Sarah Paulson hopes audiences fall head over heels for Cupid.
Even if you can’t identify Sarah Paulson by name, you probably know her face. She’s “that girl” -- the one you see on-screen and can’t quite place. Then, you pull up her IMDb page and realize right away where you know her from.
Believe it or not, Paulson’s under-the-radar career has spanned nearly two decades. So where might you have seen her? Do beloved but short-lived series like Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Jack & Jill ring a bell? How about Frank Miller’s graphic-novel film adaptation The Spirit? Or perhaps you’ve seen her on Broadway, starring in The Glass Menagerie opposite her idol, Jessica Lange. Yes, she’s that girl.
Paulson’s new show, Cupid, is actually a remake of a 1998 series of the same name that starred Paula Marshall and then-little-known actor Jeremy Piven, who has, of course, gone on to find fame on Entourage. Expect the revamped show to catapult Paulson from “that girl” status to “it girl” status.
Rob Thomas of Veronica Mars fame created both versions of the show. Will fans see any differences between the two? If you watched the first incarnation, the very first episode will be almost identical -- just all the actors are different. But with the exception, I think, of two episodes, the rest are original.
You’re playing a psychiatrist who treats a man who believes he is Cupid. Is your character a cynic or a secret believer in true love? She’s a cynic, by the simplest definition, but I think any real cynic is actually a deep believer. She is forcing herself to have a more practical way of looking at love instead of a romantic way of looking at love. It has helped her feel in control.
And you? Are you a romantic or a cynic? I am a romantic, but I am also a realist. But I am sure I have a little more Cupid in me than I would like to admit.
Speaking of love, you have a real affinity for the theater, don’t you? I prefer all genres that are willing to employ me. [Laughs] I am an actress who just likes to work, but I feel most connected to the work when I am doing a play. There is something about the amount of work that goes into the preparation, meaning when you work on the same thing and themes and piece for five weeks, and do it every night with the same actors, you have an opportunity to go deeper into it.
You have the remarkable ability to blend into all of your roles so well. What are you most often recognized for? I get recognized a lot for Studio 60, a lot more in New York, actually, than in Los Angeles. And the show was a very big hit in London, so I get a lot of attention from the Brits.
Would you say it’s your favorite role you’ve had so far? Actually, my favorite was in The Glass Menagerie on Broadway with Jessica Lange. She’s sort of my acting hero. I still have the letter sent to me saying, “Your final audition for Glass Menagerie: reading with Jessica Lange at 4:00.” I kept it. I couldn’t throw it out, because if I hadn’t gotten the job, I wanted to save it anyway. But now, I’ve got programs. I’ve got her phone number. I can talk to her whenever I want.