If Sarah Paulson and Holland Taylor’s sweetly supportive, nearly four-year relationship is the stuff of romantic comedies, it’s a very modern rom-com indeed. On the Watch What Happens Live aftershow on Wednesday, Paulson spoke about the extremely 21st-century way that she and Taylor struck up a relationship, nearly a decade after they first met.
The conversation came about after the host Andy Cohen asked Paulson’s fellow guest on the show, Billy Eichner, if he uses the elite dating app Raya (he doesn’t). Paulson confirmed that she hadn’t used Raya to find Taylor either, adding, “Can you imagine?” before Cohen asked her to tell the story of how they did start dating. “It’s a long story. We met a very, very long time ago. I was with someone else; she was, too,” Paulson said. “And then there was, like, a Twitter thing that happened. We were doing a thing at Martha Plimpton’s house—it was for an organization that she was working with—and we were both doing a little PSA for it. We sort of breezed by one another, and then started following each other on Twitter, and then…”
Filling in the blanks, a stunned Eichner asked, “Holland Taylor slid into your DMs?” “She actually did,” Paulson said. “Yeah, it’s pretty great.”
Paulson had previously spoken about her first encounter with Taylor, which happened at a dinner party. Though Paulson was dating Cherry Jones at the time, she told The New York Times in 2016 that her first impression of Taylor was that she was “probably the most exquisitely beautiful woman I’d ever seen.” And the rest, as they say, is Twitter DM history.
Since they first began dating, in early 2015, Paulson and Taylor have kept their relationship fairly low-key—though they haven’t shied away from walking the occasional red carpet together—a choice that Paulson explained in an early 2018 interview with Town & Country. “I do not want to be defined by who I share my bed, my home, my soul with,” she said. “My choices in life have been unconventional, and that’s my business.” Still, she continued, “I do want to live responsibly and truthfully without hiding. It’s complicated, because there is a lot of hate in this world, and a lot of good can come from quote-unquote normalizing something for people who don’t see it as normal. Our relationship represents a certain amount of hope and risk. Maybe there’s something brave in it. Maybe it encourages others to make brave choices. What else can I say? We love each other.”