‘Coastal Elites’ – How Sarah Paulson liked filming in isolation


Sarah Paulson goes it alone for ‘Coastal Elites’

Sarah Paulson of ‘Coastal Elites’ Saturday on HBO

Q: Many actors who have filmed content during isolation talked of how it’s been a mind-expanding experience. Has it been that for you?

A: Yeah, it was more than that for me. It was the acting by oneself. You know, this piece was originally conceived as a theater piece, which even when you’re talking alone on stage you are still speaking to an audience of people. And so you are having the other character in the room as the audience themselves. And when you take that element away and yet you’re still doing a sort of direct address speaking to an audience out there in the ether, it’s a sort of isolating experience where you’re acting alone, which I have had some experience with.

When I played the conjoined twins on “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” I was acting opposite myself and so I was alone with myself a lot. So it was sort of a lucky break that I’ve had that experience because otherwise it would have been (laughs) almost unbearable to have been by myself the way I was. … It was just totally, totally otherworldly almost, it really was.

Q: So doing this alone with no feedback tasks your imagination even more, correct?

A: Yeah, of course. I mean, I think your imagination is always front and center when you’re endeavoring to do anything creative. But this sort of pushed it to a new limit. The eyes I was looking into was a camera lens and … there’s nobody looking back at you. Almost you can see a little bit of a reflection of yourself in the lens and that’s horrifying in a lot of ways (laughs). It was a really unique experience. It really, really was.

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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