An Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominated actress, Sarah Paulson has built an impressive list of credits in film, television and on stage—challenging herself with roles that showcase her range and versatility.
Paulson most recently starred as Lana Winters in American Horror Story: Asylum where she received a Critics Choice Television Award for "Best Actress in a Movie or Mini-Series" and an Emmy® nomination for her work. Paulson previously appeared in a multi-episode arc on the Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominated drama’s premiere season.
In film, Paulson can be seen in director Steve McQueen's highly anticipated 12 Years a Slave, opposite Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender and Paul Giamatti. Adapted from Solomon Northrup's book and based on his own life story, the film follows a man who is born free but later kidnapped and sold into slavery, as well as his eventual journey in regaining his freedom. Paulson plays Fassbender's jealous wife in the dramatic film Fox Searchlight released on October 18, 2013.
Last spring, Paulson made her return to the stage in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s new production of Lanford Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winning play Talley’s Folly, directed by Michael Wilson. Performances began on February 8, 2013 with an opening on March 5, 2013. The limited engagement production ended its extended Off-Broadway run on May 12, 2013.
Paulson was also recently seen in Jeff Nichols' film Mud, a drama about two boys who make a pact to help a fugitive escape from a Mississippi island. Paulson stars alongside Reese Witherspoon and Matthew McConaughey in the role of Mary Lee, a woman trying to escape her troubled marriage while balancing being a good mother and doing what is best for her. The film premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, and screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
In 2012, Paulson was seen in HBO's critically acclaimed telefilm, Game Change. Directed by Jay Roach, the film follows John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, from his selection of Palin as his running mate, to their ultimate defeat in the general election. Paulson co-stars with Ed Harris, Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson, playing McCain's (Harris) senior campaign advisor Nicolle Wallace. For her performance, Paulson received her first Emmy® nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie, as well as a Golden Globe® nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or TV Movie.
Paulson starred in Fox Searchlight's critically acclaimed film Martha Marcy May Marlene, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The film, nominated for a Gotham Award™ for Best Ensemble Cast, was written and directed by Sean Durkin and also stars Elizabeth Olsen, John Hawkes and Hugh Dancy. Paulson's other film work includes Lionsgate's Christmas Day 2008 release, The Spirit, opposite Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes, and Scarlett Johansson. Adapted from the legendary comic strip, The Spirit is a classic action-adventure-romance, told by genre-twister Frank Miller (creator of Sin City).
Paulson's additional film credits include Marry Harron's The Notorious Bettie Page; Down with Love with Renee Zellweger, Ewan McGregor and David Hyde Pierce; What Women Want opposite Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt; The Other Sister directed by Gary Marshall and starring Diane Keaton and Juliette Lewis; and Diggers alongside Paul Rudd and Ken Marino.
Paulson received her first Golden Globe® nomination for her performance in Aaron Sorkin's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, in which she starred opposite Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, Bradley Whitford, and Steven Weber. Paulson portrayed Harriet Hayes, a cast member of a late-night sketch comedy series who is also in a complicated relationship with the show's executive producer, played by Perry.
Her major television credits also include the lead role on the drama Leap of Faith; Deadwood; Path to War opposite Alec Baldwin and Donald Sutherland; Jack and Jill; Cupid opposite Bobby Cannavale; and the series American Gothic with Gary Cole.
On stage, Paulson starred on Broadway in the two-hander Collected Stories opposite Linda Lavin. Previously she appeared on Broadway as Laura Wingfield in the revival of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie, alongside Jessica Lange. She also starred opposite Alfred Molina and Annette Bening in the critically acclaimed Cherry Orchard for the Mark Taper Forum playing Varya. Her other stage credits include Tracy Lett's off-Broadway production of Killer Joe (opposite Scott Glenn and Amanda Plummer), Horton Foote's Talking Pictures at the Signature Theatre, and the off-Broadway production The Gingerbread House opposite Bobby Cannavale.