Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Real Reason Sarah Paulson Was Cast In AHS May Surprise You

Sarah Paulson is perhaps best known for her various roles in "American Horror Story." The show, co-created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, aims to tell a different, and arguably more twisted story each season. Paulson had a small role in the show's first season, titled "Murder House," as a fame-hungry medium, but went on to star as protagonist Lana Winters in "American Horror Story: Asylum."

Since then, Paulson has played a major role in seven out of the eight subsequent "American Horror Story" seasons (via IMDb), including her turn as conjoined twins Bette and Dot Tattler in "Freak Show." The actress has been nominated for five Primetime Emmy Awards and won two Critics' Choice Television Awards for her work on "AHS" (via IMDb).

Although Paulson has become a main staple of the FX horror anthology series, she was not originally set to star in the show. However, during the show's inception, one "Murder House" star specifically asked creator Ryan Murphy to add Paulson to its cast list.

Jessica Lange requested a role for Sarah Paulson in American Horror Story

Jessica Lange, who played Constance Langdon in "American Horror Story: Murder House," recommended Sarah Paulson to Ryan Murphy. According to Murphy, who confirmed the rumor in an Elle Magazine profile about his and Paulson's friendship, it was Lange who looked at him while they were making "Murder House" and asked, "Can't you find something for Paulson?"

Murphy then created the role of Billie Dean Howard, a glamorous, long-nailed medium that Lange's Constance finds on Craigslist. "All I had to say was, 'Sarah, the entire performance is based on your manicure,'" Murphy recalled. "She knew instantly what I was talking about, and we were off to the races."

Notably, Paulson's "Murder House" character returns in "American Horror Story: Hotel" to film her Lifetime TV series about being a psychic for the stars, and later appears again in "Apocalypse," where she uses her powers to warn the season's characters about a potentially dangerous situation.

All of which is to say that Lange's advocacy for Paulson has led to the actress becoming a bit of a household name among television viewers.