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Sarah Paulson Couldn’t Stop Embarrassing Herself in Front of Rihanna

Naturally.


MONA KUHN

No one—not even Sarah Paulson—is exempt from accidentally looking like a fool when standing in front of Rihanna.

During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Paulson recounted the many, many times she embarrassed herself in front of Rihanna while in production for their upcoming film, Ocean’s 8. Paulson admitted that whenever she looked at Rihanna, she would hear the sweet sounds of the singer playing in her head and attempt to perform her own versions. “It was a sort of daily struggle to not embarrass myself,” Paulson told DeGeneres, just before launching into her own rendition of Rihanna’s hit dancehall track, “Work.”

Put yourself in Paulson’s shoes, though—aside from likely being weak in the knees at just the sight of Rihanna every single day on set, how would you be able to resist looking a little bit silly? “It’s just deeply nerdy, and Sandy [Bullock] would look at me like, ‘Hey, dial it down,'” Paulson told DeGeneres. While on set for the summer blockbuster, Paulson even danced and performed a little ditty of her own for Rihanna in order to erase some of that new friendship anxiety, until Rihanna told her to stop singing. “She thought my lyrics weren’t so bad, but the melody was terrible,” she admitted. “And she gives great side-eye.”

The on-set shenanigans must have worked to solidify some sort of friendship between the two costars, as Paulson recounted that the two had a lovely time together at the 2018 Met Gala while waiting for Madonna to perform.

DeGeneres then told the actress what everyone in the audience must have been thinking, which is that she would love to see Rihanna and Paulson hang out together. Thankfully, soon we will all be lucky enough to witness what happens during a Sarah Paulson and Rihanna hangout, when Ocean’s 8 is released on June 8.

Related: Rihanna Helped Create Her Ocean’s 8 Character, Who Is Based on Herself

Sarah Paulson Experiments on the Red Carpet

Long sleeves are another recurring trend in Paulson’s arsenal — here, she wears one of Italy’s most promising young designers, working a freshened-up bleach job.

Sarah Paulson in Philosophy Di Lorenzo Serafini at the People Vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story For Your Consideration event in Los Angeles, California, April 2016. Photo by Getty Images.

For the Carol premiere, Paulson livened it up in a shimmering a-line dress.

Sarah Paulson in Etro at the premiere of Carol in New York, New York, November 2015. Photo by Getty Images.

Simple and sleek, the sporty high neckline contrasts with the elegant off-the-shoulder detail.

Sarah Paulson in Cushnie et Ochs at the 25th annual Gotham Film Independent Awards in New York, New York, November 2015. Photo by Getty Images.

Paulson treads on Countess territory — the character played by Lady Gaga — with this strong, pointy-shouldered sheath.

Sarah Paulson in Monique Lhuillier at the premiere of American Horror Story in Los Angeles, California, October 2015. Photo by Getty Images.

Lately, Paulson has increasingly foregone color and opted for body-hugging dresses that extend past the knee. Here, she also debuts that short, mussy bob that we love.

Sarah Paulson in Prabal Gurung at the 5th annual Critics’ Choice Television Awards in Beverly Hills, California, May 2015. Photo by Getty Images.

Paulson took a more classic and staid approach for the 2014 AHS premiere.

Sarah Paulson in Zac Posen at the premiere of American Horror Story in Hollywood, California, October 2014. Photo by Getty Images.

Tulle everywhere — this Armani gown recalls the early silhouettes Paulson favored, but with a whole lot more character.

Sarah Paulson in Armani Privé at the 66th annual Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California, August 2014. Photo by Getty Images.

When she opts for color, Paulson regularly selects blues and greens, which have played off the auburn-tinged hair color she comes back to again and again

Sarah Paulson in Prada at the Met Gala in New York, New York, May 2014. Photo by Getty Images.

For the premiere of 12 Years a Slave, Paulson opted for an off-the-shoulder silhouette that echoes 19th-century trends while adding a contemporary edge.

Sarah Paulson in Vivienne Westwood at the premiere of 12 Years a Slave at the 51st annual New York Film Festival in New York, New York, October 2013. Photo by Getty Images.

The American Horror Story red carpet has always offered a place for stars to experiment — this feathered Reem Acra dress is right on tone.

Sarah Paulson in Reem Acra at the premiere of American Horror Story in Hollywood, California, October 2012. Photo by Getty Images.

She still had a fairy princess side, though.

Sarah Paulson in Reem Acra at the 64th annual Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California, September 2012. Photo by Getty Images.

By 2012, Paulson was experimenting with different prints and silhouettes, often opting for more niche labels like this Isabel Marant look.

Sarah Paulson in Isabel Marant at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences lunch in Universal City, California, August 2012. Photo by Getty Images.

Paulson’s hair has evolved as much as her red carpet style — here, she debuts soft curls and a new blonde look with an ivory strapless gown.

Sarah Paulson at the 64th annual Golden Globes in Beverly Hills, California, January 2007. Photo by Getty Images.

Classic silhouettes like this black strapless number were also frequent picks.

Sarah Paulson at the 59th annual Tony Awards in New York, New York, June 2005. Photo by Gregory Pace/FilmMagic.

Paulson and BFF Amanda Peet arrived in a pair of Miu Miu ensembles — cute and bright defined her early looks.

Sarah Paulson in Miu Miu at the IFP/LA Filmmaker Labs in Los Angeles, California, March 2003. Photo by Getty Images.

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