On her own personal ranking of American Horror Story seasons, Sarah Paulson would probably place Roanoke at the bottom.
The actress, who’s now returning to the Ryan Murphy anthology series for season 10’s Double Feature theme, opened up a bit about her experience coming off of playing Marcia Clark on The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and heading into Roanoke.
“I just don’t care about this season at all,” she admitted during a conversation on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast with host Scott Feinberg. “I know people will get mad at me for saying it, but for me, this was post having played Marcia and it was what I went to do right after finishing Marcia.
“I was so underwhelmed by the whole experience,” she continued, “because 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. I felt really kind of trapped by my responsibility and my contractual obligation to do American Horror Story. 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 and said, ‘Please let me sit this one out.'”
Show representatives didn’t immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.
Roanoke, the sixth season of American Horror Story, was set on Roanoke Island, N.C. Paulson notably played Audrey Tindall, an actress in the cast for the documentary My Roanoke Nightmare that dramatized paranormal experiences had by the Miller family. Paulson also reprised her role of Lana Winters from the Asylum season that year.
The Murphy muse ended up returning for the seventh season, Cult, because she “wanted to be there because of what we all went through as a country,” she said on the podcast. “I liked the idea that it was mirroring what we were experiencing. Enough time had gone by.” Paulson also came back for season 8’s Apocalypse theme for the Coven crossover event, but she did sit out season 9’s 1984.
American Horror Story: Double Feature, set to premiere on FX Aug. 25, will now be split into two separate stories, “one by the sea, one by the sand,” per a teaser video. The only tidbits Paulson gave to EW about who she’s playing are, one, the character “has some issues” and, two, she has “a hair color” Paulson’s “never had in life nor in the show.”