Sarah Paulson may be an American Horror Story staple, but there was one season of the fan-favorite FX horror anthology series that had her feeling "trapped." After starring as medium Billie Dean Howard in Season 1's Murder House and pulling double duty in Season 4's Freak Show as Bette and Dot Tattler, among several other roles, it was the show's sixth season, Roanoke, that had Paulson wanting to sit out the chapter.
In an interview for The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast on Monday, the actress revealed that she just doesn't "care about this season [Season 6] at all." Airing in 2016, with Paulson reprising her Season 2 Asylum character journalist Lana Winters as well as actress Audrey Tindall, Roanoke came on the heels of Paulson's role of Marcia Clark in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Paulson said she was "so underwhelmed by the whole experience" because she felt as though she "had entered into a new place inside of myself in terms of what I thought possible, in terms of what I might be willing to see if I can do" when she portrayed Marcia Clark.
"I felt really kind of trapped by my responsibility and my contractual obligation to do American Horror Story," she admitted. "As much as it's my home and I've loved it always, it was the first time I felt like I wish I could have gone to Ryan [Murphy] and said, 'Please let me sit this one out, let me out.'"
The sixth season of the anthology series was set on Roanoke Island, North Carolina and centered on the cast for the documentary My Roanoke Nightmare, a dramatization of the paranormal experience the Miller family had. It received some of the show's worst reviews and currently only has a 74% Tomatometer rating from critics, and a 57% audience score, on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite her feelings about her role in the Season, Paulson told THR that she returned for Season 7's Cult, set in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, because she "wanted to be there because of what we all went through as a country." Paulson said she "liked the idea that it was mirroring what we were experiencing. Enough time had gone by."
While Paulson also returned for Season 8's Apocalypse, she notably sat out Season 9's 1984, marking the first time the actress hadn't appeared in a season of AHS. She is slated to return in the upcoming 10th season, titled Double Feature. AHS Season 10 premieres Wednesday, Aug. 25 at 10 p.m. ET on FX. Paulson's character has not been revealed. All seasons of American Horror Story are available for streaming with a Hulu subscription.