Ocean’s 8 star Paulson, 43, graces the cover of six of Modern Luxury‘s June issues — Angeleno, Boston Common, CS, Orange County Philadelphia Style and Vegas magazines — and PEOPLE has your exclusive first look at the stunning shoot and interview.
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Paulson originally met Taylor, 75, at a dinner party about a decade ago. Though dating someone else at the time, Paulson has since confessed she thought Taylor was “probably the most exquisitely beautiful woman I’d ever seen.” They crossed paths a few years later, at which point they followed each other on Twitter, exchanged direct messages and decided to go out for dinner — and have been going strong ever since.
Speaking to Modern Luxury, Paulson says she’s entirely unbothered by any critics of the relationship.
“If anyone wants to spend any time thinking I’m strange for loving the most spectacular person on the planet, then that’s their problem,” she says. “I’m doing just fine.”
The Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning actress, who can be seen next in this summer’s highly anticipated female blockbuster, Ocean’s 8, also opens up about her love of taking on roles that require major physical and emotional transformations. (Among others, she’s played a sociopath, a drug addict and conjoined twins in American Horror Story, as well as real-life prosecutor Marcia Clark in American Crime Story.)
“The more I can look in the mirror and not recognize myself, the more excited I am,” she says. “We’re constantly faced with all these idea of beauty — things that Hollywood puts out there for us to gobble up. It’s very powerful when I look in the mirror and the first thing I’m thinking isn’t, ‘Are you pretty? Are you going to appeal to someone?’ I can work much more freely when I don’t have to concern myself with my looks.”
And in that vein, Paulson insists she has no intention of ever letting age slow her down.
“If being older means all the roles I’m getting to play now because of all the ups and downs and hills and valleys proceeding it, I say bring it on,” she says. “Every once in a while I’ll go, ‘Wow. [43.] That’s seven years shy of 50.’ That’s the big 5-0. But then I go, ‘Stop running seven years down the road. You have no idea what your life will look like and where you’ll be.’ And that’s just what makes life so sweet. You cross your fingers, take a deep breath and jump. And that’s really all you can do.”