As 'AHS' Debuts this Fall, Sarah Paulson Says She's Not Sure About Future in the Ryan Murphy Universe

Friday August 5, 2022
Originally published on August 3, 2022

Sarah Paulson in "American Horror Story"
Sarah Paulson in "American Horror Story"  (Source:Frank Ockenfels/FX)

The new season of "American Horror Story'' will debut this fall on FX, the network chairman John Landgraf said at the Television Critics Association on Tuesday, according to Variety. But one of the long-running show's mainstays might not be returning.

In a separate Variety post, the outlet revealed that Sarah Paulson, who has appeared in almost every season of "AHS," expressed she's not sure if she'll return to the Ryan Murphy franchise or his other critically acclaimed FX series "American Crime Story," where she appeared in two of its three seasons.

"I'm sort of in this very interesting place where I've taken the last year off, which has been wild. Believe me, don't think I don't know what a privileged place it is to sit in and know that I can take a year off and still be able to live my life and not in a fearful way and that is a real really lucky thing," Paulson said. "I've said no to some things, which is a wildly new thing. I think the shows are always extraordinarily well-crafted and things I've always been so proud to be part of. So, never say never, but I'm sort of in this new space of seeing what comes and not pre-planning, which is very unlike me! I'm not saying I'm comfortable there yet, but I'm experimenting."

When directly asked about "AHS," Paulson said she's "always open" to returning.

"...but I feel like I've been doing it for a long time, and people might start getting sick of me in that world," she added. "Let someone else scream and run and cry for a second. Other people can do that too! Also, my nervous system. There was a time when I was younger when I was like, 'I can do this all night. I love it!' Now I'm like, 'Momma's tired!'"

Paulson, who has earned five Emmy nods over the years for her various roles in "AHS," first appeared on "American Horror Story: Murder House" in 2011 in a guest role. She only missed out on one season — "American Horror Story: 1984" in 2019 — and played Marcia Clark in "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story," which earned her an Emmy win. She's currently nominated for an Emmy for her role as Linda Tripp in "Impeachment: American Crime Story."

Paulson has also appeared in other Murphy projects, including "Feud: Bette and Joan" as well as Netflix's "Ratched."

She also stressed that she wants "new experiences" when it comes to her acting.

"What I'm looking for is new. I'm looking for new experiences and looking to collaborate in new ways with young filmmakers. I'm interested in this idea of being the old lady on the set," she told Variety.

This isn't the first time Paulson suggested she won't be returning to "AHS." Last year, the actor said on Andy Cohen's "Watch What Happens Live!" that she believes "AHS: Double Feature," which aired last year, will be her last time on the show.

"I think this is my last season of 'Horror Story,' probably. I mean, I don't know. Every time [Murphy] comes to me with some whack-a-doodle character, I tend to be like, 'Yes, let's do it!' I don't know, this is the first time. So we'll see," Paulson said at the time.