Sarah Paulson says she finds the media furor over her relationship with girlfriend Holland Taylor "surreal."
In an interview with The New York Times, the 41-year-old actress, who is currently seen as Marcia Clark on "American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson," opened up about Taylor, who is 32 years her senior, for the first time.
Paulson, who has dated both men and women and eschewed labeling her sexuality in previous interviews, said she thought Taylor, 73, was "probably the most exquisitely beautiful woman I’d ever seen" when they first met over a decade ago.
The age difference, she said, has never been an issue for the couple, who have been dating for a little more than a year.
“There’s a poignancy to being with someone older,” she said. “I think there’s a greater appreciation of time and what you have together and what’s important, and it can make the little things seem very small. It puts a kind of sharp light mixed with a sort of diffused light on something. I can’t say it any other way than there’s a poignancy to it, and a heightened sense of time and the value of time.”
She added, “What I can say absolutely is that I am in love, and that person happens to be Holland Taylor.”
Paulson said she's been attracted to older partners since her teens. Previously, she dated Tony Award-winning actress Cherry Jones, 59. She was also engaged to actor-playwright Tracy Letts, nine years her senior.
“I had a complicated home life, and my teachers, predominantly my theater teachers and my English teachers, were very dedicated to taking care of me in a particular way,” she said. “And in doing so, I think I developed a very easy rapport with people older than myself.”
News of Paulson and Taylor's relationship first made waves in December, shortly after both stars had opened up about their respective sexualities in separate interviews. Taylor, who has had memorable turns in "Two and a Half Men" and "Legally Blonde," told WNYC's Anna Sale that she was in a relationship with another woman. She did not reveal the identity of her girlfriend, but noted that there was "a very big age difference" between the two.