Over the course of her career, our October 2020 cover star, Sarah Paulson, has perfected the steely glare, the tight smile, and the precisely arched eyebrow. She’s also been involved in some of the most talked-about projects, prompting fans to go wild with conspiracy theories and speculation on sites including Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube.
In this episode of For The Record, a new Harper’s BAZAAR video series, Paulson responds to some of the Internet’s biggest fan theories, from American Horror Story to Bird Box to her new Netflix series, Ratched. Here, she sets the record straight.
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Introducing our October cover star, #SarahPaulson, who currently stars in @RatchedNetflix. The actress opens up to @roxanegay74 about overcoming anxiety, finding the space to be fearless, and the singular way she has navigated an industry that likes to put women in neat little boxes. “There was a wish fulfillment, magical thinking, ‘If I could be X, I could have Y,’ ” Paulson says. “The idea that the world worked in this very cut-and-dried way seemed like a way for me to manage my fear. Perfectionism is often a real consequence of being terrified.” See the full story at the link in our bio. Photographer: @samtaylorjohnson Fashion Editor: @paulcavaco Hair: @hairbyadir Makeup: @adambreuchaud Manicure: @nailsbyemikudo Sarah wears @maisonvalentino
Fan prediction: Ratched will end with the introduction of Randle Patrick “R.P.” McMurphy, the character originally played by Jack Nicholson in the 1975 film One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Paulson’s answer? A resounding no.
“That is not what happens. That is not what happens on this program,” she says. “If we make it all the way to Season 4, provided you guys give a shit about it, we will ultimately end up in the era of Cuckoo’s Nest, but perhaps not in the hospital. That’s all you’re getting from me on that.”
Fan prediction: By the end of the show, the audience will sympathize with Paulson’s terror-inducing character.
“Maybe she’s not so much the monster in Cuckoo’s Nest after all,” the rest of the fan theory reads.
At this, Paulson gives a knowing glance to the camera. “You might be onto something,” she whispers in an affirmative tone.
Watch the full episode above to see which theories Paulson debunks—and which ones she just winks at.
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