Sarah Paulson Nervously Returns to 'Ellen' After Past Scares

The ‘Ocean’s 8’ star was on edge throughout her appearance on the daytime talk show, where the host has often frightened the actress in clips that have gone viral.

Sarah Paulson may be known for her roles in American Horror Story, but she was nervous about being scared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Monday (May 14).

DeGeneres is known for scaring her guests on the talk show. During previous visits DeGeneres has snuck up behind Paulson in her changing room, as well as had one employee sneak up behind her and another pop out from a trunk within a matter of minutes. Each scare attempt ended with Paulson screaming and ultimately hiding beneath a table.

So when Paulson returned, to promote her new movie Ocean’s 8, DeGeneres admitted she’s surprised the actress came back. “It’s kind of shocking except I do have a plan afoot. It’s a long range missile attack of revenge,” said Paulson. “I feel like you probably shouldn’t leave the house ‘cause you never know if I might be lurking.”

Despite her boasts, Paulson seemed on edge. After DeGeneres confirmed that no one was hiding in a trunk behind the guest, Paulson declared, “Coast is clear so far.” She also explained that she requested a mirror so that she can always check if anyone is coming from behind to scare her. “I might conduct the entire interview facing the other way.”

Even though DeGeneres ensured the guest that she had no intentions of scaring her, Paulson screamed, “I feel nervous! I’m really scared that something’s gonna happen.”

The host explained that many of Paulson’s clips of being scared on the show have gone viral because of her extreme reactions. “Sometimes when you scare people and they don’t react it’s really a bummer,” DeGeneres said. “You’re very satisfying.”

When asked if people ever mention the clips of her being scared, Paulson said, “They point and laugh at me. My own father thought that I was faking it.” She explained that her father thinks she overreacted to DeGeneres’ attempts at scaring her because she is an actress. “I was like, ‘No dad. That’s just how pathetic I am.’”

Finally trusting DeGeneres, Paulson agreed to play a game called “5 Second Rule.” During the host’s turn the answer the question, a clown popped out of the table, which forced a screaming Paulson onto the ground. The actress slowly walked over to the trunk and climbed in, stating, “This is the worst place ever.”

Earlier in the episode, Paulson discussed her experiences at the past two Met Galas. “When you’re asked I think it’s nice to show up and put on a glamorous outfit and feel like an idiot,” said Paulson of why she’s attended the star-studded event. She admitted that while she thinks the pictures make her look calm at The Met Gala, she always feels uncomfortable on red carpets. “There’s nothing worse than having all those cameras on you.” When DeGeneres added that she looked at ease, Paulson said, “See, there’s the acting part again. That’s why my dad thinks I’m a big fibber.”

The two then discussed Paulson’s latest film Ocean’s 8, which includes Rihanna as one of the main cast members. When asked if she became friends with the singer, Paulson responded, “I like to think I did.” After admitting that they have texted, she said, “It was a daily struggle to not embarrass myself, ‘cause every time I looked at her I was like, ‘Work, work, work.”’ She added, “It was not good. I’m not a singer A, and B, it’s just deeply nerdy and Sandy [Bullock] would just constantly look at me and be like, ‘Hey, dial it down. Just stop.’”

“I dealt with my own anxiety by going up to Rihanna and going, ‘I got a new song I could do…’ and she was like, ‘No, Paulson,’” she recalled. “She thought my lyrics weren’t so bad, but my melody was terrible and she gives great side eye, so the minute she does it you’re like, ‘I’m really sorry.’”

Paulson also shared that she and Rihanna watched Madonna’s surprise performance at The Met Gala together. “We’re best friends,” she said. DeGeneres responded, “You’re pushing it.”

The interview concluded with Paulson screaming, “Someone’s behind me! I got really scared. I feel nervous.” The host admitted that during rehearsals she wanted to fill the trunk sitting next to Paulson with snakes. “I like animals too much and I thought that would be stressful for snakes.” Paulson responded, “I’m glad you had so much care and thought for the snake, but me, just right in the gutter.”

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