While the acting chops are certainly there, Sarah Paulson looks very little like O.J. Simpson prosecutor, Marcia Clark.
“You don’t think I look like Marcia Clark?” she joked when Business Insider asked her about the physical transformation for the “People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”
But through the wonder of hair and makeup, Paulson’s own looks fade into what we remember Clark looked in the early-1990s when the upcoming FX drama took place.
“No doubt. Her look was iconic: that hair, that image, that mole,” Paulson said of the importance of getting the right look .
Paulson is the only cast member who didn’t have to audition, get vetted, or take meetings for their role in the crime drama, executive producer Ryan Murphy, who has worked with Paulson on all five seasons of “American Horror Story,” said at this month’s Television Critics Association press tour.
Each day, Paulson’s hair and makeup took about two hours. “The hair part was actually the easiest, because it was a wig, so you wrap up your hair and slap the wig on,” she told us. “The makeup was more.”
“We did things like reduce the size of my lips, because my lips were much fuller than Marsha’s,” she continued. “I had to get under-eye circles. We changed the shape of my eyes. So, the makeup took about an hour-and-a-half and the hair about 30 minutes. So, it was a two hour thing every day. I have a mole, but it’s on the other side of my face.”
Clark’s looks would become a very important part of her story. Midway through the trial, she would get a makeover after a jury consultant put together a focus group that criticised her looks and presentation skills. That would only be part of the pressure that chipped away at the attorney during the trial.
“I think that anyone who’s not prepared to have a very bright light shown on them is not going to fare well in that kind of story,” Paulson said.
“The People v. O.J. Simpson premieres Tuesday, February 2 at 10 p.m. on FX.
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