Yesterday, Sarah Paulson earned her first Emmy for playing prosecutor Marcia Clark on The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story. Paulson brought Clark to the awards show as her date and thanked her onstage as she accepted the trophy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie. For Paulson, playing Clark felt like a deeply important task and it was one she wanted to take as seriously as possible.
“It was self-inflicted responsibility that I really carried with me,” Paulson told reporters backstage of the role after her win. “Playing a real person while they’re still living is a big responsibility. She’s a mother of two children who were very young when the trial was going on, and who were not really privy to a lot of it or what she was put through. So I just kept thinking, ‘God, I hope this doesn’t hurt Marcia any further. I hope the things that we’re doing don’t inflict any more pain on her.'” But Paulson didn’t think that would be the case: “I knew what the scripts were, and I knew what was in my mind in terms of what I wanted to bring forward—what I believed to be true about her from the reading I did and the material that I watched.”