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Sarah Paulson Had One Request For AHS' Bette And Dot

Sarah Paulson has been a key cast member of Ryan Murphy's "American Horror Story" since the first season in 2011. Since season 1, she's been a main or reoccurring character in every season except for season 9 ("AHS 1984") and season 11 ("AHS NYC"). For over a decade, fans have loved the range that Paulson brings to her performances because she always delivers something different whenever she takes up a new character.

Paulson has given the series some of its most iconic characters, like Cordelia Goode from "Coven" and "Apocalypse," and Lana Winters from "Asylum," but one of her most recognizable characters is likely her season 4 role as Bette and Dot Tattler. "Freak Show" pushed many boundaries that hadn't been seen in the series before, and that included Sarah Paulson playing a pair of conjoined twins with polarizing personalities.

While Paulson was prepared to tackle the challenge, she did have one odd request for the twins. During an interview with ABC News, Sarah Paulson hyped up the "Freak Show" finale and the interviewer pointed out that Paulson requested for the twins to have a Southern accent.

"I did," Paulson confirmed. "I wanted something that I was gonna feel grounded by and tethered to something that I could recognize because all my family is from that part of the world."

Paulson requested Bette and Dot be Southern to help ground her

Sarah Paulson reconfirmed that she requested for Bette and Dot to be Southern in a 2014 interview with The Hollywood Reporter. She insisted that she doesn't often request changes to her character. Normally committed to carrying out the script's vision, she said (at the time) it was the only request she ever made.

Paulson elaborated on her idea when asked why this trait was such an important contingency. "I liked the idea of them living in a place that was quite rural and away from a bustling town or a place they could be hidden," she explained, which makes sense. Throughout "Freak Show," Bette and Dot are at odds with one another and the rest of the world, but they also believe in love and second chances. There's a sheltered mentality there that they wouldn't have gotten growing up in a more populated area. In a smaller town, they would have been safer.

"My grandmother's from Alabama, and my father's from the South, and I was born in Tampa," Paulson continued. "I felt [like] if I was going to play something so far from myself in terms of playing a person who had another head with two distinct personalities, I wanted something that was going to ground me and make me feel immediately connected to it, and I think the only thing I could come up with was a voice that I thought would be recognizable to me."