The Worst AHS Season That Made Sarah Paulson Leave the Series
Why did Sarah Paulson leave American Horror Story? Read on and find out.
Sarah Paulson has been a mainstay of American Horror Story ( AHS). While she only had a small part in Murder House, her larger roles in subsequent seasons showcased her brilliant acting skills and hugely emotion-driven performances. Her characters were diverse and her ability to give them life and meaning was incredible.
Over the years, Paulson has given many interviews singing the praises of AHS. The brilliant writing, the terrifying stories, and her wonderful co-stars have all earned her kind words. Except for one season. Roanoke. So what was the problem with that season?
AHS fans have always been strongly divided over which seasons are their most and least favorite. Rotten Tomatoes has ranked all of the seasons so far (except for Delicate, which is still in progress). Roanoke came in at a respectable 7th place.
AHS Season Rankings – Rotten Tomatoes
11. Hotel – 64%
10. NYC – 71%
9. Murder House – 72%
8. Cult – 73%
7. Roanoke – 74%
6. Freak Show – 77%
5. Apocalypse – 79%
4. Double Feature – 80%
3. Asylum – 84%
2. Coven – 85%
1. 1984 – 88%
Despite the critical acclaim and many fans professing to love Roanoke, Paulson, who played three roles in the season, described her time on the show as making her feel trapped and wished she had asked AHS co-creator Ryan Murphy to allow her to opt out.
'I just don't care about this season at all, I know people will get mad at me for saying it… I was so underwhelmed by the whole experience… I felt really kind of trapped by my responsibility and my contractual obligation to do American Horror Story,' Paulson said about Roanoke. 'As much as [AHS is] my home and I've loved it always, it was the first time I felt I wish I could have gone to Ryan and said, please let me sit this one out.'
Despite her feelings about this particular season, she was eager to return for the next season, Cult.
'I wanted to be there because of what we all went through as a country. Enough time had gone by,' she said of Cult.
She would next appear in Apocalypse, playing two roles. The imposing Wilhelmina Venable and the fan-favorite head witch Cordelia Goode from Coven. But Paulson was noticeably absent from the next two seasons: 1984 and NYC. It is clear that her time in Roanoke had an effect on her, as she herself has stated.
'For me, [Roanoke] was post having played Marcia [Clark in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story] and it was what I went to do right after finishing Marcia…' Paulson explained. 'I felt like I 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.'
Her absence from the 1984 season was due to her decision to star in Mrs. America, another dramatic piece based on real events. Her wish to take some time away from acting was attributed to her not being in NYC.
It has also been confirmed that she will not be appearing in the latest season, Delicate, but no official reason has been given. However, AHS fans are still hoping that she will return for future seasons.