You Won't Believe What Sarah Paulson Went Through Filming The People v. O.J. Simpson and American Horror Story

Exclusive! Get a behind-the-scenes look at the intense work it took to become Hypodermic Sally and Marcia Clark at the same time

By Kristin Dos Santos, Billy Nilles Jan 20, 2016 1:00 PMTags
American Horror Story: Hotel, Sarah Paulson, People v. O.J. SimpsonFX

What do you get the actress who pulls double-duty filming mammoth lead roles in two Ryan Murphy productions at the exact same time?

Answer, in our opinion? An Emmy. Or two.

Prepare to be blown away as you watch this behind-the-scenes look at Sarah Paulson's routine as she filmed as Hypodermic Sally in American Horror Story: Hotel and Marcia Clark in the upcoming The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story at the same time—for five straight months. 

"This year, Ryan Murphy asked me to take on a daunting task," Paulson begins in the clip, exclusive to E! News. "For the past five months, I have been filming, simultaneously, two very different characters on two very different shows."

And oh, how daunting it was. The cameras follow Paulson on an average day during the process as she arrives on set for her 5:30 p.m. AHS call time and films all the way through to her 6:00 a.m. call time for The People v. O.J. Simpson. No, that's not a typo. "Every time I go into the trailer, we have to take Sally off. Take off my nail polish, we have to de-bruise me, take my hair and my track marks off. Part of leaving Sally and becoming Marcia," she says about her second trip to hair and make-up in 24 hours. "Marcia takes longer...We have to be a little more precise. She is a real person."

"It's a bit schizophrenic, though. I do forget what's on my head when I'm leaving here," she adds of the impressive process. "When I'm going back and forth, people always do a double take. I think that's a good sign. It means we must be doing something right."

If you were blown away by her work as Sally in AHS, trust us when we say you haven't seen anything yet. Her work as Marcia Clark in what we've seen of The People v. O.J. Simpson, which also stars Cuba Gooding Jr. as O.J., John Travolta as Robert Shapiro, and David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian, is, in a word, breathtaking—and Travolta agrees. "She is able to assume the being-ness of a character immediately," he says of his co-star, "which is what I love and admire the most."

The People v. O.J. Simpson premieres Tuesday, Feb. 2, at 10 p.m. on FX. When you can see why all this two-timing was worth it.