Thursday, May 19, 2016

Quote of the Day (Sarah Paulson, on Loyalty to a Character)

“As an actor, loyalty to your character and her story is of paramount importance. I will never stand in judgment of any character I play. You can’t abandon them, no matter what they do, think or feel. It serves me not one bit, and it doesn’t serve the story. Mistress Epps [from 12 Years a Slave] was a diabolical character—her behavior was reprehensible. But I remember [director] Steve McQueen telling me, ‘You must not judge her.’ So I didn’t look for ways to excuse her behavior. Instead, I tried to understand her actions within the context of her time. She wasn’t smart enough to question what she’d been told; she wasn’t an independent person of mind or heart. But the story wouldn’t be told in the same way if I’d tried to make her more palatable. My job is to serve the story, and if you have no loyalty to your character, you might as well not bother.” —Actress Sarah Paulson (American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson), quoted in “Soapbox: The Columnists—WSJ Asks Six Luminaries to Weigh in on a Single Topic; This Month: Loyalty,”, March 2016

(The image accompanying this post shows Sarah Paulson in character as Marcia Clark in American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson.)

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