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Sarah Paulson: The spirit of The Spirit

The Spirit star Sarah Paulson has had a Hollywood moment. When first witnessing The Spirit poster with her face on it, she was taken aback. “I’m on that bus,” Paulson says with shock.

The Spirit, Frank Miller's vision comes to live December 25

The Spirit suspense

The Spirit is one of the most anticipated film of the Christmas season and star Sarah Paulson tells us she leapt at the opportunity to be part of the creative genius that is 300 and Sin City mastermind Frank Miller. As soon as the movie art appeared eight months prior to The Spirit’s release, a fervor to know more about Miller’s latest vision engulfed pop culture.

As the film that also stars Eva Mendes, Samuel L. Jackson and Jamie King arrives in theaters December 25, Paulson sat down with SheKnows to discuss finding her inner Spirit.

Paulson plays a pumped up Ellen Dolan, who in the graphic novel was more feminine and less femme fatale.

“In the film, Ellen’s a doctor,” Paulson proudly says. “There’s not a single woman in The Spirit stranded on a rooftop waiting for someone to rescue her. They’re too strong and intelligent.”

Paulson is a familiar face to audiences with her work on the Aaron Sorkin created Studio 60 on the Sunset Street and Joss Whedon’s Serenity.

SheKnows: With The Spirit, there is so much excitement about this film, that frankly began once it was announced. From where you’re sitting on the eve of The Spirit coming out, is it a more of a nervous time or exciting?

Sarah Paulson: I feel a lot of things. Mostly fear that no one’s going to go (laughs). Because, I think the movie is really good and totally unique. It’s a big opportunity for me to be in this movie and I just hope that people go see it. I’m not dancing around thinking it’s all done, my career’s taking off! I’ve done this for so long and have had opportunities like this, where things didn’t turn out the way you hoped. I’ve been disappointed. So, I’m hopeful, but I’m cautious.

Spirited buzzSheKnows: The buzz exploded when The Spirit cast showed up at Comic-Con in San Diego. Were you a part of that frenzy?

Sarah Paulson in The Spirit

Sarah Paulson: I was shooting in New York. I was disappointed because I’ve heard about the lure of Comic-Con. It was crazy.

SheKnows: Does having a fan base for Frank Miller and The Spirit story itself add a layer of anticipation for you?

Sarah Paulson: You always worry when you have something that has an attached group of people to it that you are going to be disappointing to them somehow. I’m not going to be the Ellen Dolan they imagine. I’m trying not to think about it because this was Will Eisner’s characters as interpreted by Frank Miller and the actors portraying it. So, I feel at some point, audience members have to give into what they are watching.

Paulson gets graphic

SheKnows: To be part of the Will Eisner graphic novel, there’s a real specific passion for his work. How is it for you as an actress to wrap your head around the world he has created? Was that a unique challenge?

Sam Jackson readies for dirty work in The Spirit

Sarah Paulson: It was unique, but for me, it was more of a Frank Miller world that was being created. Frank added things to the Eisner comic. Miller has her as a surgeon, a powerful position in my life, a way to keep me connected to The Spirit outside of just my love for him and his love for me. We were going to be married. There’s a long story there, but in the comic books, she was around. She was the commissioner’s daughter, and that’s still there, but I wasn’t a doctor. I didn’t have a shared obsession with protecting the city.

SheKnows: That must have been empowering for you to portray that.

Sarah Paulson: It was and that was something truly special about what Frank did with all the women in the movie. All of these women are really strong, independent women perfectly capable of taking care of themselves just fine.

Jamie King readies for action in The Spirit

SheKnows: That has become perfectly clear even from the initial teasers and artwork issued for The Spirit. Each female character has their own poster.

Sarah Paulson: Yeah, that’s true. It’s incredible.

Up next…Sarah tells us about seeing her face on a bus for the first time and what it really takes to get ready for the Golden Globes red carpet!

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