it to be in a world that I felt I knew very well…I’ve been on the show for so long, I do understand both the visual style and the emotional stakes of what goes on in the scenes,” said Paulson.
But before she was handed the keys to the Murder House episode, she said that Murphy first asked her to direct the eighth episode. It wasn’t until about a week before “Return to Murder House” was supposed to start filming that he told her he changed his mind.
She shared with Entertainment Weekly how it all came about:
“So basically, what happened is I was always supposed to direct this year. I have been telling Ryan Murphy for many years things that I wanted to. And then he finally called my bluff and said, ‘Okay, you’re doing it this year. You’re going to direct episode eight.’ I got a note from my agent telling me what my dates were, signing a contract. There was no way to get out of it.
And then I get a phone call and Ryan said to me, ‘I’m going to have you direct episode six. It’ s going to be great, it’s an hour and a half episode and it’s going to be great. It’s going to be a great crossover episode. Jessica will be back and it’s just going to be a bunch of people sitting in a room talking,’ and I was like, ‘Okay.’ By the way, Cordelia was super heavy in episode five so I was working a lot as an actress. Then I got this script and there are 72 scenes in it. Whereas most of our episodes go between 28 and maybe 40-something tops, maybe 50 as a max. This is 22 more scripts on a schedule that had to be taught and so, you know, for someone never having done this before it couldn’t have been more overwhelming. At the same time, as you and I’ve talked about before, I like a challenge and I like to sorta throw myself into something and there was no way to do anything other than to just dive in. If I paused for a moment and figured out how I was going to survive it, I probably wouldn’t have left my house in the morning.”
Jessica Lange, who has been missing from American Horror Story since season 4, *spoiler alert* has reprised her Murder House role as Constance Langdon. Along with Paulson’s directorial debut, many season one actors, such as Connie Britton and Dylan McDermott will also reprise their roles. Along with Emma Roberts, Evan Peters, and Taissa Farmiga- who have returned playing their original characters as well.
Paulson had also shared some of her thoughts of directing the famed Jessica Lange. “I was intimidated. She’s the person I’ve acted with the most in my professional life and it’s not lost on me how impressive that is even to my ear to say that the acting partner I have had the most has been Jessica Lange. In fact, I’m jealous of myself when I say that out loud.”
— American Horror Stories (@AHS8Apocalypse) October 16, 2018
Sarah Paulson is the supreme. And she’s owning it.
“I love nothing more than shouting, ‘Because I’m the fucking Supreme,’ as the answer to the question,” Paulson told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of her directorial debut. “That is one of my favorite lines I have ever been able to say. I thought it was so great. Just as many men have said, ‘Because I said so.’ That is the answer: ‘Because Cordelia said so. Because I’m the fucking Supreme.'”
Make sure to tune in to American Horror Story: Apocalypse on Wednesday’s at 10 PM ET/PT.