During Monday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Sarah Paulson talked about Rihanna like only a true fan would. Both talented women are co-starring in Ocean’s 8 together and Paulson opened up to Ellen DeGeneres about what it’s like being around the famed singer. Basically, she can’t ever keep her cool, because, it’s Rihanna.
After DeGeneres brought up how Paulson became friends with the "Work" singer, the actor replied, "I like to think I did. I’m not sure." She then added, "We have texted. I think we’re friends."
That said, the American Horror Story actor admitted it was a challenge being around Rihanna, which is something fans can totally relate to. "It was sort of a daily struggle to not embarrass myself," she said. "Every time I looked at her I was like, ‘Work, work, work, work.’"
Even though Paulson recognized how embarrassing she was being, she couldn’t stop and not even after her Ocean’s 8 co-star Sandra Bullock told her to cut it out. "Sandy would just constantly look at me be like, ‘Hey, dial it down, just stop.’"
Paulson tried to make the situation better by confronting the Grammy winner head on. "I dealt with my own anxiety by going up to Rihanna and being like [while singing to the tune of "Work"], ‘I’ve gotta new song I could do for you.’ And she’s like, ‘No, Paulson.’ I’d be like what about, ‘I’m in a birdcage,’ she’s like, ‘No, you’re not in a birdcage. I really need you to stop singing.’"
Apparently, Rihanna said Paulson’s "lyrics weren’t so bad", but thought her "melody was terrible." Paulson also confirmed that when RiRi gives you side eye, you’ll want to apologize. "And she gives great side-eye and the minute she does it you’re like, ‘I’m really sorry.’"
All that aside, they both attended the 2018 Met Gala and according to Paulson, "We had a fun time watching Madonna at the Met Ball." So, yeah, they’re friends.
This isn’t the first time the American Crime Story actor has gushed about Rihanna. While appearing on Late Night With Seth Meyers in December 2017, Paulson said about RiRi, "I have a low-level, super cool, chill obsession with Rihanna."
The Emmy-winner also revealed Rihanna texted her after Paulson won her first Golden Globe in 2017. "She sent me like a crying laughing emoji congratulating me on winning the Golden Globe and I was like, ‘Rihanna is not going to send an emjoi.’ And then I went to set the next day and she was like, ‘Yes, that was me.’ I thought, I can’t believe she texted me."
Oh, and to make you even more jealous of their relationship, Paulson told Meyers, "She also sends me some Fenty [Rihanna’s beauty line] goodies every once and awhile, too."
If that’s not enough, Paulson also told Meyers in December 2016 about how Rihanna’s coolness can’t be ignored. For example, while filming Ocean’s 8, Paulson said the cast was sitting around together doing some online shopping and she shared a special moment with Rihanna. "Everyone whipped out their phones," Paulson explained. "I found a couple things and Rihanna was sitting next to me. ‘What do you think of that?’ ‘Yeah, yeah.’ Then I showed her a pair of pants I thought were the most hideous pants I’d ever seen, and she was like, ‘I think those are cool.’ I was like, ‘Me too! I think those are so cool!’ Rihanna is the definition [of cool]. There’s a picture in the dictionary of ‘cool’ and then there’s Rihanna."
She’s so cool in fact it affects Paulson deeply. She even equated her anxious feeling around Rihanna to what it’s like for her walking the red carpet. While chatting with DeGeneres, Paulson made an unforgettable facial expression (think Kristen Wiig’s Gilly Saturday Night Live skit) describing her nervous emotions, like when she’s at the Met Ball or any situation involving Rihanna.
And here is the face she made — multiple times:
"That’s what I feel like on the red carpet, every time I’m there," Paulson said. "And then I see a picture and I think, ‘Oh, you did OK,’ because inside it’s just [insert her Gilly-like face]. I really do feel like that. There’s nothing worse than having all those cameras on you."
When Paulson geeks out over somebody she’s a fan of, she geeks out hard. Anyone else remember that time she met Dorinda Medley from the Real Housewives of New York City on Watch What Happens Live? That’s basically how she is with Rihanna. Paulson’s just a typical fan like everyone else and it’s one of the many reasons so she’s wonderful.
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