American Horror Story: Sarah Paulson on "Brilliant" S10 Casting Move

As series star/executive producer Sarah Paulson and executive producer Ryan Murphy's Ratched continues scoring eyeballs over the weekend, it's only natural that Paulson would get some questions about FX's long-running horror anthology American Horror Story while promoting Netflix's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest prequel series. Speaking with Collider, Paulson discussed how she felt welcoming new cast member Macaulay Culkin (Home Alone) into the "AHS-verse" for the tenth season and explained why she's excited to get back in the director's chair.

American Horror Story
A look at Sarah Paulson in American Horror Story (Image: FX Networks)

When it comes to the casting of Culkin, Paulson loves the move- seeing it as an example of Murphy liking to take actors and offer them challenges that will allow them to present themselves in a different light than how people are used to seeing them. Considering Paulson's read the first two episodes and confirmed that she will have scenes with him, she would know. "Oh, I think it's so brilliant of Ryan to do something like that. It's that thing where he basically says, 'Oh, you think you know this actor and you know what they're capable of? I'm gonna show you something else.' A great big swath of the people that love Macaulay Culkin love him from a particular era when he was a child," Paulson explained. "To watch him do some of the very grown-up things he's gonna be doing – because I've read the first two episodes – and turning all of your expectations on its head will be thrilling for the audience and good fun. I do get to work with him, so I feel really excited about that. I can tell you that. No one knows that. You know that now."

Having gone on record saying that she plans to direct an episode of the spinoff series American Horror Stories, Paulson says she's excited for the opportunity to back in the director's chair now because it comes with personal directing experience that she can pull from. "I'm very much looking forward to doing it again, with some prep and with the confidence that it's something I can actually do because I did do it and I did it under nutty circumstances, in terms of having no time. It ["Return to Murder House"] was incredibly exhausting and I was nervous the entire time but also charged and thrilled and in love with it. I thought, 'I've gotta have an opportunity to do this again, where I'm not weeping.' It will be a good opportunity. I wanna still do it in an environment where I feel safe, where the crew are all people that I know, and where I've got Ryan," Paulson explained. "Ryan let that episode be 79 minutes. He was just so kind to me. He didn't cut any of my stuff and I was just so grateful. I kept making the case, "The fans would want the 'Return to Murder House' episode to be as long as it needs to be. They wanna see these people again." And he was like, "All right, fine." He was so generous with me. So, what I loved about it was that it was confronting, and what I hated about it was that it was confronting, and I'm looking forward to doing it again, so it can be just a tiny bit less confronting."

Make sure to check out the entire interview here.

Since we're already here discussing the American Horror Story universe anyway, let's look back at what we know so far- starting with Murphy posting an image of sand dunes on a beach with the caption, "American Horror Story. Clue." Considering the imagery and the location of Provincetown, Massachusetts, being utilized for filming on the upcoming season, we're going with the story being based around (or including) the "Lady in the Dunes": the name was given to the body of an unidentified woman discovered in July 1974. Though efforts were made in 1980, 2000, and 2013, to learn the victim's true identity (as well as the identity of her killer) remains unknown. Then in late August, Murphy posted an image of a set of sharpened teeth with the news that production on the tenth season would begin in October. Could the set of sharpened jaws be teasing a water-based menace? Possibly killer mermaids?

Set to the tune of Orville Peck's Dead of Night, the cast reveal video above confirmed that AHS alums Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Kathy Bates, Leslie Grossman, Billie Lourd, Adina Porter, Lily Rabe, Angelica Ross, and Finn Wittrock will return. In addition, Home Alone alum Macaulay Culkin is set to join the franchise's universe for the first time. Over the weekend, FX Networks released a new teaser for their upcoming programming titled "The Ride" (below) that offered AHS fans their first teaser for American Horror Stories- with the ominous line: "Times may have changed, but the nature of evil has not."

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.