Sarah Paulson: Actor’s Six-Page Notes

Sarah Paulson
Sarah Paulson

Sarah Paulson will always remember the actor who sent her six pages of unsolicited notes after her performance in a play.

During a recent appearance on the “Smartless” podcast with hosts Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett, the group discussed the tradition of celebrities visiting performers backstage.

When Bateman inquired about the reaction he received from these visitors, Paulson recounted an “humiliating” incident that happened to him after one performance.

Once, I did a play. The last time I was on stage, I did a play called ‘Talley’s Folly’ at the Roundabout, and the actress—and I’m going to say this, and I’m not going to ask you to cut it, because I don’t, I don’t care. This actress came to the play. Her name is Trish Hawkins. Hi, Trish! Hello Trisha!” Paulson said. “Trish Hawkins came into the game—am I going to sue? I don’t care, because I think it’s disrespectful.

She came to the play,” she went on, “and she said, ‘Your dress is yellow.'” She gave me a quick glance. I had a pink one. And I asked myself, “What?”

Both during “Talley’s Folly’s” 1980 Broadway premiere and its 1979 off-Broadway run, Hawkins created the character of Sally Talley. Paulson performed in an off-Broadway production of the Lanford Wilson play in 2013 as the same character.

Hawkins and Paulson were “in some kind of writing group together,” thus Paulson said that her own mother had brought Hawkins over to attend “Talley’s Folly.

Two days later, I received a six-page email filled with remarks and a message from her about what she had done for the play and what she suggested I do,” Paulson continued. It was ludicrous. It was truly absurd. I hope to see you never, Trish Hawkins. I have not forgotten.

Paulson acknowledged that she still possesses Hawkins’ notes, but she kept the incident a secret from her mother. She remarked, “I just put it back in the file of things my mother has done.”

Paulson’s work in the comedy-drama “Appropriate” earned her a nomination for a Tony this year, her first ever. Her additional Broadway credits are from the films “Collected Stories” (2010), “The Glass Menagerie” (2005), and “The Sisters Rosensweig” (1993).


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