Sarah Paulson

“I think we’re living in a very exciting and a very terrifying time,” Sarah Paulson said Wednesday evening from the McIntosh Townhouse in SoHo. The actress, who joined Justin Bartha, Paul Schneider, Christine Evangelista and Ryan Eggold for dinner celebrate Moët & Chandon’s Moët Moment Film Festival, was fresh from being honored the previous night at the Time 100 gala.

Paulson’s busy schedule had prevented her from taking in films during the Tribeca Film Festival, including that of her close friend and former costar Cate Blanchett, who screened her film “Manifesto” earlier that night. “That’s happening right now, but I’m here and I can’t be there, but I really wanted to be at that one,” she said.

Her friendship with Blanchett extends beyond giving support at one another’s premieres. Blanchett penned the “American Crime Story” actress’ intro for the Time 100 honor.  

“I didn’t know that was happening. When it came out one of my publicists sent it to me — I cried,” Paulson said of reading Blanchett’s words. “I e-mailed her saying, ‘it’s one thing to be included in this list to begin with, but then to have an actor that I admire so deeply who I also consider my friend, who is somebody whose work actually makes me want to act, and is so inspiring,’ the things she wrote about me…it was a very big ‘pinch me’ moment. She wrote me back a hilarious e-mail basically saying ‘don’t you worry, it was my pleasure.’ She’s somebody I’ve always admired, and I’ve worked with twice — I just did ‘Ocean’s Eight’ with her. It was a very nice, early, off-season Christmas present.”

Sarah Paulson  Andrew Morales/WWD

The Time honor comes after her Golden Globe win for portraying Marcia Clark in “American Crime Story,” and hits in a moment of overall career buzz for the actress.

“All I do when I think about that is that it’s going to go to a non-sweet spot soon,” she said. “But I mean, I’ve been doing this long enough to know that this is a very unique and special time in my career. I do not take it for granted, I do not take it lightly, I do not know what in the world will come next that will be as exciting and inspiring as what that was for me to play Marcia Clark. And certainly the response to it was so overwhelming, and undeniable, about the piece as a whole. I’m terrified that I will never have anything as challenging or as rewarding, internally, as playing somebody so multilayered and complicated and real — that kind of responsibility was good for my soul. You can get out of this feeling of ‘you can try to be good so that you’re impressive as a performer,’ and just think about how to be good so that somebody that you greatly admire can have justice served for her.”

She’s taking a break from the awards circuit on Monday for the Met Ball, fittings for which are still to come. “I haven’t tried it on!” she said of her dress, which is in the works with stylist Karla Welch. “She’s really tough on me, in that she pushes me out of my comfort zone all the time,” she said of Welch. “But she’s made me more of a risk-taker — and I feel like it bleeds over to my real life as well, where you start to just take the piss out of all of it — it’s just fashion, it’s just fun. It’s about expression.”

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