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  • seven women recruited by Debbie Ocean (Bullock), to carry out a heist at the Met Gala. It’s an infinitely more mainstream blockbuster than most of 42-year-old Paulson’s previous work.

    “I’ve always fancied myself a journeyman actress; a working character actress,” she muses. “Early on in my career, people couldn’t place me. I had long blond hair like every girl in Hollywood. I looked like four different actresses all rolled into one. I wasn’t standing out in any way.”

    That is impossible to fathom now. Paulson made her name playing serious, competent women in cerebral dramas – the political journalist Nicolle Wallace in Game Change; Cate Blanchett’s former lover in Carol – alongside a parade of dark, weird characters, including a heroin-addicted ghost, a psychic, and a pair of conjoined twins in the cult anthology series American Horror Story. Then, last year, her star was given a meteoric boost via her role as prosecutor Marcia Clark in smash-hit miniseries The People v. O.J. Simpson, for which she won an Emmy Award.

    “Early on in my career, people couldn’t Place me. I looked like four Actresses in one.
    I didn’t stand Out

    WhatsApp groups don’t come much more envy-inducing than one particular thread on Sarah Paulson’s phone. Titled ‘O8’ – as in Ocean’s Eight, the film due out next summer – it is a solidly A-list chat between Paulson and her co-stars: Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter, rising star Awkwafina, and Rihanna.

    “I’m not going to lie, it is a very cool chain to be part of,” Paulson nods, looking a little sheepish, as if barely able to believe her membership. “We can go weeks without a chirp, then someone sends one message, and it’s like – ‘brp, brp, brp’ – your phone just blows up for hours.

    Paulson plays Tammy, one of the

    Dress by Ashish; earrings by Leigh Miller

            
    Credits

    Words: Emma Sells. Fashion: Jessica Steuart. Photograph: Bruce Anderson

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